How to Use Green Insulation
If the world is going green-friendly, shouldn’t your home be doing the same? Replacing the insulation in your house will both increase the value of your real estate and make the environment safer. It will also help you reduce energy costs—an investment that will continue to pay off year after year.
Traditional fiberglass insulation is a huge health risk, and you don't need it in your home. Replace old insulation, whether it's fiberglass or some other material, with newer green-friendly options that are much healthier for you and for the rest of the world. Replacing your insulation can also reduce your energy costs by 10 to 30 percent, which is a noticeable change. Here's how to use it.
Wrap your water pipes to prevent heat loss as the water travels from the heater to your faucets. Insulating pipes will save you in energy costs by reducing the amount of work your water heater has to do, so this is an important step when insulating your home.
In the Attic
The place in your home that's going to lose the most heat and energy is through the roof. In the winter, a good percentage of your home's heat rises up through the rafters and out the attic. This can be stopped by covering the attic with a heavy layer of green-friendly insulation. Insulate up in the rafters and all around the walls of the attic to trap heat and keep it inside your home.
Insulate all your exterior walls to prevent heat and cold air loss through the year. You will have to replace drywall if you plan to replace old insulation, so this can be a big project. However, re-insulating your home with green-friendly materials will bring your property up to speed with what modern home buyers want.
Different Types of Green Insulation
Look at your options when it comes to environmentally-friendly insulation. There are many different types of insulation that are eco-friendly, healthy for you, and energy-saving in the long run—all the things you want. Find the one that works best with your home and your budget.
Sheep Wool Insulation
Sheep's wool is a natural insulator. In nature, sheep are able to live in some of the world’s harshest environments. They withstand cold, rain, and snow, and it’s all owed to the insulating power of sheep’s wool. This material is hard-wearing and naturally traps air, which is how it keeps sheep warm (and it will keep your home warmer, too). Wool also absorbs moisture without losing its heat-retaining abilities, which makes it a high-quality building material.
This green insulation is made from old blue jeans that are shredded into tiny pieces. Denim is made with natural cotton fibers. In lots of ways, it acts like fiberglass insulation, but it's green-friendly. Unlike fiberglass, cotton does not have formaldehyde or other chemicals in its composition. That makes cotton insulation much safer—and that's why cotton costs almost twice as much as fiberglass insulation. Recycled denim can be more affordable than new cotton insulation, but it’s a little harder to work with.
There are some natural types of foam insulation on the market that are green-friendly, like icynene. This product is made from castor oil and when you spray it on, it's about the same thickness as a coat of paint. But after application, icynene expands to 100 times its own size. It becomes a foamy, sponge-like insulator that seals cracks and crannies as it expands, which makes it very effective if you plan to use a blown-in insulation technique.
Green Insulation in Your Home
Green insulation is better for the environment and it’s better for you, too. Other than cost, there’s really no downside to using green insulation in your home. Replacing old insulation or choosing a high-quality product in new construction will be a costly enterprise, but the expense of using environmentally-friendly insulation pays off in property value and energy costs over the years.