Benefits of Eco-Friendly Insulation
A new generation of eco-friendly insulation materials has arrived and homeowners nowadays are not looking to just make the usual renovations, but they also want to make choices which have a positive impact on the environment. Eco-friendly insulation products are the result of safe and sustainably used materials and methods during the manufacturing process. The energy required or embodied in the production of these materials is much lower than traditional methods of production. Raw materials used in the production are usually recyclable waste and the final products are recyclable as well. Eco-friendly insulation materials have similar benefits to the common insulation products, but they are much safer to use in the house and elsewhere, and so, much worth the interest they are receiving when it comes to green building or renovation projects.
Types of Eco-Friendly Insulation Materials
Cellulose: This is one of the most eco-friendly insulation materials you will be offered for your home insulation. The base material for the production of cellulose is made up to 85% of recycled paper and paper waste. You never thought you would insulate your home with “yesterday’s news” right? Well, this is what eco-friendly insulation is all about: turning waste into useful products with the least embodied energy possible. Recycled paper is then treated with borax or boric acid to make the final product more resistant to any potential fire. These flame retardant chemicals have also the benefit of keeping insects and mould growth away. The resistance value of cellulose insulation stands at R3.5 per inch, similar to fiberglass insulation. On the other hand, the percentage of the recycled content is higher in cellulose insulation while the energy required for the production process is the lowest among eco-friendly insulation products. Another factor with direct impact on the environment is the shipping distance of the products from the manufacturing location to the final consumer. Cellulose insulation is one of those materials which are locally produced, reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Fiberglass: As the name itself suggests, the base products for fiberglass insulation is glass or sand turned into fibrous strands. It is popular just like cellulose insulation and it comes in different compositions but it is commonly applied in the form of blown-in or as batt insulation. Fiberglass insulation is one of the cheapest insulation options in the market, but nevertheless, it will make a quite effective insulation layer that will endure for decades. Fiberglass insulation is considered eco-friendly material in that it incorporates considerable amounts of recycled glass in the production process. The percentage of recycled material used in the production of fiberglass insulation varies between different products and brands, but some of them contain up to 80% recycled glass. Manufacturers of fiberglass insulation used some 8 billion pounds of glass waste for the period 1992-2000, research shows. This huge amount of recycled glass waste for sure has had a positive impact on the environment. Another component used in the production of fiberglass is silica sand, a material which you can find in abundance and which is also a renewable source.
Spray Foam: Spray Foam insulation is considered environmentally friendly because of its high resistance value. At an R-value of R6.5 per inch, it has for sure the highest thermal-insulating properties and you don’t need too much of it to obtain adequate insulation. Studies show that some 40% of the energy is lost from homes through air leakages in the windows, doors, roofs, and walls. The high qualities of spray foam insulation will preserve the heat inside your home making it easier for you to control the indoor climate and cut your energy bills as a result. Recent developments in the industry have made it possible to produce eco-friendly spray foam insulation from soy or vegetable oil, bypassing this way other non-renewable resources used for the production such as petroleum. When planning to renovate your home through spray foam insulation, we suggest you choose a product that will have the least adverse impact on the environment.
Foam Board: Foam Board or Polystyrene is usually compared to Styrofoam. It comes in the form of hard and dense foam sheets, easily to install into roofs, floorings and walls, interior and exterior. It’s least positive side is the fact that it has to be cut into precise pieces in order to fit into uneven surfaces and shapes. Polystyrene is actually made of plastic, and though it might not be considered the most eco-friendly solution for your home insulation, it has a high resistance value which will preserve the energy of the home and cut down on your heating bills. Being hard and dense, it will also add to the structural strength of your home.
Advantages of Eco-Friendly Insulation
Insulating your home with eco-friendly materials is the best contribution you can give in reducing waste and lowering the carbon footprints in the atmosphere. Eco-friendly insulation products require low amounts of energy to be manufactured and delivered to the final consumer. They are recyclable materials themselves and their insulating powers help reduce energy consumption from non-renewable and non-green resources. We summarize here below the benefits of using eco-friendly insulating materials:
Eco-friendly insulation materials have the advantage of being sustainable and with a minimum impact on the surrounding environment. Environmental impacts of our daily choices have had a lot of publicity recently and it is our duty to move towards sustainable solutions. Insulation materials that are eco-friendly can cause little to no damage to the environment, starting from the manufacturing process up to their final disposal, if necessary.
Insulating your home with eco-friendly materials is completely safe and poses no risk to your general health. Moreover, eco-friendly insulation materials have demonstrated to be fire-proof or are treated chemically with fire retardants. Apart from fire-proofing qualities, they are safe to use in your home as they do not contain any toxic material.
Lower Manufacturing Costs
Some eco-friendly insulation materials such as cellulose require up to 10 times less embodied energy to be manufactured as compared to other traditional insulating materials. The embodied energy translates into manufacturing costs, which are significantly reduced when producing eco-friendly insulation. Lower production energy means also fewer harmful gases and pollutants released in the atmosphere.
Eco-friendly materials that have high insulating powers will preserve the energy of your home. The higher the thermal resistance value, the easier it will be to control your indoor climate. When energy is preserved and not wasted, your HVAC system will work less, resulting in less gas and fuel consumption.
Breathability and Vapour Permeability
Eco-friendly insulation materials are made of natural fibres and as such they are highly effective in relation to ventilation and vapour permeation. The natural fibres of the eco-friendly materials regulate house breathability and humidity by absorbing the excess moisture and releasing it as needed. This is very important in the long run for the comfort of your home, as excess moisture can lead to mould growth.
As we earlier mentioned, eco-friendly insulation materials do not contain any toxic material and are safe for your general health. But the most important health benefit is related to their breathability and ventilation qualities. Eco-friendly materials have the ability to control the moisture of your indoor environment, combating excess moisture build up and condensation. Eco-friendly insulation is not the perfect environment for mould and mildew to flourish, and so they add up to the quality of your indoor air.
Insulation That Lasts a Lifetime
Unlike the traditional old forms of insulation, eco-friendly insulation materials are built to resist for a long time the different external environmental factors. Despite the harsh weather outside, if you upgrade to eco-friendly insulation you will create for yourself a cozy and comfortable living place inside. These materials are made to last, so if you use eco-friendly insulation, you need not worry about replacing them, not even in the long future.
Go Green with your Home Insulation
You as customers and we as eco-friendly insulation experts have the power to affect the range of products and services available to us. Choosing eco-friendly products and services will minimize our impact on the environment. The benefits of eco-friendly insulation materials exceed in many ways those of old traditional materials and so will offer us new ways of making positive changes for the wellbeing of our families and the environment. But eco-friendly insulation requires certified experts to showcase all the benefits it has to offer. Insulation that is not properly installed will require additional servicing, later on, resulting in additional charges and unnecessary loss of time. If eco-friendly insulation appeals to you, call us at (416) 860-6664 or send us an e-mail at [email protected] for a free and no-obligation consultation and quote.