Call us toll free at 1.877.579.1994

Dans Discount Windows and Doors

The Region's Largest Stock of Exterior Doors and Windows Company

Click Here

Home Insulation Advice to Save Energy During Our Cold Canadian Winters

Share This

What better companions on a Canadian winter’s night than soft flannel sheets, a thick fleece blanket and a fluffy down comforter? Technically speaking, all three of those comforts are considered insulation. Flannel, fleece and down are materials that trap your body heat so while you are sleeping, warm air in the pocket created by your body doesn’t escape into the cooler bedroom, leaving you uncomfortably cold and restless.

A poorly insulated home can leave you equally cold and uncomfortable during those cold winter spells. Especially when you receive excessively high utility bills.

Home Insulation

Home insulation is a key element in maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and preventing warm interior air from escaping outside.

There are four types of insulation:

Rolls/Batts: Sheets, or mats, of insulation made of fiberglass and/or rock wool – prefabricated to fit standard widths of attic/floor joists or wall stud spaces. R-values vary according to dimensions and type of material but normal variance is about R-2.9 – R-4.3 per inch of thickness.

Loose-fill: Loose materials – usually rock wool, cellulose, or fiberglass – are blown in by special pneumatic equipment. It’s used in irregular spaces, or around pipes, ducts, and wires, where standard rolls/batt installation isn’t feasible. R-Values per inch of thickness vary (depending on the material) from R-2.2 – R-3.8, but may decrease over time due to settling.

Rigid foam: A bit more costly but very energy efficient. It’s used for both interior and exterior wall sheathing, as well as attic hatches. R-values range from R-4 – R-6.5 per inch of thickness.

Foam-in-place: This is also blown into your home and has multiple applications – walls, attics, or under floors. Additionally, it can be used to fill large spaces where you’ve detected air leaks. There are two types:

Type 1: Open cell – has a spongy texture. It’s less dense, as the cells are filled with air, and has an R-value of about 3.7 per inch of thickness.

Type 2: Closed cell – More dense, with an R-value of about 6.2 per inch of thickness, this is the most effective type of insulation. The cells fill with a gas that helps them expand to better fill the space.

NOTE: R-values measure resistance to heat loss. Technically, the higher the R-value, the more resistant to heat loss. However, they don’t measure for other factors such as wind, or air infiltration. Before you choose your insulation, talk to a representative to make sure it’s the right type for your home environment.

Selecting/Installing Home Insulation

Insulation prices vary greatly and depending on your home’s architecture, or your climate, one type of home insulation can be better than another to provide proper resistance to heat loss. It is worth it to consult a licensed insulation contractor to evaluate your needs and advise you on which type is best, even if you prefer to do the work on your own.

Insulation can be installed in phases to accommodate your budget. Work from the top down. Verify that your attic insulation is sufficient. If not, begin there. Once you’ve added/replaced your attic insulation you can analyze the difference in feeling and/or utility costs. If you still feel there is room for improvement, you can continue with walls, floors, or basements, depending on your budget or needs.

Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines to ensure you wear the proper protective gear and install the insulation safely. Many types of insulation are flammable so be careful of areas around light/electrical fixtures and/or use a material that is more flame retardant.

Upgrading your home insulation is like throwing an extra comforter on your bed. It will make all the difference in the world when winter temperatures drop and the best part is that it eventually pays for itself over time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your windows and doors project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.