Some Alternative Types of Insulation

Some Alternative Types of Insulation

November 27, 2019

A well-insulated home is the key to energy efficiency and indoor comfort all year round. To achieve the proper amount of wall insulation, you can add more insulation to existing material or completely replace it with brand-new material.

Insulation helps your home retain warm indoor air during the winter months and cold indoor air in the summertime. If you can feel the outdoor air coming through your walls, chances are, the walls have the wrong type of insulation for the climate where you live or are lacking the proper amount of insulation.

You don’t have to be a professional installation contractor to learn about your options. Here’s a guide to the most common types of home insulation alternatives in Santa Fe, NM.


One of the more popular types of insulation is fiberglass. Efforts to make insulation more energy efficient have led some manufacturers to start producing medium- and high-density fiberglass batt insulation products with slightly higher R-values than traditional fiberglass. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these denser products work best in areas with limited space to install insulation.

There are several variations of loose fiberglass insulation that require blowing machines to complete the insulation process. Some products supposedly contain more recycled materials than others, but all provide similar thermal performance.

Polyurethane foams

While some manufacturers are focusing on producing energy-efficient insulation in Santa Fe, NM, others are creating products that steer more toward saving the planet. Any closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation on the market today is made with a non-CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gas as the blowing agent. Although this gas does not insulate as well as insulation made with CFC gas, it is less destructive to the ozone layer.

Plastic fiber

It’s worthwhile to touch on plastic fiber insulation products, even though this type of insulation is not readily available in most areas of the United States. Plastic fiber is made of primarily recycled plastic milk bottles, made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The fibers are formed into batt insulation in a similar way and appearance as high-density fiberglass insulation, then the batts are treated with a fire retardant. Plastic fiber is fairly easy to work with and difficult to burn, but does melt when exposed to flame. Some insulation installers see a downside in that the batts are reportedly hard to handle and cut with traditional tools meant for this particular job.

Mineral wool

Mineral wool is another type of alternative insulation material. This term refers to three types of insulation that are largely the same—rock wool (made from basalt), fiberglass (made from recycled glass) and slag wool (made from steel-mill slag). Mineral wool is not produced with chemicals to make it fire retardant, and most mineral wool in the U.S. is actually slag wool.

If your home could use additional insulation or new insulation, Apple Construction LLC in Santa Fe, NM can help. Call us today to discuss your project with one of our home remodeling experts. We look forward to working with you soon!

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