Homeowners are increasingly committing to living greener more eco-friendly lifestyles, and that extends to how they build and remodel their homes. If sustainability is a concern for your home, you will want to look into eco-friendly insulation materials.

Insulation plays a major role in making your home more energy efficient and sustainable in the long run, as it helps seal your home from air leaks through the walls and roof. However, traditional fiberglass and foam insulation that are commonly found in homes have a higher environmental impact than naturally derived or recycled insulation materials such as wool, cork, old denim, and more.

While you can achieve an energy efficient home with either type of insulation, using upcycled or recycled materials to insulate your home is a great way to minimize your environmental impact, making your home more sustainable.

Here is an overview of several popular types of upcycled and recycled insulation materials:

Wool. Besides requiring less energy to produce, wool is also safer to handle than foam or fiberglass insulation. It has a high R-value compared with fiberglass, is non-combustible, and handles moisture well without compromising performance.

Cotton. Since cotton insulation is primarily made of old blue jeans, you can consider using it a form of recycling. Some other benefits include that it is formaldehyde free, high performance, safe to handle, and is long lasting.

Cork. This naturally derived insulation material works well in spots that are difficult to insulate, such as small gaps where the cork granules can be applied. As such, it has no synthetic glues.

Cellulose. Made with broken down wood fibers, cellulose is a loose-fill insulation that does not require synthetic glues. It can be made from recycled wood products for added environmental benefits.

If you are considering an alternative insulation, be sure to speak with a professional about your plans. They can help to ensure the quality of the product claims of any material, be sure it is applied properly, and confirm that it truly will boost your home’s energy efficiency.

Contact TMS Architects for help with building or remodeling your green home.

3 Comments

  • I have never really thought about how wool and cotton can be good insulators for your home. This is definitely something that I would like to try out one day. It really seems like it could help save a lot of money. It is really interesting that cotton can be long lasting and sustainable. It is amazing how many different materials can be used for insulation.

  • I thought it was really interesting that all of these materials can be used to insulate your home. Specifically cotton because I would have never thought that you could use this. As you say, though, the fact that it is formaldehyde free, has high performance, and is safe to handle shows that this is a practical material to use. Plus, since it’s a pretty common material I would assume that it would come somewhat cheaper, too. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jason Strong says:

    It’s cool to see that contractors and insulation companies are working hard to create more eco friendly homes. This makes it better for the environment, the people living there, and for the home itself. Hopefully these processes continue and things improve in homes.

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