Acorns and Asbestos and Chestnuts, Oh My!

Our very own Scott Jansen was recently featured as an “Insulation Expert” in the Lowe’s Home Improvement video, “Why we don’t insulate with acorns (or asbestos) anymore.” Scott informed viewers why spray foam insulation is a better choice than traditional fiberglass insulation. Why is spray foam better than fiberglass you ask? Watch the video and be persuaded by Scott himself!

We know our readers understand the importance of a properly insulated home, so let’s dive deeper into some unknown facts and a brief history of insulation.

Did you know, 70-80% of a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling? This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, especially for those living in areas with extreme temperatures. It is important, for both our comfort and wallets, to ensure our homes are properly insulated against extreme temperatures.

The ways homes are insulated today are very different than the way they used to be. In very cold climates people used the Earth itself as an insulator by building Earth-sheltered homes. Crazy, right? Cork was also another popular form of insulation in the early Roman days, along with using the same materials used on the bottom of Roman sandals. Shockingly, asbestos was used as a form of insulation in areas exposed to extreme heat, knowing the health risks, because it was so fire resistant. More natural forms of insulation were used as well, such as straw and clay roofs and walls.

The Industrial Revolution drastically changed the way people were insulating their homes when materials such as wood, glass, and metal became readily available. Wood shavings and sawdust were used as insulators in the 20th century because they were so cheap. Newspaper, acorns, and chestnuts were also used as insulators. Today, natural insulation makes up only 5% of insulation materials produced in the world. Artificial insulation is now the common standard.

This video educates viewers on the importance of properly insulating one’s home and the steps to take to do so.

      1. Add weather stripping to windows and doors and fill all air leaks before installing professional insulation.

      2. Determine how much insulation you need. This will depend on where you live. The Department of Energy has divided the country into climate zones. Check out which zone you’re in and how much insulation you need here.

      3. Decide which form of insulation you’re going to use. See our previous blog to learn why you should choose spray foam insulation over traditional forms.

No matter which form of insulation you choose (although we hope your choice is spray foam), we all have the same goal in mind: to prevent the transfer of heat to make our homes more comfortable and save money!


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