Few people realize the insulating qualities of pure sheep’s wool as an energy controlling agent. Once used in the construction of log homes, wool placed between each log, formed a barrier against harsh winters and hot summers. Woodrow Wilson had sheep grazing on the White House lawn during World War I. The proceeds from the sale of this wool went to aid the Red Cross. As the United States looks for a more natural balance in the way they live, the use of sheep’s wool is reappearing as an option for home insulation, with incredible results.
Qualities of Wool
With a life expectancy of 50 years and longer, wool batting insulation is completely recyclable. Fires are no match for wool as the fibers naturally smolder and extinguish flames. This is why manufacturers of aircraft use wool fabric for upholstery. The complex protein that regenerates this amazing product is designed to absorb moisture without feeling wet to the touch. Better yet, wool absorbs imperfections in the air, such as dangerous formaldehyde, bacteria and mold without returning it to the atmosphere.
Being environmentally friendly and flame retardant are not the only benefits of using wool insulation. With its absorbent nature, this wool provides a sound barrier, reducing noise. Boron is a natural ingredient used in the manufacture of wool insulation and is an excellent insect repellent. Wool batts range from R-9 to R-46 in Value depending on the thickness. The cost of natural wool insulation has been found to start at $1.85 per square foot for a 19′ long batt offering a R-19 Value rating.
Unlike fibreglass insulation rolls that require long sleeves and air masks, batts of sheep’s wool will never harm your skin or threaten your lungs. This is the same product that is used to produce sweaters, blankets and fine rugs that seem to last forever. Available in rolls, ropes, jackets for water heaters and pipes, there is no end to what wool can protect in keeping your home protected and warm. Anyone can install this durable, safe and easy to maneuver material.
Making and Marketing Sheep’s Wool Insulation
Shearing a sheep is the first step in creating insulation. It is then cleaned, soaked in Boron and carded into batts. That’s it. No other ingredients are used and the process saves 3/4 the time of fiberglass insulation manufacturing. Europe and Australia are major sheep wool producers with China being the largest customer. The United States only utilizes 1% of all the wool available on the planet. Ironically, sheep are very easy to raise and beginning operations within the US would be simple once demand required a product. In addition, wool is traded internationally on the market and a commodity worth exploring with the green energy boom.
When you think about the number of US regulations that are in place to produce cleaner air, you have to wonder why wool has not been considered as a positive option sooner. Compared to petroleum-based insulation that constricts airways and is easily ignited, the choice of wool insulation for your home just seems obvious. The benefits and qualities found in natural sheep’s wool is now making news as a great way to provide the type of clean energy needed and is praised by contractors and home builders everywhere.