Recycling Old Insulation: Should You Do It?
Insulation is an essential part of every building. Along with keeping you cozy throughout the seasons by maintaining a consistent temperature, it also helps improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy bills.
Unfortunately, no type of insulation can last forever. As time goes by, it will decay, becoming less and less effective, and replacing old insulation will become a must if you wish your home to remain comfortable and not ramp up energy consumption.
Since giving your home in Hamilton, NJ an insulation overhaul puts additional strain on your budget, you may be wondering if there’s a way to salvage old materials (or, at least, some of them) to reuse them, or if all of it is destined for a landfill?
Can You Recycle Old Insulation?
The answer to this question is not a straightforward yes or no. Rather, it will depend on several factors:
- The type of the material: Some materials are safe to reuse and can even allow you to stack new insulation over the old one, while others (especially older ones) may not be up to current safety standards;
- The condition of the old material: Insulation exists to combat the elements and, elements are never gentle, making old insulation often too deteriorated to warrant salvaging;
- The extent of necessary repairs: Mixing different types of insulation is rarely a good idea. Therefore, if there are not enough materials to insulate your home and remain within current safety parameters, it is better to opt for a full overhaul.
Which insulation materials are safe to recycle?
Fiberglass and rock wool, which are quite common insulation types in Hamilton Township, can be recycled in the vast majority of cases. These materials are made from natural minerals and aren’t toxic, making them a safe(r) choice for recycling. However, there is a caveat.
Without getting too technical, it is enough to say that the recycling process for fiberglass and rock wool has its limitations. The first and biggest one is that the recycled material will be of lower quality than the older one, in almost every instance.
What this means is that it may not be able to provide enough insulation power to provide a sufficient comfort level without lowering its energy efficiency, which will directly translate into higher utility bills.
The second limitation is the cost of recycling. Both rock wool and fiberglass require careful separation from any other compounds, such as paper backing or plastic film that are commonly used to make them into insulating blocks. In lots of cases, this process will be more expensive than simply disposing of the old insulation and installing a new one.
Are there any other viable alternatives?
Other types of insulation are not as easy to recycle as the previous two. The only (technically) viable options would be certain types of foam insulation. However, foam insulation is made from petroleum-based products, which aren’t biodegradable and release harmful chemicals when processed.
Therefore, the only option is to send them to a specialized recycling facility that can break them down into their component chemicals. This process is quite complicated and, in most cases, will be significantly more expensive than recycling fiberglass or rock wool, or buying new insulation materials.
Which company in Hamilton, NJ offers quality insulation services?
Whether you wish to replace old insulation on your HVAC ductwork, need help choosing the best insulation type for your stud walls, or want to make your attic completely element-proof, Allied Experts are your best choice.
For more than 10 years, we’ve been the leading provider of HVAC ductwork and attic insulation installation and maintenance services in Hamilton, NJ and the surrounding communities. Reach out to us today for solutions designed to give you peace of mind for years to come.
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