If you’re aiming to add value to your home while reducing its environmental impact, installing the best green insulation materials in your attic is an excellent place to start. Insulation can help lower heating and cooling costs by retaining heat in the winter and retaining cool air from escaping in the summer. It also protects against moisture that may enter your home through cracks or other imperfections. That’s why it’s vital to use products that are eco-friendly when choosing your insulation materials. These five options are some of the best green insulation materials to consider today.
Wool is a natural insulator. It is a renewable resource, making it an excellent option for environmentally friendly insulation material. Sheep’s wool has been used as insulation material since ancient times. For many years people have been utilizing its moisture-wicking, temperature regulating, and flame retardant properties. Wool can be either loose or batt form and added into drywall or even sprayed on as well.
Perlite is a naturally occurring substance made from volcanic glass that expands when heated up by friction, making it an ideal addition to wall cavities for heat retention purposes. It does not contain toxic chemicals like asbestos, unlike some other forms of insulation, making it another excellent choice for green building projects.
If you want a genuinely green insulation material, cotton is by far your best option. All of its growing processes occur without adding herbicides or pesticides, and it requires little water to grow. It’s a natural building material and can be used for everything from wall padding to clothing. The only catch is that it’s a bit more expensive than fiberglass insulation. However, because it resists mold growth so well, you’ll likely save money on cleanup and maintenance costs over time.
First discovered in 1931, aerogel is a synthetic substance created by extracting air from silica gel. Aerogel insulation is lightweight, super-insulating, and can be used to insulate hot or cold spaces. A significant benefit of aerogel insulation is that it doesn’t need any extra support structures to work well when installed in large areas. The only downside of using aerogel insulation is low vapor permeability, so condensation problems are possible when used in cooling applications.
Rigid Polystyrene is often referred to as EPS or expanded Polystyrene. A low R-value of 3.2 per inch makes this lightweight foam an inefficient energy-saving material. However, rigid Polystyrene is inexpensive and highly effective at preventing moisture penetration, hence its use in exterior building sheathing. Be aware that you can’t recycle rigid Polystyrene once it’s been installed in your home; if you ever want to reuse or recycle it, you’ll need to do so before installation begins. If recycled rigid polystyrene ends up in landfills, its light weight means that it won’t take up much space in the trash heap.
Icynene is an innovative spray foam insulation that offers some eco-friendly benefits. It contains low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), making it safe for indoor use. Icynene is nontoxic, meets building codes for use in attics and wall cavities, and has an R-value rating between 3.8 and 5 per inch depending on how much you use. If you’re looking for green insulation materials specifically, Icynene deserves serious consideration.