Choosing the right type of insulation for your house can be challenging. There are so many factors to consider and so many options that it can be hard to know where to start. By now, you are probably familiar with fiberglass and rock wool options, but have you heard about sheep’s wool insulation?
Sheep wool insulation has captured the attention of homeowners and building professionals alike. Why has it become so popular? This dynamic insulator is eco-friendly and high-performance, which means it can do everything you want an insulator to do and more!
Whether you need new insulation or want to upgrade your current system, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to consider this product for your home.
Here's a look at some of the benefits of using sheep’s wool as your home insulation.
What is Sheep Wool Insulation?
Sheep have managed to survive through the centuries even when faced with bitter cold in winter, and this is thanks to their warm fleece. The crimped nature of the wool fibres traps countless tiny air pockets that keep the sheep warm and dry even in harsh environments. It is this natural insulating property that allows sheep’s wool insulation to keep your home warm during cold winter nights and cool during hot summer days.
Wool insulation is made using the sheared wool that is often considered too coarse for use in clothing and fabric. Some wool insulation is 100% sheep’s wool, while other types may be 75% wool mixed with recycled polyester. The wool fibres may be mechanically held together or bonded to create insulating batts and rolls which can be cut to the appropriate size and used in the same manner as other types of insulation. The Havelock Wool insulation we carry is 100% sheep’s wool, with no added fibres, binders, adhesives, or other additives aside from a small amount of non-toxic boric acid to deter moths.
Benefits of Sheep Wool Insulation
There are several benefits to using sheep’s wool insulation, including:
- Natural, Renewable, and Sustainable
A big selling point today, sheep’s wool is one of the most sustainable types of insulating material. After all, sheep are shorn at least once per year, with more wool growing back naturally. This makes for an abundant and renewable source of material. When installed properly, sheep’s wool insulation can last a lifetime, but if it is removed, can simply be composted.
- Low Embodied Carbon
One of the major concerns for our environment is the use of fossil fuels and the use of energy. Sheep’s wool insulation uses significantly less energy than the creation of man-made insulation.
- Moisture Protection
Unlike many other types of insulation, wool is a breathable material. This allows it to absorb and then release moisture, with the inner layer of the wool attracting water and the outer layer being water-resistant. Because of this, it can absorb water without becoming damp. Combined with natural keratin, this makes it effective at protecting surrounding materials, such as wood, from developing mold.
- Temperature Control
The ability of wool to absorb moisture during humid conditions and then release it when it is dry means it can help regulate temperature.
- Flame Resistance
Due to its high nitrogen content, sheep’s wool is one of the only fibres that naturally resist flaming. Rather than catching fire, it singes and smoulders, and once the flame is removed, it will self-extinguish. In the event of a fire, it will not fuel the flame and will not produce toxic gases.
- Air Quality
In addition to not producing toxic gases, sheep’s wool actively helps to clean the air. As a natural protein, it is made from a variety of amino acid chains, most of which have a reactive side chain. This means that sheep’s wool can absorb sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehydes, neutralizing them in a process known as chemisorption.
Sheep’s wool is beginning to see greater use as an insulator in schools and offices due to its ability to absorb sound. It is a more effective acoustic buffer than other forms of insulation. See this study.
- Ease of Insulation
Sheep’s wool insulation is easy to install, with blow-in or batts installed like other materials, but without the need for protective gear. It will not cause irritation to the skin, eyes, or lungs (barring allergies), whereas other types of insulation may require the use of gloves, goggles, and full-face masks.
With so many advantages, it is easy to see why sheep’s wool is growing in popularity. The combination of performance, safety, and sustainability make it an excellent choice for insulation. If you are looking for a natural, sustainable, fireproof insulator that can dampen sound and help balance temperature and humidity, sheep’s wool insulation may be the right choice for you.
You can use sheep wool insulation in so many applications. Lately, a lot of customers have been using this product for their vans and tiny homes. Have a look at our most recent article: The Best Van Insulation.
Have a look at our Havelock Sheep Wool Products to find out which one is best for your project!