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Insulation for Zone 3

 
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I'm building a new place in Zone 3 (temps down to -30) and am wanting to repurpose something rather than just head to Home Depot and buy appropriately rated insulation. The structure will be about 800 sq ft, single level. I'm wondering if I can use something like old tires to insulate. I was thinking about cutting them into roughly 12 inch rectangles, stacking them 8 or so deep and using those as insulation, just line the walls with these 8 ply tire sections to form a solid wall mass inside my walls.

Any thoughts on that or an alternative material that's cheap/free and readily available?
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Insulation is all about the thickness of the dry insulation material.
Soil has a R vale of 4 per foot or 0.3/inch
So with 4foot thick dirt walls you can have a R-value of 16. If it is kept dry.

You could also do covered (UV protected) sandbag for the same R-value as dirt.
An upgrade would be to put pumice or rice hull/etc in the bags.
I can also see the bags being filled with wool, shredded old clothes (cotton/polyester/etc)
Shredded plastic/tire/etc could also be used. The more air pocket/surface area the better.
Instead of using bag, we could also use tires that we then fill with dirt/pumice/foam/shredded clothes/etc.
Tires by themselves are horrible insulators, similar to dirt/glass.
But if we can have multiple layers or fill each layer with pumice/etc or make the insulation layer 4ft thick (like in a earthship, we can make it workable.
 
pollinator
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Heat rises to the top so if you're on a tight budget then maybe a compromise would be to insulate the ceiling with store-bought best insulation you can find and use cheaper/ home made insulation on the walls and floor. Though I have to say it's not nice when the floor is freezing cold... so perhaps ceiling AND floor with best possible insulation and just the walls with the cheaper material?
 
Mark Roberts
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S Bengi wrote:
Tires by themselves are horrible insulators, similar to dirt/glass.
But if we can have multiple layers or fill each layer with pumice/etc or make the insulation layer 4ft thick (like in a earthship, we can make it workable.



Got it, thanks.



Nina Jay wrote:
... insulate the ceiling with store-bought best insulation you can find



Will do, that's good advice.
 
pollinator
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Is it a budget issue or a recycling issue? The store bought material will save you several times its value over its life through avoided energy used for heating. Blown cellulose is a recycled material and fairly cheap. Some stores will rent you the machine. Walls are forever once finished. Think long and hard saving money there. Attics if accessible can be redone. I have no good alternative materials for you just words of caution.
Cheers,  David
 
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