Home’s way back when weren’t the comfy cozy places we have today. During Viking and Egyptian times, homes were made out of mud and other materials. For the Egyptians, mud bricks kept their homes cool during the day and warm at night. The vikings used mud and straw that was stuffed between wood building materials to keep drafts out and warmth from fires in. The Greeks were the first to use Asbestos to insulate their homes, this came back again during the industrial revolution.
During Greek and Roman times, they actually had their own version of our central air. Called the Hypocaust system, Roman’s built homes with a gap between the inner and outer walls and under the home. The warm air and smoke from fires underground furnaces would billow into the space, thus warming the home. To insulate their pipes, the Romans wrapped them with cork.
During the Middle Ages, homes were built out of stone, so they tended to be cold, damp, and drafty. To offset this, people hung tapestries on their walls and in between rooms as well as rugs or animal fur on the floors to cut the draft. They then warmed their rooms with hearth fires.
Fiberglass and Cellulose
During the 1930s and 40s Fiberglass came onto the market, being the industry standard until close to the 70s. During Fiberglass’s reign, another type of insulation was being developed. In the 1950s cellulose insulation was first made, but because of it’s flammability it didn’t become industry standard until flame retardants were added. Cellulose insulation was made with several different types of materials: newspaper, cotton, sawdust, cardboard, or straw.
All while these other types of insulation were coming in and out of popularity, polyurethane spray insulation was being used by the military. When the 80s rolled around, it was spray foam’s time to shine as the go to home insulation.
Today, you will see many different insulation types in homes. Your home can have fiberglass, foam, or cellulose insulation. All three insulations meet code requirements to help keep your home warm and cozy in the winter and cool in the summer. On top of better insulation homes are also better sealed, reducing drafts. Overall, newer homes have been built with energy efficiency in mind. Even older homes can be made to be better equipped to handle changing temperatures with some renovations such as replacing plaster walls with drywall so that insulation can be installed or replacing windows and doors with better seals.
Like this blog? Check out our History of Drywall blog for more history of how our homes have developed into what they are today! Contact us today is you are ready to start your new home improvement project.