Having insulation professionally installed in your loft or roof cavity is one of the best ways to make your home a more environmentally friendly place to live. Preventing warm air from escaping through your roof in the winter and cool air escaping in the summer can dramatically reduce heating and air conditioning usage, cutting down your home's overall energy usage (as well as your energy bills).
However, while having roof insulation installed is always an eco-friendly endeavour, the materials used to create the insulation may not be. Common roof insulation materials, such as fibreglass rolls and batts, are not biodegradable, cannot be recycled and take a lot of energy to manufacture. To make your new roof insulation even more environmentally friendly, consider choosing one of the following green insulation materials instead:
Wood fibre insulation
Made from wooden fibres left over from other manufacturing processes, such as furniture making, wood fibre insulation can be a decidedly green addition to any roof. Though it does not quite match the insulating properties of fibreglass, wood fibre insulation still provides excellent insulation that can lead to substantial energy savings.
Wood fibre insulation can pull double duty as both heat and sound insulation, as the thick, densely-woven mats of wood fibres can effectively muffle ambient noises travelling through ceilings. It is also much nicer to be around than fibreglass insulation, and does not provoke allergic reactions and skin irritation like fibreglass. These properties make wood fibre insulation a particularly good choice for converted attics and loft spaces that are used as habitable rooms.
Sheep wool insulation
A woolly jumper can keep you toasty and warm during the coldest winter, so why not apply the same logic to your home? Insulation made from sheep's wool has become very popular in recent years as a green alternative to conventional insulation materials, and is extremely effective at trapping warm and cool air inside your home and prevent heat exchange through your roof cavity.
Sheep's wool is a particularly good choice if you intend to install your insulation yourself to save money, as the soft, non-irritating rolls of wool can be cut to shape and fixed in place very easily. The natural springiness of wool also ensures that it does not settle over time, a problem which can affect other types of insulation and reduce their effectiveness.
Cellulose insulation is an excellent eco-friendly choice of insulation, as it is primarily made from recycled newspapers and other paper products. Cellulose insulation comes in a liquid suspension, and is sprayed into your ceiling cavities my professional insulation installers using powerful hoses, where it dries to form a thick, solid mass with excellent insulation properties.
Cellulose insulation allows you to choose a green insulation material without compromising on effectiveness, and properly-installed cellulose insulation is actually even more effective than the thickest fibreglass rolls. This is largely down to the way it is installed, as the spraying process causes cellulose insulation to fill the entirety of a ceiling cavity, with no gaps through which warm or cool air can pass. This makes cellulose an excellent choice for insulation older homes, which tend to have larger ceiling and wall cavities.