Starseed Creative was lucky enough to visit with Andrew Legge, founder of Havelock Wool and to be given a personal tour from Josh Schohn; director of sales at their facility in Reno, Nevada.
Read below to find out why wool insulation is great choice for energy performance, home health, and the planet. Check out the video to see my tour and please visit their website at https://havelockwool.com/.
Anyone who has put on a wool hat or sweater knows that wool is a great, breathable fiber. I personally wear wool clothing while skiing and working outside because I never overheat and stay comfortable all day. I also sleep with a wool comforter on my bed to keep from over-heating at night. My business partner and I like wool so much that we chose it as the product to use to insulate the roof of our healthy hempcrete demonstration home.
We consciously chose wool insulation because wool is naturally fire resistant and doesn’t need to be treated with chemical based fire retardants. Wool is also easy to handle, requiring no special protection from your skin when installing, which is a plus for DIY installers like ourselves. Wool doesn’t settle in wall and roof cavities, unlike cellulose insulation that settles over time causing cold joints. Wool also has a comparable R-value to other insulation products and Havelock Wool in particular outperforms all other fiber insulation with an R-value of 4.3 per inch.
What I didn’t know about wool insulation is that it actually bonds and traps harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is recognized as that new home or car smell that is released from foams, carpets, glues, and furniture. I am so excited to find out that insulating with wool can actually make your home heather! Wool also filters the air in your home and will not support the growth of mold which effects over 30% of the US population.
Havelock Wool sources their wool from New Zealand where they have the machinery to properly clean the wool before sending it to Havelock in compact 800 lb. blocks. The tightly compressed blocks of wool are then pulled apart in a multi-step process using 50-year-old textile machinery. The wool is then further processed for blown insulation or sewn into batts for 16 or 24 inch stud spacing. The wool comes from a breed of sheep that are raised for meat giving the wool a market that might otherwise be discarded. The wool is also coarser than wool that is typically used for the textile industry, which provides better resistance to compression. For blown insulation they use a gas-powered insulation remover that is powerful enough to blow in the loose wool quickly into roof and wall cavities. Most local insulation installers already have an insulation remover and can install wool insulation in your home with a little training from Havelock Wool.
I was very impressed by the quality of the wool batts and specifically the blown insulation that Havelock produces. I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a sustainable, chemical free, high performing products to use in their home that will last many generations.
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