When we think of insulation, we often think of an expense while it’s more of an investment. Did you know that heating mobilizes more than 60% of residential energy consumption in Canada? So why heat the outside? Of course, reducing the electricity bill is one of the advantages of having a well-insulated house, but there are many others.
- Reduce Your Energy Costs.
Let’s start with the attic because it’s the most accessible and easiest place to insulate. In fact, poor attic insulation can account for up to 25% heat loss. This energy drain is caused primarily by thermal bridging. This can be remedied by adding 6 to 8 inches of cellulose over the original insulation. In fact, the cellulose made from recycled and shredded newspaper covers the air spaces and reduces heating costs by 20 to 30%.
Another common insulation problem is in the basement, specifically in crawl spaces or basements that are getting old. There’s a constant freshness and a smell of damp earth. This is mainly caused by poor insulation and the presence of humidity and/or mildew in the walls. To address these issues in crawl spaces, you can cut the moisture by covering the floor with a polythene vapour barrier and insulating the foundation walls and rim joists with a waterproof weatherstripping called sprayed urethane. Install 2 electric forced-air heating units and your floors will always be warm.
If your basement walls are accessible, add a minimum of 2 inches of sprayed urethane and your heating costs will be greatly reduced.
- Get Better Resale Value.
A house that costs less to heat in the winter and to keep cool in the summer is a more attractive house in the eyes of a potential buyer. Indeed, the amount of electricity is one of the important elements that weigh in the difference. By providing effective insulation on a house that is starting to age, you also indicate to the next owner that he will not have to invest in this element. Beyond the financial benefits, there are also health benefits because a tight and well-insulated house benefits from better air quality all year-round. This again increases the value of the property.
- Avoid Mildew and Humidity.
Dampness and mildew are probably among a home’s worst enemies. Very high humidity caused by a lack of insulation is the number one factor that allows mildew to grow and proliferate. Mildew that releases spores can then lead to health problems such as coughing, shortness of breath, asthma, allergic reactions and irritation of the nose, eyes and throat. In addition, moisture and mildew destroy the materials in your home, which can cost you in repairs of all kinds. A well-insulated, airtight and watertight home will keep you away from these problems.
- Enjoy Warm Floors in the Winter.
Damp and cold basement floors can be a thing of the past by effectively insulating the basement concrete slab with sprayed urethane when building a new home. This same cold floor phenomenon can also occur on the first storey if a crawl space is under the floor. Since this service cellar is filled with air and moisture from the earth, heat losses are high. Again, properly insulating the crawl space will allow you to enjoy comfortable floors without having to constantly put on slippers.
- Benefit From a Well-Insulated House That is Cooler in Summer.
The benefits of good insulation are not only felt during the cold season. In the summer, if your attic is poorly insulated, heat will seep into your home. In fact, the power of the sun’s rays can heat the roof shingles to a temperature of over 60 ̊C. This heat will radiate into the attic and throughout the house through poorly insulated attic holes. Farewell fresh air! Your air conditioner will need to be running at full capacity to cool the hot air that has leaked in. Air conditioning will cost you a lot more than if you had an air leak proof attic.
- Breathe Better Air.
Did you know that adding a vapour barrier to the basement helps block soil gases like radon? This gas, which is difficult to detect, is responsible for 16% of lung cancers. A well-insulated home helps prevent poor air quality and the possible onset of lung disease. Other benefits include reduced drafts, adequate humidity levels (around 45%) and a healthy, mould-free indoor environment.
In summary, the benefits of having a well-insulated and airtight home go far beyond energy savings. It also improves the health and comfort of your whole family. Moreover, if you have a construction project, it is advisable to devote 3 to 5% of your budget to insulation.
If you have any questions about improving your home’s insulation, please speak with one of our experts.
This article was originally published on May 17, 2022 by Jocelyn St-Pierre
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