Insulating homes with eco-friendly materials to turn them into snug comfort cocoons protected from external sounds and harsh climate is becoming popular with each passing day. The concept of blow-in insulation is basically to cover up gaps and cracks on the walls and surfaces of your home with loose fill so that the interiors remain thermally efficient and free from external air drafts.
Blow-in insulation has innumerable applications though the most commonly used is to cover up spaces in attics. Generally, the materials used for blow-in insulation come in compressed forms that have to be blown, opened up and fluffed to a desired density (R-value) with a machine. If you are planning to use an Eco-friendly insulation to create a quiet living space with reduced carbon dioxide emissions and lower utility bills, then the following options are a must read.
1. Aerogel blow-in insulation
Aerogels are light-weight dry materials with excellent insulation properties. None of the aerogel varieties allows any kind of thermal transfer or air circulation. They are widely used for insulation purposes in large buildings and spaces. Aerogels are very expensive but they are definitely excellent blow-in insulators.
2. Cellulose blow-in insulators
Cellulose as a blow-in insulation option is perhaps the most widespread. Eco-friendly to the core, cellulose is created with recycled plant products such as paper, hemp, straw, sawdust, etc. You can choose from a variety of cellulose blow-in insulation forms depending on your requirements. Different forms of cellulose insulation material include stabilized cellulose that is used with minimum quantities of water during the blow-in insulation process; low-dust cellulose is applied with a certain amount of oil with the objective of making a house dust free apart from insulating the space from the external climate and sounds; dry cellulose popularly referred to as loose fill is generally blow into cracks, gaps and cavities; last but not the least the wet spray cellulose is also widely used for blow-in insulation. Cellulose is inexpensive and fire resistant, therefore, an excellent blow-in insulation material.
3. Fiberglass blow-in insulators
Experts recommend fiberglass as one of the cheapest, most effective and Eco-friendly blow-in insulation options. Made with glass power, shards and delicately woven silicon, fiberglass reduces the transfer of heat from the environment outside to the interiors of a living space, reducing convective loss considerably. Since fiberglass is not inflammable, light-weight and easier to over fluff, it is a safer blow-in insulation material.
Fiberglass should be handled with care. Microscopic glass particles begin drifting into the breathing space after a certain period posing serious health risks. Fiberglass insulated panels must never be covered with plastic sheets as that causes the interiors to become damp and at times mould infested.
4. Straw bales blow-in insulation
Research and historical evidence prove that straw bales are perfect for insulating homes from the vagaries of weather and external sounds. An agricultural waste product, straw is non-toxic and if a number of bales are compressed and tied together with plaster leaving no space for oxygen, the insulation panel actually becomes fire resistant. Cheap and readily available, straw bales are perfect blow-in insulation material.
5. Polyurethane foam blow-in insulation
Polyurethane foam is gaining popularity as blow-in insulation material. Fire resistant and light-weight, polyurethane foams are blown-in with non-chlorofluorocarbon gas that actually helps in decreasing the damage to the already depleting ozone layer. You can choose from foam board insulation, liquid spray foam or laminated polyurethane insulation panels based on your requirement and budget. Among the aforementioned, the polyurethane spray foam insulation is the best since it can be blown into crevices and it also settles down easily. It also allows water vapor to seep in and stays flexible.
6. Mineral wool blow-in insulation
An other popular Eco-friendly insulation material is mineral wool. The term mineral wool refers to a variety of insulation materials including fiberglass, slag wool and basalt rock wool. Though both slag and rock wool are not fire resistant. They make for good cheap insulation, if mixed with other fire resistant materials, especially for large spaces.
The list of Eco-friendly blow-in insulators include recycled denim made from scraps generated during the denim manufacturing process. This material, when treated with a fire resistant product, becomes a good blow-in insulator. Discarded wool treated with boron can also be used as an Eco-friendly insulator.