An insulations is an insulating resistance to heat transfer is what is called its R-Factor. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-Factor, the more energy efficient the application. Not the most interesting part of a remodel. But a major factor in consuming less energy, saving money and soundproofing. In the walls we chose blown cellulose and shredded phone books. Blown cellulose is not right for every application, so in addition to that we also used recycled cotton (Blue Jeans). This gave us an R-Factor of ? In the Ceilings we utilized blown foam. It is rigid and fills every nook and cranny. It has an R-Factor approaching 40 and is fire resistant.
Even in relatively mild climates like ours, in San Francisco, a properly insulated home can have a massive impact on efficiency. Less energy to hear means less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced. If an average home pumps out 12-15 tons of CO2 per year, good insulation can lop 2-4 tons off that. If the house gains another 20 years of life from this remodel, that means 40 tons at a minimum not shot into the air.
I expect this home to love much more than 20 years and the total carbon savings to be more then 2 tons per year.
Formaldehye Free Insulation
One huge advantage of blown cellulose, shredded phone books and recycled cotton products is that they contain no Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used in most modern insulation and it can leech into the air and has the potential to make you and your kids sick. It is one of the main pollutants that made the survivors of Hurricane Katrina sick after they were relocated to cheap, poorly build trailers produced from formaldehyde-based products.