Sheep wool a natural insulator. Not only does it provide protection against the cold, it also insulates just as well when wet. Those properties have made it a popular source of fibre for clothing, and now the extra coarse fibres are being used to insulate houses, as well. It has several advantages over traditional synthetic insulation.
Sheep wool insulation comes from a renewable, environmentally friendly resource. It takes much less energy to produce compared to other insulation materials, such as fibreglass. Sheep wool also does not release any pollutants or chemicals, but instead absorbs them. The wool will actually process and remove sulphur, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde from the air. Insulation from sheep wool uses courser fibres that are unsuitable for fabric or textiles. These extra-coarse fibres might otherwise go to waste, but instead provide insulation to reduce energy consumption.
As an all-natural product, sheep wool insulation does not contain many of the hazardous chemicals common to synthetic insulation. It can be handled without any special safety equipment. It can be touched with a bare hand and does not present any of the breathing hazards of fibreglass insulation. It is also fire-resistant and will not continue to burn once the fire source is removed. Sheep wool insulation resists mould since it can absorb and then release moisture as needed.
Sheep wool insulation has the same thermal resistance rating most other fibrous insulation materials. Its rating is better than fibreglass insulation. Sheep wool insulation is rated R-3.5, while fibreglass insulation is R-3.14. The ability to absorb moisture without losing effectiveness also makes it a superior insulation, since many other fibrous materials lose their ability to insulate if they collect moisture. It also does not collapse or compact over time. Sheep wool insulation is also very effective at dampening sound.
Unlike some other natural insulation materials, sheep wool insulation is manufactured in standard sizes, making it easy and inexpensive to install. No special training, tools or safety materials are needed in order to install it. It can be placed anywhere that standard insulation can be installed. In attics it can placed directly over existing insulation to save on removal costs and provide superior protection against temperature fluctuations.
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