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How Does Heat Insulation Trap Heat?

November 24, 2015

For many homeowners, the scenario is familiar - sitting in the living room in winter, feeling chilly, and bumping up the heat. It does the job in the short term, but it's not productive and it's far from efficient. The better scenario is to provide the home with proper heat insulation, and in fact, the more heat insulation, the better. There is far less energy loss, there is more comfort, and fuel bills are reduced. The good news is that heat insulation can do it all "under one roof". Without getting overly technical, heat can travel, and it can escape from the home in a variety of ways. The professionals refer to this as "heat flow", and for the majority of homeowners it's not desirable. A typical home experiences heat loss from the doors and windows; the roof and attic; even the walls and floors. And heat insulation is designed to trap heat, prevent it from escaping, and thus keep the indoor environment warm and cozy throughout the winter. The scenario for the "chilly" homeowner is simple: indoor heat escapes; it gets cold inside; the heat gets bumped up; and the utility bills rise. It's totally counterproductive, and it's clearly more preferable to provide appropriate heat insulation. One of the best things about home insulation is that it pays for itself. Even with a hefty, upfront project cost, the utility savings (during the winter months and summer months) will easily pay down the original investment. Heat insulation is designed specifically to stop heat from escaping. And with so many options for heat to escape, homeowners must prioritize where heat insulation will best serve the home.

  • The attic is known to be a primary source for heat loss. Heat insulation will ensure that the space is sealed and airtight. And along with the appropriate ventilation, the home will benefit from both energy efficiency and comfort.
  • For interior and exterior walls, a custom "drill and fill" technique provides heat insulation to insulate the wall cavities. This technique (installed from inside or outside the home) provides much enhanced levels of insulation.
  • Heat insulation in the basement is one of the most effective. A product like spray foam serves as an insulating envelope, air barrier, and vapour barrier all at once. It's a "system" that ensures both comfort and utility savings.
  • For attached garages, heat insulation will prevent heat loss from the house itself, as well as a "bonus room" located above the garage. Here again, spray foam insulation can provide seasonal comfort and annual savings.
  • Beyond the more conventional applications, heat insulation also includes draft proofing. With the right products and installations, draft proofing provides worthwhile benefits throughout the home, and noticeable savings.

Whatever the insulation product or the installation technique, a heat insulation project should be done right the first time. It's a home improvement project that will deliver more benefits than other, more cosmetic, home projects. Best of all, the annual savings on heating and cooling costs will quickly "pay down" the initial project investment.

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