Although wood naturally has insulating properties, structures or buildings, especially those of frames, both light and heavy, require the use of some type of insulation.
In general, you can differentiate between environmentally friendly materials and others that are not. The most ecological insulator and the most recommended option is cork. This is a renewable material, which can be recycled and which is healthy. On the other hand, there are other materials that, despite having excellent insulating properties, such as polyurethane, end up not being so ecological.
Eco-friendly materials to insulate wooden houses
Cork: They are presented in the form of chips that serve to fill the cavities, in the form of pressed cork panels or in the form of lids for the surfaces of your wooden house.
Hemp: This is a fiber that grows quickly and is easily grown. With it, insulating, natural and breathable blankets are made that can be used to insulate a wooden house.
Linen: This is a plant with easy cultivation and low impact. It allows obtaining suitable fibers as insulators, in the form of linen blankets.
Cellulose: Consists of recycled paper waste in the form of insulation. Although cellulose is treated with chemicals to prevent mold formation and protect it from fire, it has very good insulating properties and is very light, which makes it a good option for insulating a wooden house. It can be used loose or injected with a hose.
wood: Wood fiber panels come to take advantage of the wood processing residues to be manufactured. There are panels that have thick resinous wood fibers glued with plaster, or white cement, or lighter panels made of small fibers. Both types can be used to insulate a wooden house.
Other types of thermal insulation
Glass wool. The rigid panels are made with glass waste. The environmental problem that these wools present are the small fibers that come off when they are manufactured and installed, which can cause health problems, although they do not cause problems after installation.
Rock Wool: It is a mineral insulator obtained by melting the rock at high temperatures and adding additives and binders to transform it into fibrous products in the form of blankets. This is a material that is used very often to insulate wooden houses and other types of buildings.
Extruded polystyrene: This is a low-weight insulation that comes in sheet, panel or loose form. Its manufacture requires a lot of energy and is a synthetic material obtained by refining oil.
Polyurethane: This is the material that best insulates your wooden house, but its origin is totally petrochemical, has a high chemical load and its manufacture involves a large expenditure of energy. This comes in the form of plates or polyurethane foam.
After analyzing all the different materials you can use to insulate your wooden house, you will see that natural raw materials and plant origin are the ones that least touch the environment, since they are renewable and reintegrated into nature.
On the other hand, synthetic materials cannot be renewed and their manufacturing process requires much more energy, also requiring components that can become toxic to workers. However, these are the ones that turn out to be the cheapest, so they will end up being the option chosen by those who will have to take care of their pocket when choosing the insulator for their wooden house.
Common problems and how to fix them
Do you know how thermal insulation prevents the circulation of hot or cold air? Find out how insulation can help to slow down the three different types of heat or temperature transfer: conduction, convection and radiation.
Types of heat transfer
There are three methods of heat transfer: conduction, convection and radiation. Knowing what each one is and how it works will allow you to better understand how insulation systems protect your air-conditioned space.
Conduction is the transfer of heat between solid bodies.
Example: When it is cold outside, the non-insulated windows and walls become colder inside.
Result: More energy is needed to replace the heat loss that heats the interior of the walls and windows.
Preventive measures: Thermal insulation (fiberglass in blocks / rolls or blown cellulose), low-emission windows and windows and doors against rain reduce the transfer of thermal energy and help to maintain the temperature of the heated environment. Reducing energy transfer decreases the amount of energy needed to keep the space climate under control.
Convection is the transfer of heat between liquids or gases.
Example: When cold air enters your home, it mixes with hot air. Thermal energy is transferred to the cooler air and decreases the overall temperature of the room.
Result: More energy is needed to replace the heat that has been transferred to the cooler air.
Preventive measures: Caulk, coat, caulk and expand foams greatly reduce the flow of air into and out of your home without restrictions. Reducing the flow of air to and from your home without restrictions also reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the air conditioner.
Thermal Insulation for Radiation
Radiation is the transfer of heat through space in the form of electromagnetic energy.
Example: When sunlight enters through a single pane window in an air-conditioned room, thermal energy is generated in the room.
Result: The air conditioning system must operate for a longer time and with greater power to reduce the heat that enters the window.
Preventive measures: Low-emission insulated awnings, blinds and windows reduce the heat caused by sunlight entering the windows.
Isolate and save energy
In hot or cold climates, a well-insulated and weathered house saves more energy and costs less to heat or cool. Most of the preventive measures mentioned here arewith simple solutions that you can do on your own.
With a small investment of time and money, you can dramatically reduce the energy needed to heat or cool your home. In addition to reducing energy use, your monthly energy bill will also decrease, allowing you to save your money and apply it to other things.