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klhandler 08-11-2014 03:18 PM

Best Yurts for Insulation
Hello all, I was very interested in yurts but became deterred by the logistics of getting the yurt approved. I am still in the process, but was hoping for some feedback regarding insulation. It seems like insulation is an issue- whether it be R-values, condensation, too much wood required, radiant heat flooring, floor insulation, denim insulation, etc. There is so much to take in. Does anyone have a recommendation on any "straight from the manufacturer" insulation packages? I am looking to make the yurt a reality and I feel as though keeping it simple will help facilitate the process. :confused:

Surely Yurts - Steve 08-12-2014 08:30 AM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
What kind of yurt are you looking to insulate?

If you want a "from the manufacturer" insulation package most of the different companies will ship pre-fab packages for their yurts. If you have the money this would be the best way to go.

Generally a roll of reflective insulation like prodex 72" will be all you need to DIY. Most local big box home improvement stores will stock 4' rolls of reflectix or astrofoil. Sometimes the 6" wide roll can make installation a lot easier and more effective but you will most likely need to order that in-store or online.

Moisture issues usually stem from improper ventilation/air-flow. If you put a liner inside the insulation make sure to use a fabric that is flame retardant and resistant to mildew (not cotton, fleece, or denim). Consider adding a circulation fan into the yurt. For those of us with 12V systems a computer cooling fan works well and takes very little energy to run.

jeritchie 08-12-2014 03:14 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation

At Yurts of America we use Reflectix double-sided (seven layer) insulation. We buy it by the truck-load.

The wall insulation sections are quilted to the liner – white flame resistant polyester. The roof insulation and has a separate liner made from the same polyester material.

The liner and insulation are water-proof. They shouldn't get wet, but if they do they can be dried out completely. I always recommend a ceiling fan or some other type of fan to keep air circulating in your Yurt.

If you would like some insulation and liner samples email me – [email protected]


Shelter Designs 08-12-2014 04:34 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
Insulation is definitely a huge consideration for a comfortable year round yurt. We have taken yurt insulation a step further by offering our Arctic Insulation package. This is the typical double bubble (7 layer) reflective insulation backed with 1/2" closed cell polyethylene foam. It is a portable, simple, and extremely efficient yurt insulation. When we installed it on our own yurts here in Montana we reduced our energy consumption by 40%, and have had excellent reviews from customers from Alaska to Maine.

With any type of insulation air circulation, as mentioned, is extremely important to reduce condensation in the yurt. An opening dome and plenty of windows makes venting the yurt fairly simple. Operable thermal pane glass windows make ventilation extremely easy as you don't have to go outside the yurt to crack your vinyl "fabric" windows, which in the middle of a winter storm is not always an easy task!

Feel free to get in touch with us for free samples or visit our website at Yurt Custom Options to learn more. Good luck!

Jafo 08-12-2014 04:56 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
Do you guys have any photos of your insulation?

Shelter Designs 08-12-2014 06:54 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
2 Attachment(s)
Sure thing. Here is a close up of the typical yurt insulation (two layers), with the thin white fabric material being the interior liner (a lightweight polyester) and then the reflective insulation. Next is the arctic insulation (three layers) with the interior liner, reflective layer, and then the 1/2" closed cell polyethylene.

A problem with just the reflective layer is that when your heat source starts to cool off your yurt cools off quickly too. Adding the arctic insulation helps tremendously at trapping the heat in the yurt even when the stove is dying down. It is also much more effective at keeping the yurt cool in direct sunlight than the typical reflective insulation.

Shelter Designs 08-12-2014 06:58 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
Well, when I previewed the posts the pictures of the two insulation types were there in the text, but now they are thumbnails that I can't seem to open? Ideas Jafo?

Jafo 08-12-2014 07:01 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
I think this had to do with that video plugin I have installed. Here is the rest of your post:

You can also look at this time lapse of a SD yurt being raised in Scotland that has the arctic package at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5CtfMz3wi4 Pay close attention from 1:08-1:20 to see the layers of insulation being put on.

Jafo 08-12-2014 07:02 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
I would imagine that foam has to help a lot. I guess there is no way to retrofit existing foil insulation types with it though huh? :D

Shelter Designs 08-12-2014 07:11 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
Thanks for the help on that post Jafo. It would be possible for us to make foam roof insulation to add to a reflective insulation yurt. The walls would be a bit different as we sew the liner, reflective layer and foam together to make insulation panels that are then hung off of the tension cable. To retrofit the walls a person would be looking at basically redoing the whole wall package from scratch. But, heat rises, so the adding foam to the roof would help a "normally" insulated yurt.

jeritchie 08-13-2014 02:06 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
The closed cell foam is an interesting idea. What is its fire rating?

addicted56 08-17-2014 10:00 PM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
A cross post from my build thread and I will get more scientific data in the future. The closed foam polyethylene insulation does make a big difference, at least in keeping heat out. Here are some quick numbers from my yurt that contains a stock insulation from the MFG.

The most significant insulator though is FREE AIR. If only I can find an easier way to get the panels up in the rafters to give the air gap I have. Right now I am placing the pieces up in the rafters, marking them, pulling them out and cutting them, then placing them back up in the rafters using the wedged compression to keep them from falling down.

For those interested in some thermodynamics and test results in full sun and around 89F outside the top of our 30' yurt reads 112F with the MFG supplied double layer reflectix. With a piece of 1/2" (actually closer to 1/4") foam above the rafters it reads around 105F. With the foam cut to shape and with a 3" air barrier it reads 88. A Whopping 24 degree difference which in my mind makes the time and effort worth it. Who knows may even do the walls on the south side. This is with the AC on full blast, the top dome cracked open and doors closed by the way. I imagine that the top of the yurt without insulation would read well over 140 without the stock MFG supplied insulation. I might climb up and shoot the outside of the yurt fabric to see. I might even stick some R15 in between the two layers of insulation to see if it makes a difference but I feel the air itself will be sufficient.

Bob Rowlands 08-18-2014 08:37 AM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
My comment is in regard to friction fit of insulation in the rafter bays. There are wire cross ties that can be inserted between pairs of rafters, along the bottom edge, that will keep the insulation up in place. The insulation wouldn't require a wedged compression fit. Plus you'll have the required gap above the insulation.

Bob Rowlands 08-18-2014 08:38 AM

Re: Best Yurts for Insulation
Perhaps a member here will give a link to the source for purchasing-or making-the cross ties. I have only read about them.

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