Homeowners, Industries and Governments All Play a Role
This earth Day, April 22 is a good time to highlight the key role of fiber glass and mineral wool insulation in achieving greater energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Buildings account for 40 percent of energy use worldwide,” NAIMA Interim President and CEO Angus Crane said. “Reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are global priorities and among the easiest, most impactful ways to do that is ensuring all buildings are energy efficient. Properly insulating and air sealing buildings is critical to optimizing energy efficiency and reducing costs to building owners.”
This winter, which saw many states break decades-long records for cold temperatures, reminded many homeowners of the costs of under insulated homes – high energy bills. NAIMA estimates that some 40 million U.S. homes are under insulated and adding insulation is a relatively simple, low-cost home improvement that offers benefits that are friendly to the pocketbook and the planet. Additional insulation can reduce utility costs by as much as 30 percent and overall energy use by 50 percent when compared with an uninsulated building.
“Earth Day also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of businesses, industries and governments in educating the public about global sustainability and climate change,” Crane said. “NAIMA applauds the many organizations that promote energy-efficient policies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and improve the future of the planet.”
Notwithstanding the significant environmental benefits of insulation, there are many other advantages, including insulation’s role in improving public health. A 2004 study conducted by Harvard University School of Public Health found that adequate levels of insulation improved public health by limiting the effects of outdoor pollutants on the population. In addition, properly insulated buildings also offer better acoustical control. Homeowners may also take advantage of financial incentives and tax credits offered by a number of jurisdictions and entities throughout the United States to make homes more energy-efficient by doing such things as adding insulation.
“It is not an overstatement to say that we can insulate our way to a brighter future and at the same time, control our increasing energy costs,” said Scott Miller, chairman of NAIMA’s Sustainability Subcommittee. “Insulation is a simple solution to a weighty global challenge — reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions — but it clearly offers a myriad of benefits.”