Today, many home renovations focus on the kitchen and washroom, with an emphasis on the cosmetics – things like counter tops and plumbing fixtures and fancy cabinetry. From time to time, there may be some focus on home insulation, perhaps when the basement or roof is being renovated. But overall, there isn’t enough emphasis placed on home insulation, something that can provide real value to the home, along with meaningful dollar savings season to season.
The hot Ontario summer weather may be finally upon us, but that doesn’t mean you have to resolve yourself to a summer of heat! This is the perfect time of year to take a look at your home’s insulation – not only will it give you benefits for the summer like a more consistent indoor temperature, improved air conditioning or fan performance, and reduced energy bills in general, but it also means you won’t have to worry about comfort when the winter weather comes around again!
There are a few easy-to-spot signs that you may want to look into having your home insulation upgraded or inspected:
Inconsistent Indoor Temperatures
Is your second floor drastically warmer than the first? Are individual rooms hotter than others? Do you find it difficult to maintain a consistent temperature within your home or individual rooms? These are all signs that your existing insulation may need to be upgraded. Most forms of insulation settle over time, meaning even if you had fantastic insulation installed years ago, its effectiveness may be reduced due to it compacting over time. Having existing insulation topped up is a quick and cost-effective way to improve comfort in your home!
What’s the Solution?
You can always take a peak for yourself, if accessible! An attic or crawlspace should always have some form of insulation within it, and it should never be compressed – many people use their attic or crawlspace as a storage area, which compresses the insulation and drastically reduces its effectiveness. Also be on the lookout for missing or compressed areas of insulation, water damage, or signs of vermin. As for a professional approach, it all starts with a home insulation inspection, from which recommendations can be built. Every home is different and has various needs based on size, geographic location, and local business codes, and the best way to ensure proper identification of issues is an in-person home inspection. From there, the insulation consultant can give you a variety of options and suggestions to fit your price range and desired outcome or change.
If you can feel drafts in your home despite having doors and windows closed, it may mean your home insulation needs upgrading. Poor insulation work can allow drafts to still enter the home through poor air sealing, and fixing air leakage points is one of the most effective ways of improving your home insulation envelope.
What’s the Solution?
Depending on the source of the draft, you may be able to see results from a DIY-approach. Check to ensure that door sweeps and weather stripping along windows and doors are providing a proper air seal, and that any cracks or gaps are properly sealed with the appropriate type of caulking (remember – different types of caulking are appropriate for different use cases!). Some draft issues, however, are caused by improperly installed or ineffective insulation, and may not be easily solvable in a DIY-manner. If you’re unable to locate the source or cause of the drafts, it may be time to contact a professional.
Poor insulation doesn’t just cost you money in the winter months – if you see a spike in your energy usage or bills during the summer, it may be because your home is struggling to keep a consistent temperature and utilizing more energy to do so. Upgrades to your home’s insulation envelope may cost money up front, but they pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills, and increase the value of your home immediately. It pays to keep your home well insulated!
What’s the Solution?
You don’t have to choose between comfort or cost – improving your home’s insulation envelope will have the immediate effect of maintaining your desired temperature more consistently year-round, even in the hot Ontario summers. Additionally, as insulation upgrades are one of the few home upgrades that actually pays for itself over time, you can calculate your payback period from your energy bill savings!
Perhaps your home is – for the most part – comfortable, and your energy bills are about what you expect them to be. Sure it’s hot, but its summer time in Ontario, and your air conditioning or fans are working to keep the home comfortable. Nothing needs to be looked at, right?
Well, maybe! If your air conditioning or fans are working hard to keep your home comfortable, improvements to your home insulation envelope could help reduce your dependency on them, increasing their lifespan by helping your home keep its conditioned air a consistent temperature for longer periods of time. Even brand new homes can have room for improvement, and because our building codes are constantly being reviewed and upgraded, it’s unlikely your home is performing as best it could.
What’s the Solution?
It never hurts to get a professional opinion. Just as you need a checkup from the doctor, it’s best to have the same done for your home. You may be surprised at what improvements can be made, and how they can save you money, increase your home comfort, and increase the value of your home!
GNI has over 37 years of experience in Ontario, and a range of services to ensure that we are able to meet your exact expectations. From existing insulation removal to air leakage sealing, spray foam insulation to blown-in cellulose, or your basement to your attic, we’re the home insulation envelope professionals for you.
As always, our in-home insulation assessment is free and carries zero obligations. Our interest is in making your life better! You can schedule a free in-home assessment by calling 1-800-265-1914, or by submitting a quick web form to us.
There are several home reno rebate programs available to Ontario homeowners who are planning to do home renovations. All of the programs are designed to help homeowners make home renovations that will reduce energy consumption, and therefore reduce energy costs. Depending on the program, a home reno rebate is available for a variety of upgrades, retrofits, and renovations. With the right eligibility, homeowners can derive quite substantial rebates while improving overall home energy efficiency and measurably reducing seasonal energy costs. Continue reading →
To ensure the optimum in home energy efficiency, industry experts agree that insulation and air sealing are both key components. Hard to believe, but in most homes, some 30% of heating and air conditioning is wasted because of air leakage in the “building envelope”. For homeowners interested in improving home insulation in Toronto, it’s also important to seal air leaks at the same time. This would include addressing air leakage in the roof, the attic, and the basement – all areas that contribute to significant air leakage.