Packing Peanuts for Insulation?

TopGrey

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Jul 30, 2008
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I get a shitload of packing peanuts over a short period and have been giving them to local pack-and-ship stores to get rid of them. I'd like to find a way use them at the house instead.

My chicken coop is done and has been working way better than expected. The weather is changing, though, and I think it needs to be insulated against the cold. The other morning it hit 32 degrees and from here on out it will start to get cooler. The coop stays real damned warm but that will not last as 3 chickens only provide so much heat (unless you cook them). So, I was wondering and then googling the pros/cons of using those peanuts behind the walls as insulation.

A)They are plentiful and cheap
B)They are not flame retardant, in fact they contain quite a bit of energy when lit on fire
C)It's a chicken coop, I don't give a shit really about fire safety as it's 30 feet from our brick house and currently not wired for power.
D)It will be wired for power soon, and as such will have both a vent fan and heater installed.

The foam will be bagged in trash bags and then boarded up behind 1/4 plywood. I built the walls on 24 inch centers as it didn't require much strength due to the 4x6 header boards and what not. That's a lot of peanuts. My fear is that it will be a wasted effort in that it probably won't insulate very well since all of the space found in-between each peanut. However, once up I really don't want to pull it back down so I'd rather not use it if it isn't worth it.

So......your thoughts are welcome. My gut says it's a waste of time, but my wallet says it's free.
 

SlimSkeeter

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Easy fried chicken if things go wrong. Not even "shake n bake" hard.
 

TopGrey

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Hehehe, if the damned things don't lay some eggs soon they are all headed for the frying pan anyway. They were due to lay eggs last week!
 

Absinthe

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Mar 2, 2008
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The packing peanuts will not provide a lot of insulation as there will be a lot of open areas between them. If you have enough, you could crush/shred them and pack them really tight. That should get you a better insulation material.

Yep, they are not treated with a fire retardant. So, should you decide to use the peanuts make sure the fire risk is at a minimum. I am not sure if a distance of 30 ft to your house is sufficient when sparks start flying.

Just saying...
 

Absinthe

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Big brain engineer ^^^

I expected to see charts and graphics and NASA voodoo math .. pffft.

No, the real engimaneer can do all of this without any flashing graphics and such...
 

Guess Who

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Well the packing peanuts are free. But they are not fire retardant. So if you choose to wire the chicken coop for electricity, and there is a short or something. You will be fucked out of the chickens and possibly your house. Seein that 30 feet isn't that far of a distance for flames to travel.
Personily i would go with fire retardent insulation I am sure your local hardware store has some cheeper fire retardant insulation.
 

TopGrey

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Jul 30, 2008
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Yah, wasn't leaning in the direction of their use anyway, figured as much. Think we'll just go with the store bought insulation as it'll be easier to install.

We already use them for a small part of the garden, though. Also, they have made a great french drain filler and work wonders on redirecting water run-off.
 

Guess Who

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Yah i am sure you can find most of the stuff you need at home depot or lowes or whatever store you go to.