Have you ever caught yourself buying a name brand item strictly because of it’s name without considering other items that may be more effective and better overall quality? Face it. We’ve all been there and done that. Why would we want to spend substantially more money on a product when there are other products available for a lesser cost, especially when the more expensive items often utilize out of date technology? Most of us are pre-programmed to automatically migrate to “Name brand” items. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this practice, it is wise (especially in today’s economy) to research our items of interest in order to make a wise purchase.
A good example is that when most people are interested in purchasing a new computer, television, camera, automobile, etc., they are looking for the latest technology. The desire for convenience, longevity, performance and being environmentally friendly is at the top of the list for many people. The search for the latest, best priced item is then embraced with a fierce determination to find the proverbial “Deal of the century.” Sound familiar? How unwise would it be to accept an IBM (compatible) 286 computer, a 1971 Ford Maverick, an old tube style television and a pre-1960’s camera as the most current, technologically advanced equipment available today? While this is certainly a descriptive stretch of the imagination, the same comparable thing happens often in our purchasing decisions today.
Point and case…
Many major acoustic foam, sound absorption panel and soundproofing companies and manufacturers are using materials and technology that is outdated, to say the least. Acoustic foam, also known as open cell foam, and fiberglass insulation are known to be effective sound absorption tools. While these materials are known to be effective in sound absorption, they also have several known negative factors. The main issues range from the fact that they can deteriorate relatively quickly, go “flat” or “dead” and are often manufactured with chemicals, dyes, formaldehyde and even small amounts of radiation that can be hazardous to your health. Verifiable documentation is simple to locate with today’s technology either on the internet or by contacting facilities that manufacture these items. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are required for these items and are public information.
Fortunately, there are materials available today that meet higher standards combining effectiveness, longevity and are also environmentally friendly. A relatively new product on the market today is natural cotton fiber insulation. No formaldehyde, harsh or dangerous chemicals are used in this product that can pose a health problems or VOC concerns. It is Class-A fire rated, resists mold, mildew and moisture and complies with most building codes throughout the U.S. Cotton fiber also has superior soundproofing and sound absorption qualities with a 1.0 NRC rating and MSDS are available as well.
For about the same cost (or substantially less in many cases), many companies offer what could be said as “Short term” solutions at higher prices using outdated technology, while others offer not only a more effective and Eco-friendly product, but a true “Long term” solution. Could this be the answer to the question, “Why make a permanent decision on a temporary product?”