The Effectiveness of Good Insulation

The following information has been retrieved from CMHC's webiste and is quite useful. Insulation may be overlooked during our day to day lives but is crucial to the efficiency of our homes. Poor insulation will let the cold and the heat in, which in turn leaves us less comfortable than desired and also costs us more in heating and cooling.

Ensuring the effieciency of insulation seems an obvious place to start when looking to increase the efficiency of our homes in general.

Figure 1 Effective thermal resistance: R 16.7 (RSI 2.94)


Insulating Your House

While previous generations may have been content to live in drafty houses, most people now want comfortable warm houses. A healthy house today is well sealed, well insulated and properly ventilated.


A well-insulated house is a bit like dressing for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.


Signs of Insulation Problems

In the winter


•walls cold to touch

•cold floors

•high heating costs

•uneven heating levels within building

•mold growing on walls

In the summer


•uncomfortably hot inside air

•high cooling costs

•ineffectiveness of air conditioning system

•mold growing in basement

If your home is poorly insulated, it usually pays to upgrade the insulation. If you are building a new home, it makes sense to insulate well now, so you don't need to retrofit later.



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Joanne Latter

Joanne Latter

CENTURY 21 Westcountry Realty Ltd.
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