The Carpet Industry Nudges Toward Green
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
May 01, 2003
Carpets play a critical role in making homes more comfortable by warming up cold floors and reducing sound transfer between floors. Without carpets, unheated concrete slabs and strutting around barefoot in the winter would be intolerable. Together, a carpet plus padding—an underlay or cushion—provides a small amount of insulating value to floors. This additional insulation equivalent is measured in “togs,” which is an assessment of heat flow resistance through cloth; an R-value of 3 is comparable to 1.7 togs. The Carpet and Rug Institute makes it a bit simpler by estimating a carpet’s R-value as the total carpet and underlay thickness measured in inches multiplied by 2.6. A combination of nylon carpet and a polyurethane cushion with a total thickness of 1.5 inches, for example, will yield an overall R-value of 3.9. This is roughly comparable to a 3/4-inch rigid foam panel. Still, carpets are not an entirely benign component of the home-building industry. The biggest issue is the disposal of used and worn-out carpet. In 2002, 2.25 million tons of old carpets were sent to the nation’s landfills; ...
To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.
Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.
The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.