Jay and I had a big ongoing debate about what kind of insulation we should use in our tiny house.
You might be wondering why this topic is of great debate. There is a plethora of insulation options out there. First, it was important for us to settle on an insulation option that was a safe for us. The VOCs emitted from traditional insulation is alarming. We didn’t want to go that route for obvious reasons. The indoor air pollution from certain types of insulation can be detrimental to human health over time and is the cause of things like sick building syndrome.
Another considerations included cost, effectiveness (r-value) and environmental friendliness.
We debated between recycled denim cotton insulation, eco friendly sand/wool insulation and sheep’s wool insulation. We researched Ultratouch Denim Insulation, EcoBatt Insulation, Oregon Shepherd Wool Insulation and Good Shepherd Wool Insulation.
Initially, I was drawn to sheep’s wool insulation. We had concerns with pricing especially if we wanted to get wool batts from Good Shepherd compared to the loose wool insulation from Oregon Shepherd. The price for batts would be out of our budget significantly. We were unsure about the time and effort it would take to blow in the loose wool verses stapling the batts in.
The recycled denim/cotton insulation was a good choice pricewise. We can get more than enough from Home Depot for under $700 which is great. It also comes in convenient batts with perforations for ease of installation. We also loved that it was recycled materials and was considered a environmentally friendly insulation option.
The sand/wool insulation was another choice we came across. It is touted as a great environmentally friendly insulation option. It is made from recycled glass (sand, basically) and wool. We had concerns about price with this insulation option as well. In addition, we were uneasy about this option because it is still essentially fiberglass insulation. We nixed fiberglass early on in our debate because the idea of breathing in little particles of glass was not an option for us. In general, we felt that any insulation that required the installer to have crazy amounts of protection seemed odd because we will be living in close quarters with this insulation for years and years down the road.
We are happy to announce we finally settled on an insulation for our house.
As we learned more about the sheep’s wool insulation, we realized that it was the best option for us. All the benefits of sheep’s wool insulation really convinced us that it was the right choice. Unlike other insulation that need to be topped off every couple years because of settling, sheep’s wool expands over time giving us better insulation value. We also learned that the initial misgivings about using a loose fill insulation being more time consuming to install was inaccurate. If we rent a blow in insulation machine from Home Depot, the job is relatively quick and easy even with the netting we would need to install beforehand. Additionally, this insulation also fit our criteria of being able to be handled safely without any protective gear.
Below are some other reasons why we decided on sheep’s wool insulation:
- Fire Retardant
- Absorbs Toxins
- Environmentally Friendly
- Energy Efficient
- Insect/Vermin Resistant
- Cost Effective
We were definitely sold on the sheep’s wool after we received a free sample of the product from Oregon Shepherd. This stuff is so soft, fluffy and even smells pleasant! I know that this finally convinced Jay that sheep’s wool was the best choice for us.
We are looking forward to installing this insulation and having ourselves a sheepy home!