Best Options for Green Insulation

Industrial & Manufacturing Articles

A trend towards green options is definitely sweeping the country. Millennials and baby boomers alike even admit to being willing to spend more on products that come from environmentally friendly companies. This trend is affecting the choices a lot of homeowners make, to the tune of how they insulate their homes. Whether you're building from scratch or you're updating your residence, here are some of the best green options out there.

Soy-Based Spray Foam

Primarily composed of soy, this green alternative to fiberglass is worth a look-see if you care about environmentally friendly alternatives. Soy spray foam works just like regular spray foam in that it's composed of two "sides" that mix when they come together and expand, creating a tight seal wherever applied in your home.

Soy is considered green because it doesn't off-gas like other insulation types, and rodents tend to stay away from it. It resists water and moisture buildup, so you don't have to worry about the growth of mold or mildew. The United Soybean Board claims that soybean foam insulation will insulate your home just as well as, if not better than, regular batting insulation.

A majority of the companies that manufacture soy foam use American-grown beans, giving this option the thumbs-up for those who want to support local U.S. farmers.

Another advantage to using soy-based foam over traditional foam is that you don't have to sacrifice anything in the R-value department. Soy foam comes as open-cell or closed-cell, with open-cell being slightly less dense but also cheaper. Some companies claim that you can save up to 50% on your electric bill by using soy spray foam. That percentage will vary depending on other factors, like what type of windows you have and how efficient your HVAC system is.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose uses recycled materials to insulate your home, making this a wonderful green option for the environmentally conscious. It's typically composed of newspaper and boxes, and instead of working like a foam and expanding once applied, it's actually a loose-fill material. Loose-fill insulators are shredded and broken down until they are fluffy, helping them to conform to the spaces in which they're placed.  

Cellulose insulation can be put in by the do-it-yourselfer. Homeowners simply rent a machine called a "hopper" that blows the fibers into the desired areas.

If you're wondering how cellulose compares to fiberglass or soy foam, it will work about as well as fiberglass in moderate climates. But in areas that suffer cold winters, you'll see better insulation with the cellulose. Neither fiberglass nor cellulose provide the same R-value as soy spray foam.

Cotton Insulation

Ever wonder what happens to those torn up jeans you donated? They very well could have been recycled for insulation. Cotton is quickly becoming a popular green choice. It's safe to install and doesn't give off harmful fumes or release particles of glass that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. It's a renewable resource, and it can be made from recycled clothes, towels, furniture, etc.

Cotton insulation may not offer the same R-value as fiberglass. But this can easily be overcome by simply installing thicker layers.

Sheep's Wool Insulation

If you decide to go with sheep's wool as an insulator, you'll be glad to know that not only is it environmentally friendly and safe to handle and install, there are a few other bonuses that go hand-in-hand with this option.

Sheep's wool is fire retardant, non-carcinogenic, and can actually absorb toxins in the air. It expands over time, making the R-value increase down the road as it fills in little gaps. It can be installed by the homeowner without any sort of protective gear, and a lot of people report that it has a pleasant smell. It takes much less energy to produce wool insulation than it does to make fiberglass. And because it's denser than fiberglass, it insulates better. It's completely biodegradable, and has zero effect on the ozone, making it a go-to for the green homeowner. 

To learn more, contact services like SPRAY FOAM DISTRIBUTORS.


2 May 2017

Your Guide To Industrial and Manufacturing Operations

Hi, my name is David Dotson and the purpose of this blog is to educate others about the manufacturing process. For as long as I can remember, I've always been amazed by how different things are made. It fascinates me to think about the process of taking raw materials and turning them into something useful during fabrication. When I have spare time, I can be found reading about various types of manufacturing and industrial plants to learn how they operate. I wanted to write a blog about my findings so that others could also learn how raw goods are transformed every day into useable products.