A Brief History of Insulation

Published on: Nov 06 2013 by

Ancient brick homes keep the heat out.Although the technology keeps evolving, the concept of insulation is nothing new. For centuries, people have been using specific materials to help achieve a safe, comfortable living space. While today’s homes are wrapped with modern substances like aluminum, fiberglass, and cellulose, older buildings used very different means of regulating temperature.

 

 

Historical Insulation Materials

It may surprise you to learn how people of various periods and cultures have insulated their homes:

  • The ancient Egyptians built thick brick homes to keep out cold and heat.
  • Many civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, have used cavity walls to seal in the hot or cold air and keep it from getting inside. In Alaska, the Eskimos live in thick igloos to provide insulation from the extreme cold.
  • Europeans in the Middle Ages built stone structures and covered them with fabric tapestries to keep cold air out and absorb moisture.
  • Many cultures, such as Pueblo Indians and Africans, have used mud or clay walls to regulate indoor temperatures.
  • Additional insulation materials throughout history have included cotton, straw, wood, sawdust, glass, wool, animal hides, and asbestos.

 

Fiberglass insulationFiberglass: the Accidental Discovery

Today, we’re accustomed to widespread use of fiberglass insulation—but it wasn’t until 1932 when it was first discovered in its modern form. We owe modern-day fiberglass to Dale Kleist, a researcher who was trying to seal together two glass blocks when he accidentally turned liquid glass into thin fibers, which were actually fiberglass particles. In the decades since, fiberglass has been refined and improved to become the common insulation material.

 

The Cellulose Alternative

Originally derived from plants and now made from recycled newspapers, cellulose has been a popular insulator since the 1970s. Although it costs less than fiberglass and has effective thermal properties, cellulose is known to have flammable properties, and must be treated with chemicals to lower this risk.

 

EcoFoil reflective InsulationAdvances in Modern-day Insulation

For today’s builders and homeowners, insulation is primarily used to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. In fact, homeowners are often eligible to receive tax credits in exchange for installing energy-efficient insulation like EcoFoil.

 

Made from 99% pure aluminum, EcoFoil works with traditional fiberglass or cellulose insulation. The product redirects up to 97% of radiant heat, dramatically reducing air conditioner usage. It’s also safe, virtually indestructible, and easy to install.

 

To learn more about EcoFoil insulation visit www.ecofoil.com or call 888-349-3645 to speak with one of our technical experts.

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