1.800.265.1914
Call Now1.800.265.1914
Want Help Figuring Out If You're Eligible? Call Us at 1.800.265.1914 or Submit an Inquiry Here

Next Generation Spray Foam

On January 1, 2021, Environment and Climate Change Canada will prohibit any person to manufacture various foam products where a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agent is used, in a decision made as part of Canada’s commitment to The Montreal Protocol. This affects some types of insulation, including certain types of spray foam insulation that Great Northern Insulation installs across Ontario. It goes without saying that that’s a lot of complicated information to take in, so we’ll be breaking down what exactly a blowing agent is, what types of blowing agents are allowed, and what this change means for Canadian homeowners and home builders.

To understand what a hydrofluorocarbon blowing agent is, and what alternative will be replacing it, it is important to know what role a blowing agent plays in the creation and installation of spray foam insulation.

Image displaying the spray polyurethane foam installation process.

What is a "blowing agent"?

Unlike other insulation types that are manufactured in a factory before being transported to a job site and directly installed, spray polyurethane foam insulation (commonly referred to as spray foam insulation) is a manufactured-on-site form of building insulation. As you may know, spray foam insulation is best installed by a trained professional using proper protective equipment. This is because your trained insulation professional is creating the spray foam insulation on-site and installing it in place by combining two chemical components at specific ratios. Just as a teacher knows certain chemicals to create an impressive reaction in teaching chemistry, a trained insulation professional can combine an isocyanate and resin (the two types of chemicals that create spray polyurethane foam insulation) to create a long-lasting, effective form of insulation.

This on-site manufacturing process is the “spray” in spray foam insulation, and a big reason for its popularity and effectiveness. Unlike fiberglass batts or rigid foam board insulation, spray foam insulation is applied directly to a surface as a liquid and expands to fill every crack and crevice before curing. That expansion phase is caused by the last piece of the chemistry puzzle that is spray foam insulation – the blowing agent. A blowing agent is an additional gaseous ingredient that causes the sprayed foam insulation to expand up to 30 times its original volume and fill with ‘bubbles’ (otherwise known as ‘closed cells’) that add insulative value and rigidity to the foam.

Currently, many spray foam insulation types utilize a blowing agent that is a compound of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon, known as a hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs). As part of the Kigali Amendment to The Montreal Protocol, Environment and Climate Change Canada has mandated that HFCs will become prohibited from use on January 1, 2021, and must instead be replaced by a compound with a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Why were HFCs used to begin with?

Hydrofluorocarbons are not the first blowing agent to be utilized in foam insulation products. In fact, HFC blowing agents were created to be a more environmentally friendly blowing agent! Blowing agents have undergone constant improvements since the invention of rigid foam insulation in 1940s, with each revision aiming to be a safer, more environmentally friendly improvement over the last.

As part of this constant improvement, Environment and Climate Change Canada is transitioning away from HFCs and requiring individuals and companies to utilize a newer blowing agent that has less of an impact on the environment through its Global Warming Potential. For most foam insulation products, this means using hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) as their blowing agent. HFOs as a blowing agent have zero ozone depletion potential and an extremely low global warming potential, meaning this next generation of spray foam insulation products are far more environmentally friendly to produce.

Graph of blowing agents utilized in polyurethane insulation products through Canadian history.

How Does This Affect Canadian Homes?

If you have an existing home that was built with spray foam insulation installed by Great Northern Insulation that used HFCs as the blowing agent, your home was built with the best possible spray foam insulation technology available at that time. Regardless of the blowing agent, spray foam insulation still provides the best possible insulative value per square inch.

If you are looking to build a new home or renovate your existing home with spray foam insulation after January 1, 2021, the spray foam insulation used will still provide the best insulative value per square inch, but it must be installed using HFOs as a blowing agent for a drastically lower global warming potential to reduce global warming impact.

How Does This Affect Great Northern Insulation?

Great Northern Insulation has been a leading Canadian owned-and-operated insulation company since 1980 and has always kept up to date with the latest industry updates and products. GNI has worked closely with Canadian insulation manufacturers to ensure that the phasedown of HFCs is one that is as smooth as possible. In fact, we are already trialing or utilizing spray foam insulation types that use HFOs as a blowing agent right now to ensure we are ready for January 2021!

Just as other forms of technology receive improvements and revisions to be better and more efficient, so too does the technology that creates your home’s insulation. This change from HFCs to HFOs as a blowing agent in spray foam insulation ensures that Great Northern Insulation and the spray foam products we utilize continue to provide the best possible insulation solution for your building, while also contributing to a more energy-efficient, environmentally conscious Canada.

Step 1 of 3
Continue

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

Sarnia/Lambton

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

BBB

Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars

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.

Lowes

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.

GreenGuard

The GREENGUARD®
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.

EcoLogo

ECOLOGOTM:
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.

3M

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

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

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.

Renomark

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

eRenovate

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!