Working in the construction industry has given me some fair insights into how insulation can impact the building owners and the environment. Choosing the type and grade of insulation as well as the thickness will impact the overall energy efficiency of any structure. Some materials are manufactured with the planet in mind and these are my personal preferences to maintain our operations as being eco-friendly to the highest possible degree. I’d like to share my insights about which insulation types are the better alternatives for a more innovative approach to energy conservation.
Types of insulation and which is the best
The best insulation depends on the application and where it is needed. For example, homes which are already built most often take advantage of loose fill insulations because they can be pumped into existing walls without the need to remove any materials other than a small hole which is plugged and refinished after the process is completed.
Blanket, Batts and Roll insulation
This type comes in a format that is fairly easy to handle and to cut into precise measurements to fit into any size space. The materials used vary from Mineral wool; fiberglass; plastic fibers or natural fibers. This type is generally used when insulating structures with unfinished walls, foundation walls, floors, and ceilings. It is installed by fitting the batts or sheets in between the beams, studs, and joists. These are the most popular type for do it yourself enthusiasts and for contractors who are working with spaces with few obstructions. It is a fairly inexpensive type of insulation and when the recommended thickness is observed, it is quite effective.
Concrete Block Insulation
Foam board is the standard type of insulation used for concrete blocks. Some brands feature the infusion of foam beads into the concrete for increased R-values. These are generally placed on the exterior of the wall during new construction on the interior for existing structures. These require an expert skill level for installation and are often dry stacked and surface bonded. They help to increase the R-value of the walls for greater energy efficiency.
This type of insulation as alluded to earlier is the best choice for insulating existing structures. The most common materials for this type include cellulose, fiberglass or mineral wool. It is effective for use in enclosed existing walls or any open wall cavities, in unfinished attic floors or any other hard to reach places. Special equipment is needed to blow it into walls and other spaces, or it can be poured into other vacant areas if there is ample workspace.
Modern Insulation is eco-friendly
Most insulation materials manufactured today including cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool are made with recycled materials that were once considered to be waste. Fiberglass has a high content of recycled glass, mineral wool is 3/4 recycled industrial waste and cellulose is made from recycled newsprint.
Better materials with Better Benefits
The newer insulating materials are eco-friendly and they re-use materials that were once considered waste and clogged our refuse sites. An additional benefit of using the recommended insulation to seal air leaks in a building is the dramatic impact that it can have on monthly utility costs and occupant comfort. Yet another dual benefit that comes out of the situation is that we’re using far less energy while saving money to boot. I can’t make a stronger case for why your home or business should be thoroughly insulated.