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Ditch the Duvet: How Insulation Makes Your Home Cozier

December 07, 2021

Ditch the Duvet - How Insulation Makes Your Home Cozier


Do you have to resort to big bulky sweaters, blankets and duvets to stay warm ‒ even when the heat is on? Have you got a room in your home that’s freezing in winter and hot in summer, no matter what you do? Installing insulation could make a big difference.

But how does insulation work, exactly? How does it keep the warmth in and the brr out? We asked Bernie, our Training and Development Specialist to get a clearer picture of how it keeps your home more comfortable all year round.

Insulation 101

What insulates your home isn’t the material itself: it’s the air/gas that’s trapped in the material. Whether you’re using blown cellulose, hemp batts, fiberglass, or spray-foam insulation, these products all work by trapping air/gas in the material. If you’ve ever seen someone making cotton candy, that’s how bat insulation is created: instead of sugar, it uses liquid glass. So there’s lots of room for air between all those fine strands.

R-value explained

R-value is a measure of how quickly heat/cold transfers through the material. (Insulation doesn’t stop heat or cold from moving through it, it just slows the effect.) The higher the R-value, the slower the transfer rate. High R-value material is thicker: an R31 bat would probably be 9”, while an R12 would be more like 3.5”.

The insulation that’s closest to the exterior wall traps cold air, and the part that’s closest to the interior holds onto the warm air. The cold air moves inwards and the warm air moves out, meeting in the middle. The closer you are to the inside wall, the warmer the trapped air will be, and the closer you are to the outside wall...well, you get the picture.

Spray foam works using the same principle: it contains microscopic gas bubbles (like an Aero chocolate bar). It may look solid, but it’s not the actual foam that’s insulating the house, it’s the trapped gas. Without getting too deep into the science of energy flow, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that heat always moves from hot to cold. With insulation slowing this energy transfer, the higher the R-value of the insulation, the less you will feel the cold when you’re near an exterior wall: that’s what’s keeping you warm and cozy.

Want to dive deeper into the science? Read this explainer on “How heat moves.”

Getting the most bang for your buck: the 4 easiest ways to make your home cozier

  1. Insulate your attic first. Air-seal any pot lights and plumbing/wiring penetration with caulking or canister foam, then blow in insulation. This is the fastest, easiest way to make the biggest difference in the comfort of your home.


  2. Stop air infiltration from below. Basement floor joists can lead to as much heat loss as all your doors and windows combined: insulating the joistline space between your foundation wall and the main floor is an easy, inexpensive fix.


  3. Stop air leakage into the house. Caulk baseboards and windows, repair gaskets and seals on entry doors. Don’t overlook window trim: caulk it tight against the wall. Ask us how we can find air leakage paths in your home.


  4. Insulate exposed areas. If you’re not renovating, you probably don’t want to start tearing down walls and ceilings to add insulation. But adding insulation in easy-to-access places like unfinished basement walls and rim-joists, crawlspace walls and rim-joists can help.


Need more ideas on making your home cozier this winter? Give us a call to find out how we can help you ditch the duvet and make your house comfier all year long.

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


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

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.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

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

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- 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.


3MTM products.
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.


Enbridge Incentives

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


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

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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