Insulation contributes to the energy-efficiency of a home. Not only does it help resist heat flow, it also reduces the costs associated with heating and cooling your space, while working to improve indoor comfort. Decreased energy consumption can help reduce greenhouse gases as well. Historically, fiberglass insulation has been the most ubiquitous material, as it is both inexpensive and effective. It can also be installed in blankets (batts and rolls) or blown-in using specialized equipment. Equipment that only a pro possess.
Fiberglass insulation is an excellent insulating material – and it is still considered “green.” “It is made by melting glass and spinning the molten liquid to produce thin fibers, much the way cotton candy is made, but at a much higher temperature.” That is according to an article on Building Green. Today, most fiberglass insulation is composed of between 40% and 60% recycled glass content, making it a viable option. However, if you are looking for greener insulation materials with even greater recycled content, keep reading.
Ensuring Thermal Performance
The chief measure of an insulating material’s thermal performance is its R-value, which is dependent on proper installation, meaning that it is important to hire a professional to install. Recommended R-values will vary according to your climate and the part of the house (e.g., attic, floor, walls) you plan to insulate. These recommendations can be found on the ENERGY STAR website at www.energystar.gov. Equally important is ensuring all areas where air loss may be occurring are properly sealed. If your energy bills are higher than your neighbors, an energy audit may prove beneficial.
Two Greener Insulation Materials
Cellulose insulation, like fiberglass, can be purchased in two types: blanket (batts and rolls) or blown-in/loose-fill. Yet cellulose is manufactured using 82% to 85% recycled paper products. It is factory treated with mineral borate to ensure fire and insect resistance. Another advantage to cellulose, aside from its thermal properties, is that it can be densely packed into a building’s envelope to prevent excessive settling.
Recycled Denim Insulation
Denim insulation is typically produced from a combination of cotton and textile waste – keeping it out of landfills – that has been treated with mineral borate. It is sustainable, consisting of 85% recycled content, and provides excellent thermal performance as well as indoor acoustics. Recycled denim insulation, unlike fiberglass and cellulose, is currently only available in blankets. It is designed to fit tightly between studs and joists in attic applications.
Professional Insulation Installation
Still unsure which type of insulation is right for you home? Contact Banker Insulation at (602) 273-1261 or at one of these other locations for more information and guidance. Banker Insulation is a full-service insulation and energy conservation contractor serving the greater Phoenix metro area. In business since 1977, we provide residential and commercial insulation, sound control, and other valuable services, including home energy audits.