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Choosing Eco-Friendly Insulation for Your Home or Business

Are you interested in eco-friendly insulation for your home? There are numerous products available that will keep your home warm without harming the environment. 

If you’re considering improving your home’s insulation, contact SoDak Insulation today. We would be happy to take a look at your property and give you a free quote. Reach out today to schedule an appointment.

danger asbestos removal in process sign

We Learned A Hard Lesson

Once upon a time, people used asbestos for insulation. It was inexpensive and effective at blocking heat transfer.

Unfortunately, it was also carcinogenic. A lot of people developed cancers and died after breathing asbestos fibers. 

So, we learned a hard lesson. We need to consider more factors than “cheap” and “effective” when choosing the products that make up our home environment. 

We spend a lot of time at home. Our homes should be cozy, but they must also be safe. Eco-friendly material is not only safe for our environment, it’s safe for your family.

How Does Insulation Work?

Like a blanket for your home, insulation works by blocking heat transfer. 

When the air gets warmer, it rises. Your ceiling and roof will block some of that air from floating right up to the sky. But without insulation, most of the heat from your home would float away.

Insulation works by creating a barrier to trap air. The air held in place within the insulation acts like a lid on the air in your home. 

Regardless of the type of insulation, insulating your home will make heating and cooling it more efficient. Eco-friendly insulation will accomplish this in a way that minimizes damage to your family and your environment.

What Is Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Eco-friendly insulation materials have requirements beyond their ability to block heat transfer. 

pet goat eating home insulation

Safe For People And Pets

They need to be safe for the people in your home. Traditional insulators may irritate the eyes, lungs, or skin. Eco-friendly insulation is human-friendly. 

Environmentally Friendly

Eco-friendly insulation has a smaller carbon footprint than its predecessors. This may be accomplished in a few ways:

  1. The product can be made from recycled products. Blue jeans that would otherwise wind up in the landfill can be shredded and made into insulation. 
  2. Using natural material can cut down on the need for nasty chemicals. Formaldehyde and fire retardant chemicals serve a purpose in insulation production. But the cost of that is adding one more poison to the world. That hurts our health and our planet. 

Boric acid is a naturally-occurring, fire-resistant insecticide used on natural materials.

  1. Eco-friendly insulation requires less energy to produce. Cellulose insulation has insulating values similar to fiberglass but needs about a tenth of the production energy to make.
  2. Many eco-friendly insulators can be recycled at the end of their usable life, reducing the space taken up in landfills.

All insulation is eco-friendly in that it improves energy efficiency by reducing heat loss and the energy needed to keep your home warm. But products that also address the side effects (before the install, people’s health, toxicity to the planet) qualify as eco-friendly.

What Are Some Types Of Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Sheep’s Wool

Sheep’s wool makes a wonderful blanket or pair of socks, so it isn’t surprising that it also works well to blanket your house. 

Wool insulation should be treated with a borate product to make it fire- and insect-resistant. Wool is available in batts that can be rolled into the spaces between ceiling joists.

Cotton

South Dakota is a land of farmers. Have you ever met a farmer who didn’t want to wring every bit of usefulness out of their things? 

That’s cotton insulation: old denim jeans are broken down and reworked to give them new life. The fiber is shredded — you won’t find Wrangler’s patches in your walls — and made into batts that are rolled into place.

The downside of cotton: it costs about twice as much as fiberglass.

pile of old blue jeans that will be recycled into eco-friendly insulation

Spray-Foam Insulation

It’s debatable whether this product can be called eco-friendly. Polystyrene is a type of plastic. It is made without any toxic chemicals and is entirely recyclable, so it gets a spot on our list. This excellent insulator is also available in foam insulation boards. 

What Is The Best Eco-Friendly Insulation?

Here at SoDak Insulation, we’ve researched the safest and most efficient types of insulation for our fierce South Dakota winters. 

Our recommendation for most homes: blown-in cellulose insulation. 

Cellulose insulation has several qualities that make it number one in our book:

It Does What Insulation Is Supposed To Do

Insulation, first and foremost, needs to work. Cellulose insulation does an excellent job of blocking heat transfer. This means your home will stay cozy in the winter, and you won’t break the bank cooling it in the summer.

Cellulose Is Safe

Cellulose insulation is made from shredded paper. It doesn’t contain the multitude of toxic chemicals found in some other options. A natural borate coating for fire resistance is all it needs.

It’s Good For The Planet

Cellulose is a great use for paper products that would otherwise take up space in the landfill. We use GreenFiber products at SoDak Insulation. This product is made up of 85% recycled materials. That’s good for the planet and everyone on it.

Greenfiber uses 13 times less energy to produce than fiberglass insulation. Less energy output on the front end translates to a better environment for us all.

Greenfiber is produced in the USA, with a manufacturing site right in our own neighborhood. With a plant in Norfolk, NE, we can receive this insulation in the Sioux Falls area without significant windshield time or CO2 emissions. 

We’re Here To Help Make Your Home — And Your Planet — A Healthier And More Comfortable Place

You have lots of choices when it comes to making your home comfortable for your family. In the past, people didn’t know the extent their decisions had on our environment. Today, we need to do more than keep our own small spaces comfortable. We need to consider how our actions affect the larger world. 

SoDak Insulation is here to help you meet your household’s needs while keeping an eye on environmental responsibility. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.