The history of insulation
From the beginning of time sapiens (humans) have been trying to perfect home insulation. In the early days humans wore clothing made from sheep's wool and animal hides.
Insulating structures started when humans started to upgrade their living standards and started building structures and homes out of rock, mud and wood and other materials such as shellac to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. ( Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug according to Wikipedia and is the first plastic type material that was used to build entire villages out of.)
Back in the day building homes was not an easy task because it would take a lot of material to build a home, using heavy and thick timber logs much like we use today to build old fashioned luxury cottages.
The Ancient Greeks were responsible for discovering asbestos while the Romans used cork as an insulating material.
The Natives of the Hawaiian Islands were the first ones to use mineral fibre to cover their huts. These fibres were the result of escaping steam that came in contact with the lava and turned it into fluffy fibres.
Finally, it was during the industrialization age that man gave birth to mineral fibres by injecting steam into molten slag. Ever since, mineral fibres have been used for buildings and for industrial insulation. As funny as it sounds, sawdust was another common type of insulation used but has been phased out since. It does not have a good thermal value and is also a fire hazard at the same time.
Nowadays we manufacture insulation from a variety of materials such as glass aka fibre glass, polyurethane aka spray foam insulation. There are also natural fibres like wool, cotton and others like ceramic and calcium silicate.
Insulation is rated by R-values which means resistance-value and it is a measure of how great the materials thermal resistance is. The higher the r-value, the more it resists heat transfer.
In today's age we are faced with battles that are challenging for us and the environment. By being properly insulated and energy efficient, humans are taking the right step towards reducing their carbon footprint.