In our last blog post, we discussed some of the commonly used insulation types found in many tiny homes and vans. Our recommendation at the end of that post was sheep’s wool as a superior product over the other methods of insulation. As promised, we wrote this second post to further outline why we think wool is the way to go in your van or tiny home. Keep reading to learn some of the amazing ways that this renewable, organic resource can keep your tiny home or van warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Superior temperature control. Sheep have survived in rugged outdoor conditions for thousands of years, often with very little shelter. They can do this because of their thick, wooly coats that grow continuously, year round. Their wool is uniquely made up of crinkly, individual strands that create millions of tiny air pockets. These air pockets form an excellent thermal barrier that provides insulation both for the sheep and your tiny home or van.
In addition, wool is superior to almost every other type of insulation due to its incredible ability to regulate humidity. Sheep’s wool can hold a whopping 33% of its weight in moisture before its ability to insulate is compromised. Because sheep often live in moist climates (such as Scotland and New Zealand), their coats naturally regulate humidity, keeping the animal dry underneath all that hair. This major benefit is passed along to wool insulation installs.
Sustainable and organic. Because sheep’s coats never stop growing, they have to be sheared at least once a year. Without shearing, sheep are vulnerable to a number of life-threatening health issues, including overheating. Because of these factors, wool insulation is a highly sustainable product.
Grown naturally and without the use of chemicals and man-made processes, wool insulation uses less than 15% of the energy it takes to produce fiberglass insulation! An added bonus? No itching or exposure to potentially harmful residues that can exist on some of the more traditional types of insulation.
Excellent sound insulation. The same qualities that make wool such an effective insulator also pull double-duty by providing superior sound insulation. Want to blast your favorite music at an unreasonably high volume at 2am in your van or tiny home without judgment from your neighbors? Then this is definitely the product for you!
Flame resistant. Sheep’s wool insulation is actually flame resistant. Wool needs more oxygen to burn than is available in the air, so it requires a very hot flame of over 1,000°F to ignite. Wool will also put itself out if it does catch fire. Lastly, if wool insulation does manage to burn, it won’t release any harmful vapors or toxins like foam board or spray foam insulation would.
With so many awesome advantages to wool insulation, the only thing to ask yourself is “why not wool insulation?” While many think that cost is a prohibiting factor, wool insulation in a small footprint such as a tiny home or van is very affordable and the many benefits greatly outweigh the cost.
We highly encourage our clients to explore the option of using wool insulation in their builds, and we are happy to answer any additional questions you might have about the merits of sheep’s wool insulation verses traditional insulation. Contact us at Carolina Tiny Homes to get the ball rolling on your dream project!