I’m all about multi-function items and finding cheaper ways to do things. Items like moving blankets are great to use, but they spend most of their time in storage.
As a result of the durability and density of moving blankets, they are seen as a possible form of insulation. However, just because they can insulate does not mean that they should be used instead of approved insulation materials. Moving blankets can be quite dangerous used like this in a home.
Moving blankets have certain insulating properties. However, they are not effective or appropriate substitutes for proper insulation. In addition to the limited insulating ability, moving blankets are flammable and are not an approved form of insulation.
Moving Blankets Can’t Be Used Instead of Insulation
Moving blankets are designed to protect both furniture while moving and walls and floors while furniture is being moved in.
The fabric is thick and heavy-duty, making it harder for furniture to sustain damage or to cause damage in the home while it is being moved.
The thickness and sturdiness of moving blankets make them more effective at insulating than normal blankets, but there are definite reasons why they are not appropriate for insulation.
They Are Not Approved
Moving blankets are not approved for use as a home insulation material.
Even if you were to choose to use moving blankets as insulation instead of something like foam board insulation, a professional will not install it for you.
If you install it yourself, your home will not pass inspection since it is not up to code.
Doing this can compromise the value of your property.
Some Are Flammable
One of the most important aspects of insulation is that it is not flammable. A flame-retardant coating usually makes this possible, but there are some insulating materials that are inherently flame-retardant.
Due to the placement of insulation, if a fire were to occur, it would act similarly to tinder in a campfire (easier to ignite and spread). The widespread material connecting wooden parts of the home would spread the fire quickly and make a house fire much deadlier.
Insulation must, therefore, have a certain flame-spread index.
If moving blankets were used for the purpose of insulation, this could create a deadly situation.
Moving blankets are not fire-proofed. Even worse, they are made of cotton and polyester, materials that are both flammable. Moving blankets would act as tinder in the event of a fire and would cause the fire to spread much more quickly.
Additionally, the moving blankets could be the cause of a fire if they were to be ignited through a stray electrical spark or something of the sort. Considering insulation runs in the same areas as electrical wiring, this is not an unlikely occurrence.
In the event of a fire, not only could it be more deadly, but insurance coverage would not be guaranteed because of the presence of the flammable moving blankets.
So, not only would your life and property be in danger, but the presence of the moving blankets would make recovering from such a dreadful ordeal that much harder.
They Are Not Sufficiently Insulating
Because moving blankets are not for insulating, the design and manufacturing of these items are not geared towards prioritizing this feature. Strength and durability are the focus.
The result is that moving blankets are less effective as a form of insulation.
Yes, they do have some insulating properties because of their thickness and sturdiness, but it is not enough to fully insulate a home and provide the comfort and energy-savings required.
The insulating ability of a material is represented by its resistance to the conductive transfer of heat—the R-value.
An R-value is calculated based on the inherent thermal conductivity of the material as well as its thickness.
A higher R-value means a better insulator, which also means that you can use less of a material to achieve the required R-value.
An ideal insulating substance is thick but not so thick that it is burdensome and cannot fit in the home. It also would have a low thermal conductivity.
To achieve a sufficient R-value, you would have to use several moving blankets. These blankets are dense. They will be difficult to install, will readily slip and fall down when used in walls, and likely will not even fit into the stud/joist spaces.
All-in-all, even a very thick moving blanket would not be as convenient or effective as a standard insulation material.
Moving Blankets Have Insulating Properties
Moving blankets are made out of a cotton and polyester blend. Even if they aren’t the best insulators, cotton and polyester can act as insulators.
Their structures allow for air molecules to get trapped within the fabric fibers. Because air is a poor conductor of heat, the fabric’s thermal conductivity lowers and its R-value increases.
According to this study, cotton is a slightly better insulator than polyester.
In theory, if a moving blanket had more cotton than polyester, its thermal conductivity would lower and its R-value would increase.
However, cotton is known as a breathable fabric so it can’t be that good of an insulator.
Even if the blend of materials was changed so that the R-value was maximized, a moving blanket will not be as effective as a standard insulation material.
Moving blankets can, however, be used as a heat-retention material in a room that tends to be too cold.
Using Moving Blankets to Conserve Heat
Let’s say that you have moving blankets left over from a move and you’d like to put them to use in your cold house.
They can be placed under carpeting to prevent excess heat from being lost if you find that your floor is often cold.
Moving blankets can also be placed on walls or even ceilings to add a bit of extra insulation in a room whose walls are often cold to the touch.
As long as you can secure the blanket’s weight well enough, a moving blanket can be used to enhance insulation in your home.
There are some problems with these quick fixes, though.
One is more aesthetic-based.
Moving blankets are often very plain since they are made for practical use rather than to be pleasing to the eyes. This can make hanging them in a room a bit risky since they might damage the aesthetic of a room.
On a more serious note, if a moving blanket is installed under carpeting to help with heat conservation, it must not replace any fire-resistant layers or insulation under said carpet.
This has to do with the lack of fire resistance these blankets have as replacing fire-resistant materials under the carpet could create a fire risk in the home.