How to insulate your house naturally: When carrying out insulation work and in order to insulate your house as naturally as possible, you should first check the state of waterproofing and then opt for effective and suitable natural insulators such as hemp, linen, wool or even straw.
Which natural insulation should you choose for your home?
Natural insulators are ecological alternatives to more traditional mineral insulators such as glass wool. They allow you to reduce your energy expenses by properly insulating your home without polluting more.
The straw bales
Straw, renewable and very economical, is an insulating material used in the form of bales and which can be integrated directly into the framework of the walls in order to insulate the interior.
Straw has a very low thermal conductivity (between 0.040 and 0.080 K/W) which does not make it a very efficient material in terms of thermal insulation.
Most often packaged in the form of large balloons or bundles, the price of straw varies depending on the time of year, the type of crop and the quality but generally oscillates between 15 and 50 euros for the bale or 2 to 3 euros for the small boot.
The second particularly effective insulator is wood fiber. With recognized thermal and acoustic insulation performance and made from recycled wood, it is all the more useful as it can be used in various occasions to insulate the interior or exterior of your home.
Wood fiber is a very good thermal insulator since its thermal conductivity index is between 0.037 and 0.049 W/mK. Also having interesting acoustic capabilities, wood fiber is most often in the form of panels at the price varying from 20 to 50 euros per m².
The third remarkable natural insulator is cellulose wadding which has an economic advantage in addition to being recycled. It protects against heat and is even more adaptable than wood fiber, making it a perfect insulator for attics to prevent mold or rodents.
Cellulose wadding has a thermal conductivity ranging between 0.035 and 0.041W/Mk. Made from natural materials, the thermal conductivity of this insulation is therefore not guaranteed due in particular to its sensitivity to humidity and the risk of settling of the material.
In addition, its cost varies between 15 and 20 euros per m².
Hemp wool is also a natural insulator to consider when insulating your home. First of all, it is very ecological and allows automatic regulation of the walls of your house thanks to its great thermal performance while protecting them from insects.
Hemp wool has a thermal conductivity between 0.039 and 0.050 W/mK and has sound insulation qualities. This material is packaged in the form of rolls and flexible or semi-rigid panels for a price of 10 to 25 euros per m².
Cork is an excellent thermal and sound insulator and can be used indoors and outdoors, ensuring remarkable waterproofing.
Finally, cork is a very good thermal insulator (around 0.040 K/M). Often in the form of sheets, cork costs between 19 and 25 euros per m².
Good to knowCellulose wadding is one of the insulators with the lowest thermal conductivity (between 0.035 and 0.041W/Mk).
What is the most natural insulation?
The best natural insulation largely depends on your situation and preferences. Here are some commonly used natural insulation options:
Sheep’s Wool: Sheep’s wool is an excellent natural insulator, making it both effective at retaining heat and environmentally friendly.
Wood Fiber: Wood fiber boards are made from recycled wood chips, making them an eco-friendly option. They provide good thermal and acoustic insulation.
Hemp: Hemp insulation is made from hemp fibers and is biodegradable. They are effective for thermal insulation and resist mildew and insects.
Cotton: Recycled cotton is a natural insulation material that provides good thermal and acoustic properties.
Cellulose: Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper treated with flame retardants. It is an economical and eco-friendly option.
Straw: Straw can be used as bales for wall insulation. It provides adequate thermal insulation.
Cork: Cork is a natural material that can be used as insulation. It is renewable and has good insulation properties.
Make an assessment of the space to be insulated
Before you can insulate your house, it is important to take an inventory and check for any weaknesses in terms of insulation. This data will need to be taken into account in order to best choose your natural insulation.
Check the humidity level and air circulation in your home
Among the classic diagnostics recommended before insulating your home naturally, checking the air circulation in the space by the ventilation system is necessary. In fact, insulating a house with faulty air circulation could encourage the accumulation of stale air and thus create a high level of humidity.
It will also be necessary to have the humidity level of the home measured by a professional since the insulation work can only be undertaken after the sanitation of your walls in the event of poor permeability of the building.
Identify thermal bridges and air infiltrations in your home
To choose the best natural insulation, you will need to identify the thermal bridges in your house, that is to say the precise points where the insulating barrier is broken, which causes a variation in thermal resistance.
These phenomena as well as air infiltration, often present under doors and in window frames, must be taken into account in order to insulate your house as effectively as possible.
What part of house is best to insulate?
Insulation is an essential component of any home, as it helps to regulate the temperature and reduce energy consumption.
The best areas to insulate in a house are the ones that are most susceptible to heat loss or gain. Here are some of the most important areas to insulate in your home:
- Attic: The attic is one of the most important areas to insulate in your home. Heat rises, and if your attic is not insulated, it can lead to significant heat loss. Insulating your attic can help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Basement: Insulating your basement can help keep your home warm and dry. It also helps to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Insulating your basement walls, floors, and ceiling can also help reduce energy costs by preventing heat loss.
- Ceilings: Insulating your ceilings can help prevent heat loss during the winter months and keep your home cool during the summer months. It also helps to prevent condensation from forming on ceilings, which can lead to moisture-related issues such as mold.
- Walls: Insulating your walls can help prevent drafts and keep your home comfortable year-round. Air can escape through your walls, especially if you don’t insulate your attic. Thus, to prevent drafts, we suggest insulating interior and exterior walls to create an effective barrier between the inside and outside of your living space.
- Floors: Insulating floors in unheated areas of the home such as crawl spaces or garages can help eliminate drafts, reduce moisture, and retain heated and cooled air.
How do you know if natural insulation is effective?
The most reliable tool when making your choice will be the ACERMI certification (Association for the Certification of Insulating Materials).
This is a reliable labeling which allows consumers to ensure that the insulating product has been subject to continuous monitoring during its production and that it complies with the characteristics promised by the manufacturer such as reaction to fire, mechanical behavior or even thermal conductivity.
The CE marking allows you to guarantee that the product complies with current European standards but will not certify its performance as an insulator.
ACERMI certification ensures that the insulation has been subjected to continuous monitoring and that it complies with the characteristics promised by the manufacturer.