Call Now1.800.265.1914

Understanding Insulation R-Value For Homeowners in Toronto

September 30, 2017

Insulation, whether installed in the attic or basement, is industry rated by R-Value. This is a scale of measurement that specifies “thermal resistance” – in other words, how well an insulating material will hold back heat. In simple terms, the higher the insulation R-Value, the more thermal resistance.

Just by example:

  • A bare concrete wall (basement foundation) rates at an insulation R-Value of about R-1
  • Newly insulated attic rates at an insulation R-Value of R-40 or more.
  • Insulation R-Value is proportional to the insulating material being used. It means that different products require different densities to deliver the same R-Value.

For instance, in order to deliver insulation R-Value of R-30, fiberglass batts would differ in thickness and density than loose-fill insulation or spray foam. Also important to note are the recommended R-Values that should be installed in various part of the home. Reliable industry figures allow for the correct installation. 

Nominal R-Values and Effective R-Values

Nominal R-Values are the so-called “advertised” values, which estimate the performance level of a particular insulating product. Effective R-Values are the actual performance levels, once a product has been installed, and under real life conditions. Here, it’s not uncommon for a product to have an advertised R-Value and perform at a lower level during the cold months of winter.

Unfortunately for homeowners, the difference between estimated performance (the nominal R-Value) and actual performance (the effective R-Value) could be dramatic. Without an insulation expert on hand, homeowners could be in for a surprise. But with the right type of professional advice, insulation products, installation methods, and performance levels can be better defined.

Many variables affect insulation R-Value

Regardless of the product used, insulation material performs differently when installed in an assembly of wood, concrete, or steel. As such, R-Values will also vary. More relevant is air leakage – this can compromise insulation performance, and therefore reduce R-Value. In fact, a poorly sealed attic cavity or basement crawl space can completely throw off insulation performance.

Moisture-laden air is also an enemy of insulation, reducing the effective R-Values measurably. Here again, it’s important that an installation space be totally airtight. Industry professionals insist on airtightness to prevent air movement, block air leakage, and stop moisture from accumulating. All things considered, insulation performance is dependent on many factors.

Professional home insulation with Great Northern Insulation

For the average homeowner, it’s sufficient to understand the basics of R-Values. Project wise, however, it’s important to have a professional contractor managing the installation. Insulation experts have extensive product knowledge, and extensive installation experience. They can assess and interpret R-Values and performance in order to deliver short and long-term benefits.

For homeowners in Toronto, and throughout the Golden Horseshoe, Great Northern Insulation can manage an entire insulation project from start to finish. GNI are professionals in the field, offering homeowners quality products, superior installations, and a satisfaction guarantee. To find out more, call GNI at 1-800-265-1914, or visit the company website at www.gni.ca .

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

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

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

GTA East

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

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA & 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


259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.


Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

Best of 2019

For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2020 Award

Best of 2020

For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.


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

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

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

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.


Gold Certification promise

GREENGUARD® Gold Certification ensures the strictest criteria for low-level chemical emissions. Certified products are safe for individuals with sensitivities (children/elderly) and safe for use in school environments and health-care facilities. The product certification is widely recognized by the LEED Rating System (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


Multi-attribute product certification

ECOLOGOTM is an accredited sign of environmental performance – holistic – green – sustainable - and compliant with strict, third party standards. Life cycle criteria for product certification may include manufacturing and operations; health and environment; product materials and performance; and product innovation, development, and management.


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).


Baeumler ApprovedTM
Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

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 Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – 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.

Please, enter a valid value

Incorrect values!