Is your home’s insulation adequate and optimal? That’s the question you must ask yourself, especially if you want to reduce your heating bill this winter or avoid other inconveniences in your home.
It is important to understand how to evaluate your home’s insulation to ensure it is properly insulated. Several steps are available to help you succeed.
Let’s take a look at 3 important steps required to minimize heat loss in your home.
1. Avoid surprises (have your home tested)
After wondering about the insulating capacities of your home, it is important to conduct a proper investigation before taking action.
First, keep an eye out for early warning signs of improper insulation in your home:
- excessive condensation
- mould on the walls
- some rooms colder than others
- ice accumulation near the roof
There are several tests available if you think you are dealing with a poor insulation issue:
A blower door test measures the energy performance and air tightness of buildings. It is conducted using equipment that includes a fan and an airtight nylon fabric, installed over the main exterior door of your home during the test. All other openings in your home are also sealed.
The blower door determines the number of air volume changes in your home each hour. To accomplish this, the air extractor causes an atmospheric pressure differential of 50 kPa. The lower the number, the more airtight your home is and the less energy you will need to heat it.
Following the test, it is possible to compare the energy performance of your home with standard levels. Air infiltrations will then be easier to detect, and you will be able to determine whether or not you need to address the situation.
If making your home so airtight has you concerned about air quality, you may want to consider installing an air exchanger.
This thermal imaging test allows you to determine the temperature differences of the exterior wall surfaces using an infrared camera. This makes it easier to detect the colder and warmer areas of your walls.
Since infrared technology can identify the temperature fluctuations of the walls in your home, thermography can also detect water infiltration and pinpoint any moisture issues. This test gives you a much better idea of your home’s condition.
If this test reveals any insulation problems, recommendations can be made by a professional to establish priority levels on the steps that have to be taken to remedy the issue.
2. Take action by insulating your home
You have finally decided to insulate your home properly. But before you start your project, it is important to understand several important steps and have good terms of reference so that everything is done properly.
The first step is to be aware that caulking the air leakage gaps in your home is the most economical and profitable first step.
After testing the airtightness of your home, you need to know which areas of your home to prioritize. Below are the most important areas to check, in order of importance:
- Roof insulation: most of an uninsulated home’s heat loss occurs in the roof. One of the main reasons is because heat rises because of gravity, and has a tendency to accumulate in the roof rather than being distributed evenly throughout your home. Roof insulation thus becomes the best investment you can make after ensuring the airtightness of your home.
- Wall insulation: above-ground exterior walls are the second most important cause of heat loss in your home. Given that this type of work is very expensive, it should only be done when renovating a room or with a view to a long-term investment.
- Floor insulation: if you want to maximize your energy savings, you can also insulate the floors, which comprise the building’s outer shell.
In addition, there are various interesting programs to assist you in reducing the cost of your renovation projects, including the RénoVert tax credit.
Launched in 2016 by the Government of Quebec, this program offers you tax credits to carry out your projects that reduce energy consumption. Its goal is to improve the quality of buildings and also to promote economic development.
However, only consider this program if you have already planned to do major work on your home. This will allow you to take advantage of significant tax benefits.
Independent advisors can come to your home for an evaluation and determine what is the most cost effective to properly insulate the home. Don’t hesitate to call upon their services.
3. Use the new tools available to you
Seeking the help of outside experts in the field allows you to benefit from high-performance technological innovations.
For example, a recent innovation like AeroBarrier sealer improves and simplifies air sealing for your home. This highly volatile product can stick to all gaps and block all openings, even the smallest ones. It is now possible to apply it as soon as your house is built after having insulated it.
This is just one example from among many new technologies that allow you to reduce your energy bill and avoid many unpleasant surprises.
General contractor: your ally when it comes time to properly insulate your home
Now you know the basics of insulating your home, but it is nevertheless necessary to call upon a qualified team of general contractors, who will be able to advise you and conduct the appropriate tests to ensure the best results.