That’s where insulation comes in handy – to help prevent or minimise the transfer of heat entering and leaving the home to contribute to an optimal internal temperature.
Why Choose Natural Fibre Insulation: 7 Benefits Compared to Synthetic Alternatives
Wondering why you should opt for natural fibre insulation instead of synthetic materials? Here are 7 simple reasons to consider:
There is a common misconception that modern synthetic materials are the most capable in attaining high levels of energy efficiency.
But this is false. NFI materials are incredibly efficient at providing the same levels of energy efficiency (albeit requiring greater thickness). In fact, most natural materials can provide similar or even exceed insulation factors (R-values) as their synthetic counterparts.
And because of the high density of the natural materials and increased thickness, NFIs help to provide more thermal mass, helping to control heat loss and gain much better than synthetic materials.
So overall, NFI materials have a clear edge. Not only is the material more sustainable, but they can meet all of your high-performance demands.
Safe & Sustainable
This is a no-brainer. Compared to synthetic materials like polystyrene, the reduced environmental impact of manufacturing natural materials is clear to all.
Not only is it a renewable resource, but it also has the benefit of being carbon sequestering – meaning that it helps to trap and store carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide during growth and locking it in while in use) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Increasingly, more natural insulation materials are making use of recycled waste fibres or lower value fibres, significantly cutting down on the overall carbon footprint.
And last but not least, natural materials are also not harmful to health since they are mostly animal, plant, or mineral-based and are not expected to cause irritation or require any special precautions for installation.
Photo courtesy of Thermafleece. Copyright Thermafleece.
Thermafleece CosyWool - A versatile roll insulation made from 75% British Wool and 25% recycled polyester. “Research shows that using 75% wool in combination with recycled fibres outperforms alternative products with a higher percentage of wool.” Thermafleece.
Did you know that choosing poor insulation materials can affect your health?
Indoor air quality can be compromised due to synthetic contaminates (VOC) and high levels of humidity leading to various respiratory problems including allergies and asthma, or worse, result in the deterioration of your health.
In contrast, NFIs are natural materials with very low levels of VOC and have very breathable properties due to the natural fibre network that helps to regulate the moisture levels within your home creating a much more comfortable internal climate and air quality.
In this aspect, NFI materials are a superior choice.
The durability of building materials is key to any building’s life span – and that is the case for housing insulation materials as well.
Think that just because NFIs are natural and do not contain any synthetic chemicals that they are less durable? That’s not quite the case.
Many natural insulation materials have incredible characteristics that make them extremely durable, some of which include:
Their breathability helps them to regulate moisture well – preventing over-accumulation of moisture which could cause structural damage through mould and mildew issues.
Depending on the specific choice of insulation material, some of them have varying degrees of natural resistance to rot, water, and fire – which is always a benefit for structural integrity.
And most importantly, they all do not damage the environment or give off toxins when reprocessed at end of life.
Photo courtesy of ISOCELL. Copyright ISOCELL
“ISOCELL is a natural thermal insulation made from cellulose fibres, which is created by recycling clean, unmixed newspaper. Coarsely fibered, mixed with mineral salts and ground in a mill, Isocell cellulose makes it rot-proof and fire-resistant.” ISOCELL
A new technology that is easy to use with optimal thermal performance, NFIs are clearly a staple in the modern construction industry.
With plenty of choices of NFIs to choose from, ranging from loose fill, boards, or blocks, homeowners are spoiled for choice when it comes to building material options that are compatible with their homes.
Worried about natural fibre insulation in the case of a fire? Well, don’t be. All NFI materials must be tested for fire safety and pass to be certified for use.
Not only that, compared to their synthetic counterparts, you can expect NFIs to emit a significantly lesser amount of toxic gases in the case of a fire too.
Here’s something you may not have thought of – natural fibre insulation also doubles up as amazing acoustic insulators
thanks to their high density and irregular textures that help to absorb sound across the board.
Now, instead of forking out additional money and not to mention using up more resources for soundproofing your home from the noise in the neighbourhood, you get the benefits of soundproofing too when you opt for natural insulating materials. Win-win!