For many years new home buyers have been led to believe that shredded – up glass fibers were the best way to insulate a home. While this may have been true twenty years ago, it is no longer true today. Today there are much more effective means of insulating a home. Let’s take a look at some of the new kinds of home insulation on the market.
Recycled Newspaper Cellulose Insulation
One of the cheapest and most effective home insulation materials is actually made largely from shredded up phone books and newspapers. It’s eco friendly because it uses a product that might have otherwise ended up in a landfill Cellulose insulation is available at almost every major home improvement store and is low – tech enough to be installed by anyone who is able to get up in the attic and spray a hose around. Most chain home improvement stores will let you take home a cellulose insulation sprayer for free if you buy enough product. What is nice about spray in cellulose insulation is that it can be applied to the attic by almost anyone. It gets a little more tricker when you want to put it in the walls of a new home. In that case it is better to have a contractor do it. Contractors know all of the tricks and can install cellulose insulation in a new home in only a few hours.
Spray Foam Insulation
One of my favorite products is spray foam insulation. It comes in basically two forms, closed – cell and open – cell. Open cell insulation has an R factor of about 3 per inch. R Factor alone is not enough to judge this kind of insulation. What it does that fiberglass insulation does not, is to seal all the cracks and gaps in walls where air can come into the building. By creating a totally sealed building envelope you can expect to have utility bills of up to 60% less than with conventional insulation. Spray foam insulation can be petrochemical based, soy based and even cement based. The cost for this new kind of home insulation material is anywhere from ten to thirty percent more than fiberglass insulation. You get added benefits other than just the insulation factor of spray foam insulation. Because it totally seals the home, and because special air filtration systems are used to bring in fresh air, you will have less dust to clean and your allergies won’t be as bad.
Insulated Concrete Form Homes
The last kind of new home insulation method is called Insulated Concrete Form or ICF. This is more of a building method than an kind of new insulation for homes. ICF homes are made using forms that have Styrofoam insulation inside of them. You get both the insulating properties of foam along with the strength of concrete with this type of home. Cost of ICF homes can be up to 30% more than conventional construction.
There are new kinds of home insulation materials being developed all the time. Eventually we may be able to afford sheets of ultra efficient “super home insulation” which have a vacuum core, much like a Thermos bottle. Such materials are used in high efficiency marine refrigeration now. Who knows what the future might bring but one thing is for certain, new home buyers are not going to put up with energy wasting homes that lack enough insulation. For more tips on how to better insulate a home, see SaveGreenly.com
A good book about how to best insulate a home is called “Build Like A Pro”.