If it's time to redo the insulation that helps keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, you may be wondering if there are green options among insulation materials. Fortunately, a variety of eco-friendly insulation exists. Following are five types of green insulation for your consideration -- you're sure to find one that works for your specific situation.
Hemp is a crop that grows quickly and requires very little maintenance during cultivation. It's a versatile plant that can be grown in both temperate and tropical climate and absorbs significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Hempcrete has high insulating properties and is made from the cellulose cores of commercially grown hemp plants.
Also known as cotton fiber insulation, recycled denim insulation is made from the scraps left over from the process of manufacturing denim clothing. This insulation is made from materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, and it can be further recycled once the insulation reaches its usable lifespan. Denim insulation is also about 30-percent acoustically superior than insulation materials like fiberglass, resulting in a more serene indoor environment. Using recycled denim insulation also results in higher indoor air quality because it contains no formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds that have the potential to pollute the indoor environment. Recycled denim insulation is treated with a safe borate solution for superior fire-resistance, earning it a Class A rating from the EPA, which means that it is not readily flammable and will not contribute to the growth and spread of existing fires. It's also treated with an EPA-approved fungicide to protect against the development of mold and mildew colonies.
Sheep Wool Insulation
You're probably already familiar with the superior insulating properties of sheep's wool -- after all, most people reach for a wool sweater when outdoor temperatures become chilly. Sheep wool makes superior household insulation for the same reasons you can count on it to keep you warm on a blustery winter day. It's a breathable, fire-resistant material that contains tiny pockets that trap air, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler during summer. Homeowners with sheep wool insulation find themselves adjusting their heating and cooling control systems less often than with other types of insulation. Sheep wool insulation also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, preventing conditions from becoming overly humid.
Newspapers and other waste paper gleaned from community recycling programs are used to create cellulose insulation. You may be thinking that paper-based insulation products are probably extremely flammable, but that's not the case with cellulose insulation -- it has a Class A fire-resistance rating. This type of insulation can actually help control the spread of fire. Cellulose insulation also doesn't contain formaldehyde or other potentially harmful compounds that can pollute the indoor atmosphere and pose health risks to humans and domestic pets.
Expanded Cork Insulation
This all-natural insulation product might already be familiar to you if you are a wine connoisseur -- it's the same material that's used to produce wine corks. Expanded cork insulation is made from cork granules that are treated by exposure to ultra-heated steam that activates a natural binding agent present in the wood, resulting in an end product with superior density. Expanded cork insulation also has enhanced acoustic properties, making it an excellent choice for those who live in noisy urban environments or other places where exterior sounds might interfere with your enjoyment of everyday life. If you would like more information on which type of green insulation material would best suit your individual needs and preferences, please feel free to contact your local insulation contractor or expert in home renovation insulation in your area at your earliest convenience.