They can if they are soy beans. On this blog we have explored various types of insulation from cellulose and fiberglass to aerogel and even mushroom. But, we have not explored the newcomer- soy insulation. Soy is great for so many things- your mind, body and now your home.
Soy foam insulation is sprayed into your home’s walls, where it then expands to 100 times it’s size. The insulation is sprayed on using water so it is better for the environment, and us. Like most spary insulators, soy insulation is petroleum based although it does come in panels. The United Soybean Board (USB) tauts that it’s insulating properties are as good as, or even better than, traditional batting (in four inch walls with six-inch stud construction). Soy allows for higer R value while taking up less space so it may also decrease your building costs if you are doing new construction.
The great thing about soy is that it does not emit gases and/or chemicals and is free of urea-formaldehyde, a product used to bind the insulation together. It is also resistant to mold and mildew when wet. Soy is grown by over 600,000 American farmers so there is a pretty good chance that you are helping an USA based farmer by adding soy insulation. It is important to note that while it is called soy insulation, the actual amount of soy is contains is less than 15%.