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Published on November 21st, 2011 | by ziggy

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Great Green Home Insulation Product: Sheep’s Wool Batting

How can these sheep help keep your house warm?

Wool is one of the best natural insulators — think of how precious that favorite wool sweater of yours is, or those toasty wool socks you can’t leave home without on a cold winter day. Well, the benefits of wool extend to keeping your house comfortable, too — it is a fantastic, highly insulative, and energy-efficient material that is a superior material for saving on home heating and cooling expenses.

Benefits of Wool for Home Insulation

Wool is actually a rather unique material, as far as its abilities to insulate. It is a natural product, it repels pests, is non-allergenic, can absorb indoor air pollutants, and has excellent insulation and moisture retention capabilities:

Research funded by the Wool Research Development Corporation has shown that wool is a better thermal insulator than other fibers under typical weather conditions because of its ability to absorb and desorb moisture from the air. It can help keep a building cool in summer and warm in winter.

When outside temperatures increase the wool is heated and releases moisture which has a cooling affect on the fiber and the building. This may reduce temperatures by up to 7E °C.

When outside temperatures decrease the wool absorbs moisture which can increase peak temperatures by as much as 4E °C.

Wool is Green and Sustainable

Unlike other home insulation options, wool is a very green choice for people interested in boosting their home’s energy efficiency. It is an entirely natural product, unlike spray foam, or rigid foam insulation, which is a manufactured product with high embodied energy and made with petroleum by-products. Wool is easy to work with, and has a very long life expectancy, too. The benefits are many.

Where to Buy Sheep’s Wool Insulation Batting

I was very pleased to recently discover Good Shepherd Wool Insulation of Interlaken, New York, a small company that manufactures sheep’s wool batting for conventional homes, timber frame houses, and log buildings. The prices are a bit steep, but given the benefits of insulating with wool, the price may be justified.

If you are considering bumping up the insulation value in your home to save money on heating and cooling, check out sheep’s wool batting as an exciting green option!

Image credit: flickr via Peewubblewoo



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About the Author

I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud



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