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5 Cost-Effective Retrofits that Will Enhance Existing Home Insulation

July 14, 2017

Across Canada, more and more homeowners are interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes. It’s a matter of reducing utility costs, improving indoor comfort, and protecting the environment. The bigger question is how to get it all done – and here, it’s matter of priority. For many professionals, the best approach is to make retrofits that will enhance the existing home insulation. In this way, issues like air leakage and air sealing can be addressed effectively.

Older homes are typically drafty and poorly insulated. This directly contributes to high levels of air leakage and higher energy bills in winter and summer. And while newer homes have better insulation and better airtightness, there are still a good number of retrofits that can be initiated to enhance existing home insulation. What’s most important is to hire qualified home energy specialists to do the work (recommended by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation).

Attic Insulation Retrofit

In the attic, one of the most cost effective retrofits is to top up existing insulation. However, even newly installed home insulation will not perform optimally unless the attic is properly air sealed and ventilated. This is where an air barrier/moisture barrier is essential to energy efficiency.

Windows/Doors Retrofit

Ideally, replacing existing windows and doors will make a big difference in energy efficiency. For most homeowners this would entail double or triple-glazed units, argon-filled, and with low-conductivity frames. Here again, wall-window air sealing is key to stopping air leakage.

 Wall Insulation Retrofit

Because every home is built differently, insulation retrofits to “above-grade” walls will differ. Beyond the specific home insulation product that will be installed, it’s absolutely critical to install an effective air barrier/moisture barrier to stop air leaks and prevent moisture buildup.

Foundation Wall Retrofit

Where possible, and where the budget permits, re-insulating foundation walls (“below-grade”) can dramatically improve energy efficiency. In a basement, for example, high performance home insulation and appropriate air sealing can make the entire home far more energy efficient.

Basement Floor Retrofit

Clearly, this is one of the major retrofits. Insulating the basement floor will substantially enhance indoor comfort, while reducing both winter and summer utility costs. Done professionally, this type of insulation retrofit may be the ideal opportunity when doing significant home renovations.

Home insulation experts will generally encourage homeowners to upgrade their insulation and air sealing while doing other home renovations. It’s an ideal opportunity to combine the work and enjoy a more cost-effective experience. When walls are down or exposed, for instance, this is an ideal time to add insulation and install an air barrier – both of which will enhance the overall energy efficiency in the home. Needless to say, going with a professional approach is preferable.

For homeowners focused on improving home energy efficiency, the insulation experts at Great Northern Insulation offer an easy online tool to move things forward. By using “My EnergyXpert”, homeowners can assess their home’s performance and identify areas of improvement. With GNI, cost effective retrofits can be implemented to enhance a home’s energy efficiency. For more details visit www.gni.ca or contact Great Northern Insulation directly at 1-800-265-1914.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


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HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

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Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

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- with foam mastersTM

January, 2021 regulatory phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with the introduction of WALLTITE CM01. Using hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) with lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to HFCs, WALLTITE CM01 is the next generation of spray foam insulation.



Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


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Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


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The Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program offers up to $10,000 in home reno rebates – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


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Climatizer Cellulose


CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

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