Unique DIY Insulation From Around The World and Across Time
When we think of insulation, we generally think of the kind we find in our modern day homes. But, insulation comes in so many different forms and it actually has an interesting history across different time periods and cultures. Insulation is one of the most important parts of what makes a home or a dwelling inhabitable, which means civilisations have been using it for centuries. From using animal hair for insulation to creating mud huts to retain heat, cultures and groups of people have come up with some interesting ways to keep warm or cool depending on the climate.
Interested in some unusual insulation methods from different places across the globe and time periods? Read on to find out more!
Going Off Grid with a Mud Hut
Starting with the basics, the first prehistoric civilizations built temporary houses from animal skins, fur, and wool. The implementation was cheap and easy and the earth layer assured excellent protection against wild animals, fire and offered relief during periods of combat. In addition, earth houses use soil and mud as a wonderful insulating blanket, as due to the high density of earth, the inside temperature changes very slowly. This keeps the interior warm in winter and cool in summer. The Ancient Egyptians and the Vikings also utilised the warming and cooling properties of natural resources like mud and soil.
Double Wall Insulation to Create Air Pockets
Creating a double wall with a gap in between is perhaps one of the most significant discoveries in the insulation world and it is all thanks to the Ancient Greeks! Cavity walling creates a gap between two walls; the gap then serves to trap air in the cavity which then reduces heat loss and transfer.
This insulation method is also perfect for the different climates we experience. If it is hot outside, the gap serves to keep the hot air out. Whereas, if it’s cold, the warmth inside will stay in. This is a method that is still popular today, and rightly so - it works!
Multi-Layer Insulation Is Used in The Traditional Yurt
The yurt is a common style of home in Asia, especially Mongolia which survives to the modern day. Essentially, it is a tent constructed on top of a flat piece of earth, often covered by multiple layers of insulation. The lattice of a traditional yurt is split up into multiple parts, called khana. The khana is a series of crisscrossed wooden poles that are made of wood, such as willow, birch, or poplar. The poles are attached to each other with strong ropes made of leather or animal hair.
Communities who live in yurts are often herding cultures, and the felt that covers the yurt is usually made of wool collected from domesticated sheep, goats, or yaks. Most yurts have three to five layers of felt, and, to finish it off, an outer layer of waterproof fabric such as canvas. The layers work to trap air inside, which then reduces heat loss.
Underfloor Insulation as a Modern Day Insulation Method
Many of our modern day insulation methods are derived from ancient methods. Obviously, they are designed to be long-lasting and durable now, as opposed to a temporary solution. One of these solutions is floor insulation.
Usually, people focus on insulating attics and exterior walls in their home. It is really important to focus on these areas, you can save a lot of money on your heating costs if you insulate your floors as well. Basement floor insulation or underfloor insulation massively reduces heat loss through the floors and will further reduce your overall energy bill.
Underfloor insulation is also great if you have wooden floors. Wooden floors can get easily damaged due to the accumulation of moisture. This can be prevented by installing a layer of insulation between the crawl space and the floor – which will create a vapor barrier and will prevent moisture from attacking your wooden floor. Solid Floor insulation can also provide extra protection to the piping system beneath the floors during cold winters. Because pipes are placed under the floor, an insulated floor can significantly lower the risks of pipe bursting during the winter season.
The Future of Insulation is Green
Recently, there is a big push to become more energy efficient and therefore, more environmentally friendly. Making sure your home has proper insulation on the walls and in the loft is one of the single biggest things you can do to help the environment in the long-term.
Whether filling in any gaps and cracks or renewing your loft insulation and insulating your walls, there’s lots of money – and a large amount of carbon – to be saved. If you would like more information on how to best insulate your home, please feel free to check out our products or contact us for more information.