Did you know 90% of US homes are under-insulated and that heating and cooling of all buildings comprises 29% of the total US energy budget? If all US homes were insulated to 2012 standards, electricity use would decline by 5% and natural gas consumption by 10%. That’s because insulation materials are used to keep buildings warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. However, not all insulation materials are created equal. Some insulation materials are made from new materials that require a lot of energy and resources to produce, while others are made from reclaimed and recycled materials that have a lower environmental impact.
Reclaimed and recycled insulation materials (green insulation) have many advantages over new insulation materials, both for the environment and for your wallet. In this blog post, we will explore three main benefits of using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials for your next project.
Green Insulation Costs Less and Saves Energy
One of the most obvious benefits of using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials is that they are cheaper than new insulation materials. Depending on the type and quality of the material, you can save up to 70% on the cost of insulation by using reclaimed and recycled materials. For example, according to Green Insulation Group, a company that sells reclaimed and recycled rigid foam insulation, you can buy a 4′ x 8′ x 2″ sheet of polyisocyanurate (polyiso) foam board for $16, compared to $54 for a new sheet.
Not only do you save money on the initial purchase of the insulation material, but you also save money on your energy bills in the long run. Reclaimed and recycled insulation materials have the same or better insulating properties as new ones, meaning they can effectively reduce heat loss or gain in your building. This means you will need less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature in your building, which will lower your carbon footprint and your utility bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs by adding insulation to your attic, walls, floors, and basement.
And remember insulation saves you money year after year.
Using Green Insulation Reduces Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Another benefit of using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials is that they reduce the amount of waste and greenhouse gas emissions that are generated by the insulation industry. By using reclaimed and recycled materials, you are diverting waste from landfills and preventing the production of new materials that emit greenhouse gases during their manufacturing process. For example, according to a study by Franklin Associates, using one pound of reclaimed polystyrene foam instead of virgin polystyrene foam can save 1.8 pounds of solid waste and 2.7 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Using Green Insulation Can Qualify You for Green Building Certifications and Incentives
A third benefit of using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials is that they can help you qualify for green building certifications and incentives that can boost your reputation and profitability. Green building certifications are voluntary standards that measure the environmental performance of buildings based on criteria such as energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, and material use. Some examples of green building certifications are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), ENERGY STAR, Green Globes, and Living Building Challenge.
By using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials, you can earn points or credits toward these certifications, which can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and attract more customers or tenants. For example, according to the LEED v4 rating system, you can earn up to two points for using at least 20% recycled content in your building materials.
In addition to green building certifications, you may also be eligible for tax credits or rebates from federal, state, or local governments or utilities for using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials. These incentives can help offset the cost of installing or upgrading your insulation and increase your return on investment. For example, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), you can claim a federal tax credit of up to $500 for installing qualified energy-efficient insulation products in your existing home.
Summary of Green Insulation Benefits
As you can see, using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials has many benefits for both the environment and your wallet. By using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials, you can save money on the cost of insulation and energy bills, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and qualify for green building certifications and incentives. Whether you are building a new home or office, or renovating an existing one, you should consider using reclaimed and recycled insulation materials for your next project.
If you are interested in learning more about reclaimed and recycled insulation materials, or if you want to buy some for your project, you can visit Green Insulation Group’s website at https://greeninsulationgroup.com/. They have one of the largest supplies of factory surplus, seconds, and reclaimed rigid insulation of all types in North America.
Remember, when it comes to insulation, go green or go home!