The first step on every Eco To Do List should be improving your home’s insulation. Insulation will do more than protect you against the winter chill and scorching summer heat. It will make your home energy efficient, even reducing your energy bill by 10 to 30 percent.
In the U.S. alone, insulated buildings reduce CO2 emissions by 780 million tons. To give you an idea of the significance of that number — it is equal to 150 coal-fired power plants, 1.645 billion barrels of oil, and electricity use of 90+ million homes in one year. The positive environmental impact of insulated buildings is huge!
Therefore, before shopping for solar panels or solar heating, a good first step to creating a green home is installing eco-friendly insulation.
Do you live in an older home that needs everything insulted? It is best to start by insulating the walls, where your home loses the majority of heat. Next, insulate your roof, and finally the windows and doors.
No need to buy traditional fiberglass insulation, which may have health risks. When considering the type of insulation, there are a few factors to keep in mind:
Choose natural fibre
- Sheep wool has amazing insulating properties. In addition to being fire-resistant, it absorbs water vapor from the air without impacting the heat. Consequently you do not need to frequently adjust your heater or air conditioner.
- Recycled cotton is a great option, especially if you have respiratory problems or live in a climate with a lot of insects.
- Polystyrene is surprisingly eco-friendly. Although it is a plastic, it saves a large amount of energy and can be recycled. It is available as a foam board or spray foam.
- Icynene, made from castor oil, protects your home from leaks, drafts and noise. It is also great for homes in humid climates, as it allows moisture to escape, thus preventing mold.
- ThermaCork actually has a negative carbon footprint. Made from oak trees, it is hypoallergic, free of toxins, and minimizes outdoor noises.
- Cellulose is composed of 75-85% recycled paper fiber and 15% is a fire retardant. It has the highest recycled content of any insulation available. This material is a great option for attics.
Consider the R values; or the standardized measurement of the insulation’s resistance to heat. The R-value varies, depending on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. The recommended R values for insulation will vary depending on the climate of your region. Check with your local authorities on recommended R-values.
Now that you know what you are looking for, below is a list of companies that provide eco-friendly insulation systems:
Eco Merchant stocks a wide variety of natural insulation products for almost every possible application. All of their products are natural, healthy, and ethical.
Award winning and CE certified, Hemp Eco Systems provide 100% natural products that absorb CO2, regulate humidity, and are toxic free.
This company provides eco-friendly foam insulation that is healthier and more energy efficient for both commercial and domestic use.
Natural Insulations has a wide selection of sheep wool, hemp, cellulose and wood fibre natural insulation products.
You can’t go wrong with La Maison Eco-Naturelle insulation systems. All products are made from the highest ecological standards.
Are you currently in the process of insulating your home? Share with us your experience in the comments.