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Understanding Insulation Terminology Before Ordering Insulation

April 15, 2016

Understanding residential insulation is the key to making good purchasing decisions. And when a homeowner understands insulation terminology, it's an advantage when shopping for products or discussing options. Moreover, a good understanding of how insulation works will make for a very productive working relationship with an installer who's actually doing the work. And while its not at all necessary to get into technical jargon, it's good to have a fundamental understanding.

Air Ducts

Ductwork is typically hidden throughout a home and made of sheet metal. Air ducts carry heated or cooled air to most areas of the home. As well, returned air moves through the ducts to ensure proper indoor circulation.

Air Infiltration

This is the amount of air that leaks into and out of a building structure. Air infiltration occurs mainly through windows and doors that are poorly sealed, as well as holes, gaps, cracks and crevices in the building.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation comprises products like fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam that are industry approved for that use. These types of insulation products are installed into the attic cavity to as thermal resistance.

Batt Insulation

Insulation "batts" are semi-rigid units of insulation material that are typically manufactured from fiberglass. Often associated with those fluffy pink "batts", this product is available with or without a vapor barrier.

Blown Insulation

Blown insulation, also known as loose-fill, is used to insulate attics and walls where a consistent and uniform blanket of insulation is required for thermal insulation (mostly available in cellulose or fiberglass).

Building Codes

Building codes are designed to ensure quality, health and safety. Codes vary according to the type of construction, the materials being installed, and the building occupancy. Insulation work should be to code.

Concealed Spaces

These are spaces not readily visible in a finished part of a home. This may include duct shafts, ceiling spaces, and even crawl spaces. Insulating these areas can be vital for optimum thermal protection.

Conditioned Space

A conditioned space is an area that is supplied with conditioned air - in other words, air that has been heated or cooled (and sometimes humidified). Conditioned air is usually controlled through the HVAC.

Energy Codes

Energy codes (government defined) outline minimum insulation requirements relative to energy efficiency. The aim is to establish a direct correlation between the cost of energy and reasonable paybacks.

Home Energy Audit

This is professional assessment performed by a specialist who identifies the quality of a home's energy efficiency. Importantly, a home energy audit will recommend improvements to enhance efficiencies.

R-Value Measure

R-Value is the measurement of resistance to heat flow. Insulation is designed to resist heat flow. Simply put, the higher the R-Value of the insulation, the better the insulation's ability to resist the heat flow.

Spray Foam Insulation

Also known as Spray Polyurethane Foam, this product expands and hardens into an insulating envelope that creates an airtight, watertight seal throughout. The application ensures very high R-Values.

Fresh Air Ventilation

Ventilation essentially supplies fresh air and removes foul air. Proper ventilation creates positive airflow, which in turn allows a home to "breathe". Ventilation will also help to prevent moisture build-up.

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.

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

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.

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.


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™.


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