February 17, 2014

February Corn Spotlight: Insulation

February is traditionally a month of variable weather in the Midwest, and so far that trend has held true this year. This month alone we have gone from being bundled up with our snow boots on, to wearing only a coat in the matter of a week. If it wasn't for the help of insulation our houses would be experiencing the same temperature swings.

In times of extreme weather people often look to their furnace or air conditioner to provide them with comfort and even though these two units play a big part in keeping us comfortable we often forget about the importance of our insulation. Without insulation we would have nothing to keep that energy in. Traditionally insulation has been comprised of foam and fiberglass. However, new technology is proving that corn stalks that are pressed can be used as an effective form of insulation that is considered to be a "green" energy source. Many tests are currently being done on corn insulation to see if it indeed would suffice as a source of insulation. So far, some of the corn insulation assessed properties (ex. density, fire resistance, and durability) show adequacy of this product for building applications, such as a thermal insulation product, a ceiling coating, or a lightweight partition wall.

Corn insulation has also won awards for being a renewable, clean, insulation source. The only problem is not many people know about this product. Grants are being developed that are to be used to promote corn insulation and to draw awareness to its environmental benefits.

So the next time you are putting up that new barn, or remodeling that room you always wanted changed, consider using corn insulation as a cleaner alternative.

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