Insulation, or more correctly thermal insulation, is a general term used to describe products that reduce heat loss or heat gain by providing a barrier between areas that are significantly different in temperature. There are a number of items in the home that benefit from insulation – such as central heating boilers and hot water pipes – however buildings themselves need some extra help to make them more energy efficient. Home insulation therefore reduces the amount of heat that escapes from a building in the winter and protects it from getting too warm in the summer.
The most common types of insulation in the home are made primarily using glass or rock that has been melted down at temperatures well in excess of 1,000°C and spun into fine strands of wool. A binding agent is also added to help hold the strands together. These strands of wool can then be formed into various products depending on where it will be used in a building – such as rolls to fit between ceiling joists and solid slabs to install in cavity walls.
It is not necessary to use raw materials to manufacture new glass mineral wool insulation. The majority of products are made using a high proportion of recycled glass, making glass mineral wool one of the most inherently environmentally friendly insulation products on the market.