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Common Insulation Defects Identified by an Energy Audit

May 16, 2016

Defects in home insulation are symptomatic - homeowners can feel the effects in every part of the home and from season to season. In some cases, there may be defects in the existing insulation, while in other cases, the installation itself may be defective. For the homeowner, it means rooms that are uncomfortable; heating bills that are high; and air conditioning that just doesn't cool. Symptoms or not, the best way to confirm a home's energy efficiency and the performance level of the insulation is to do an energy audit. A comprehensive energy audit will accurately assess how the home is using energy. And while suggested improvements are aimed at remedying the defects, the actual retrofit work must be planned and expedited to ensure optimum results. A professional energy auditor uses various tools and techniques to evaluate the air tightness, insulation value, and energy efficiency of a home. Quite often, thermal imaging cameras are used to provide important data: like areas of inadequate insulation; air leaks through walls, ceilings, and roofs; and moisture accumulation around plumbing and ductwork. Results are accurate. Amongst other tasks, energy audits are designed to identify pockets of missing insulation, while isolating areas of heat loss. Both of these indicate that insulation is insufficient. In fact, the results of a thermal image can actually determine where additional insulation is required or if existing insulation is installed inadequately. The findings are vital to making necessary improvements. In some homes, an energy audit can be quite revealing, showing serious heat loss where a roof meets the attic floor. Here, substantial heat loss may be a result of deteriorated insulation or even inadequate sealing of the roof cavity. Whatever the reason, the insulated attic is not preventing air leakage and is therefore allowing heat to escape in winter and creep in during the summer. Another common finding during an energy audit is gaps and openings that allow for air to flow in and out of the "building envelope". This is where effective sealing is suggested as a remedy, and where spray foam insulation is highly recommended to do the job. A spray foam application will seal every crack and crevice, providing maximum airtightness wherever the foam is applied. Energy auditors also find homes where blown insulation has settled and lost some of its R-Value. This is not uncommon in older houses, and may be common in newer homes where the materials were just poorly installed. Although adding more insulation may be a viable remedy, some audits suggest improvements to the overall ventilation of the space (more vents or better locations). Interestingly, energy audits often show that the HVAC system (heating/air conditioning) is not performing at peak. And although this may well indicate equipment problems, many insulation contractors find that once the "building envelope" is better sealed, better insulated, and better ventilated, the equipment performs better when heating in winter and cooling in summer. The real benefit of a good energy audit is the prospect of making improvements. And the results will quickly show in energy savings throughout the year.

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 2022.


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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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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).

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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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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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