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Properties of Recycled Paper Insulation

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: BStone•updated: 10/14/2010

There is a greener alternative when it comes to putting insulation into your home. Find out what using recycled paper insulation can do for your home and your health as an eco-friendly alternative to using standard fiberglass insulation.

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    Recycled Paper for Insulation?

    Until recently the most common insulating material used in modern building has been fiberglass. Fiberglass insulation is made from very fine glass fibers and can provide a significant amount of insulation. The down side to using fiberglass insulation comes when dealing with human health. Skin contact with fiberglass can cause irritation, leaving the skin with a burning itchy feeling and inhaling the tiny glass fibers can irritate the face, nostrils, throat and lungs.

    One insulation alternative to using fiberglass is that of using recycled paper insulation. The benefits to using this method are a cheaper form of insulation, the ability to put recycled paper to good use and the knowledge of being able to insulate your home with a durable and non-toxic material.

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    How Recycled Paper Works

    recycled paper insulation In order to use recycled paper as an insulating material the paper goes through the recycling process first. It is not just recycled by crumpling it up and putting it in a wall. The recycling process takes paper that would otherwise be going to a landfill and returns it to a pulpy cellulose state; this is why this eco-friendly insulation is also known as cellulose insulation. While the paper is being recycled it is treated with a fire retardant to make the material less hazardous during a fire situation. The North American Insulation Manufactures Association (NMIMA) tested both cellulose and fiberglass for their fire retardant properties and found that there was no significant difference in burn time.

    There have been many insulation forms that have been created since the popularity of using cellulose insulation began to rise. One company that has taken the extra step in creating a more durable and economic form of cellulose insulation is Excel Building Solutions. Their insulating products are known as the Warmcel series.

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    Warmcel Insulation

    blown recycled paper insulation The UK based company Excel Building Solutions has created their own formula of blown recycled paper material in a series of insulation products called Warmcel. The patterned Warmcel version of cellulose insulation is created from one hundred percent recycled paper. It is a blown insulation, which means that the product is sprayed into the insulation areas where it hardens as a more solid form.

    Some of the benefits of using the Warmcel insulation include reducing household C02 emissions, inorganic salts are used as natural fire retardants, resistance to biological fungus and it also repels insects and household pests such as mice and rats. Warmcel also allows for the ability to be removed after placement and recycled again into fresh recycled paper insulation.

    For more information on green building materials, see Environmental Gains of Building Green in America and Green Ideas for Building Your Own Home.

    *images used were provided by and © 2003-2007 Excel Industries Limited