Insulation

Here’s an interesting one. This is a topic of much discussion in the green building community, the building official community and the home owner community. What insulation should I use to keep me warm (or cool)? There are many insulation products available, so here is a quick primer on them.

  • Cellulose

Cellulose

Cellulose insulation is commonly used in attics. It’s applied via a blower and hose to blow loose insulation into the attic, which settles over time and becomes a blanket for your house. It also has been gaining popularity as a dense pack application for wall usage. Though it has a lower R-Value, it does significantly reduce (not eliminate) air movement through it. The trick is to ensure it’s density reaches proper levels and the moisture barrier on the outside is sufficient so as not to allow settling.

  • Fibreglass Insulation

Fibreglass

If that picture doesn’t make you itch… Fibreglass insulation has actually come a long way for its ease of application. It is an economically priced option with a higher rated R-Value than cellulose, but allows air currents within your walls. It also has the option of being a blown in product, but requires more depth to achieve the same R value as blown-in cellulose. Fibreglass is more widely recognized my local codes than dense-pack cellulose.

  • Roxul

Roxul

Roxul is a bit of a hybrid between Cellulose and fibreglass. It has better air retardant qualities than fibreglass and higher R-value than cellulose. Where it suffers is its price tag. It comes in as more expensive than either cellulose or fibreglass. It’s very fire/pest retardant and good for sound dampening.

  • Spray Foam

Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation has some very beneficial qualities. It is the most expensive insulation up-front to install but has benefits the others do no. First and foremost it is a complete vapour and air barrier (when correctly installed). It’s R-value is suggested to suffer at lower temperatures, though should maintain about an R6.1/ inch (compared to about 4.1 for roxul, 4 for fibreglass and 3.8 for dense pack cellulose).

When selecting and installing insulation in your house, it is important to realize that your house is a system. All the components should be designed and picked to work together in harmony to give you the most comfortable home possible. As always, installation is the most important part of the equation. A carefully installed fibreglass batt system will beat a poorly installed spray foam system every time. Come chat with us to find the most trusted installers in town!

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