Last modified: 2020-02-27 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Reducing energy costs is one of the most important factors when choosing home insulation, as the right insulation can reduce energy bills drastically.
It might be hidden within the walls, but insulation is working hard to make sure that your home temperature is maintained through all seasons. In cold weather, it keeps warm air in and in hot weather it keeps warm air out. Insulation is already green-friendly, in that it saves us energy.
However, environmentally-conscious homeowners are looking to make their insulation even greener by finding solutions that are recycled or do not contain harmful substances that can lead to future health problems. If you happen to be one of those homeowners, we’ve put together some green-friendly insulation solutions to consider for your next attic renovation project!
The best way to qualify how well your insulation works is by its R-value. The R-value is a way of labelling the effectiveness of insulating materials, by measuring the resistance to heat flow. These range between less than R-1 and R-60 and the R-value is higher depending on how well the material restricts the flow of heat. The insulation within your home should achieve an R-value of between R-30 and R-60. The attic is often the most cost-effective place to add insulation, so let’s start with this tucked away space and consider some green-friendly insulation solutions!
Sheep live in some of the coldest climates and can adapt to these harsh environments because of their wool. Therefore, in recent years, sheep’s wool has been used in home insulation projects, as their insulating properties are quite substantial. When sheep wool fibres are compressed, millions of small air pockets form, and these pockets trap air. This works flawlessly as insulation, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Wool is a breathable material, as the outer layer of wool fibre is resistant to water, meaning it can absorb moisture from the air without affecting its capacity to retain heat. In contrast to this, the inner layer of wool can absorb roughly 1/3 of its weight in moisture without ever feeling damp, furthermore, wool generates heat when it becomes moist.
If you choose to insulate your home with wood, your heating or cooling system can remain as is! A bonus is that it is more fire resistant than most other materials, putting your mind at ease for a restful sleep.
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With a high R-value, aerogel is an exceptional option for green-friendly attic insulation. Aerogel is made by removing the liquid from silica under high pressure and temperature. What’s left is a material that is light, as it is comprised of more than 90 percent air. Aerogel comes in sheet form as insulation, and these sheets can be attached to the studs in a wall.
Certain brands can be adhered, as they come equipped with a peel and stick backing. As with cotton, although this material is environmentally friendly, it costs a pretty penny and is not the most economical solution for an attic insulation project.
Cork is often used on the floors and walls of the home, but have you ever considered using cork as a form of insulation? Cork is bagged and sold in the form of granules. Thus, this form of insulation is best for random or awkward gaps. However, if your attic is particularly drafty, this isn’t the best choice for insulation, as cork granules cannot be packed tight and will blow around in areas with constant airflow. If your attic is properly sealed, this is a fine and sustainable option, so why not give it a go!
Cellulose is made of 80-90 percent post-consumer recycled and shredded newspaper; this insulation material is 15 per cent borate-based fire retardant. Borates are an environmentally safe mineral that aids against moulds and pests, perfect for the insulation of an attic. Cellulose has two different installation methods, it is sometimes applied by making it into a wet newspaper mush and spraying it into open wall cavities. Other times, it’s shredded dry and used in attics as loose fill.
As a wood fibre, cellulose can absorb more moisture than most types of insulation. Cellulose has a higher R-value than fibreglass, but costs around the same price. However, although this form of insulation is environmentally friendly, certain individuals are bothered by outgassing from the newspaper ink, something to be aware of before moving forward with this renovation project.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your green-friendly attic insulation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted specialists.
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