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by Debra Atlas, redding.com.

It’s always a good time to think about home energy efficiency. These days, there are some innovative green options to consider with the more traditional choices.

Perhaps one of the most exciting of these is TAP Insulation. Made from recycled paper and a process that uses liquid natural borates, TAP insulation not only reduces energy loss and both indoor and outdoor noise, it’s a highly effective insect repellent.

In fact, TAP is the only pesticide that has an Energy Star label.

“We’re a pesticide that saves energy,” said Bill Turk, president and co-founder of Georgia-based Pest Control Insulation Systems Inc., the developer of TAP Insulation.

This is a very green pesticide, said Turk.

Made with low toxicity borates, a relative of the mineral salt commonly found in products such as contact lens solution and antifungal creams, TAP is safe for pets and humans. But the borates in the insulation disrupt insects’ digestive system.

“They can’t build a resistance,” said Paul Hardy, senior technical director of Orkin Pest Control.

Hardy and Orkin partnered with Turk in the late 1990s to develop what has since become TAP insulation.

One of the surprising features of TAP is that it’s a superior fire retardant.

The recycled paper is impregnated with the borate, making the product denser than tradition insulation such as fiberglass.

“Air doesn’t pass through it as easily as fiberglass,” said Hardy.

Hardy recalled a customer in Louisiana whose house had been struck by lightning.

The customer said if it hadn’t been for the TAP insulation in the attic, the house would have burned down. The fire went out because of the insulation, the customer said.

This two-in-one product is 32 percent more energy efficient than other home insulation. And it’s specially designed to be blown-in on top of existing attic insulation.

And there’s no waste. Any excess insulation is put back in the hopper, said Turk

Home insulation is notorious for shrinkage.

“It’s common for all insulation products to shrink some, but cellulose shrinks the least,” said Hardy. Generally with cellulose (as in TAP insulation), Hardy said, you only get about ½ inch shrinkage.

The overall installation cost for TAP insulation is more than with traditional products. But Hardy noted that when you’re putting it into an attic, it lasts from 30 to 50 years, and it doesn’t need replacing or adding to during that time.

You couldn’t get a greener product, said Hardy.

“We (at Orkin) market it as a green approach to the control of insects that will invade the upper structure,” Hardy said.

It’s the only product that can be applied quickly to control insects, said Hardy. “The other products have to be placed in cracks or crevices or under where you want it.”

TAP also provides plenty of savings, said Hardy.

“You’re saving energy in the form of oil. You’re saving trees. (And) you’re getting insect control with one of the least toxic substances you can get,” he said.

“If you couple energy savings along with insect control,” Hardy said, “what you’re (left) with is a more comfortable house.”

TAP insulation is an environmentally responsible progressive product, says Turk – “a proactive preventive product.”

Because it’s a pesticide, it has to be installed by a pest management professional. About twenty pest control companies across the U.S. carry and install TAP insulation, including Terminix and Orkin.

People are looking for ways to improve their home, Turk said.

“We encourage (consumers) to call their pest control company and see if they carry it,” Turk said. Or contact his website at www.TAPinsulation.com and they’ll help find someone who can install it.

See full article at www.Redding.com.

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