Types of Eco-Friendly Insulation and Their Benefits - dummies

Types of Eco-Friendly Insulation and Their Benefits

By Eric Corey Freed

Insulation helps your home maintain temperature and lower your heating and cooling bills, and it’s the best thing you can do in your home to save energy and boost your green profile. In a new house, add as much insulation as will fit into the walls. For an existing home, adding insulation to finished walls is much more difficult. In either case, choose the insulation that is best your and your family’s health.

The thicker the insulation, the more energy efficient your home is. The more space in your walls, the more insulation you can fit inside. You can, and should, also insulate your roof to reduce the amount of heat that flows through your roof to the cold outside air.

Many different types of insulation are available, although formaldehyde is used as a binding agent in most products. Instead, look for cellulose, recycled-content, or formaldehyde-free insulation:

  • Batt or blanket insulation comes in the form of batts or rolls in widths that correspond to standard spacing of wall studs, and attic and floor joists. Fiberglass is a typical component, but you can find batts made from natural fibers such as wool and cotton. A popular cotton insulation is made from old blue jeans, which makes it blue in color but green in execution.

  • Loose-fill cellulose is made from recycled newsprint treated with natural chemicals to make it fire resistant. Cellulose is naturally formaldehyde free.

  • Spray-in foams made from natural soy are healthier and offer all the benefits of conventional spray foam without formaldehyde or other environmental hazards.