It might be mild in many parts of the country, but do not be fooled. Another Canadian winter is soon upon us, and we can expect to feel the first cold snap nip at our noses and toes — and our wallets. The good news is, there is a way to stay comfortable and healthy in our homes and protect our finances over the next few months. A well-insulated home not only keeps heat indoors so we can avoid putting on extra layers of clothing, but it also reduces the heating load so we can save money on our energy bills.
It is not yet too late to assess the insulation levels in your home’s building envelope (i.e. walls and attic), or get an energy audit and address any shortcomings with new insulation. Drafty rooms, cold spots on walls and floors, or high energy bills are good indicators that you could benefit from adding insulation.
“This is about more than just reducing your heating costs,” warns Jay Nordenstrom, Executive Director of NAIMA Canada, an association representing manufacturers producing mineral fibre products which include fiberglass and mineral wool insulation. “It’s about being comfortable and protecting your home from excessive heat loss and condensation-related damage. If warm air escapes into your attic where it can build up and condense on a cold surface, you risk having water damage to your ceilings.”
NAIMA Canada has developed a range of free tools to help homeowners save energy and deal with issues like drafty rooms or cold spots. These tools include a checklist for Inspecting Insulation Jobs, three how-to videos and an insulation comparison guide for DIY renovators.
Remember, faced with a minor power outage, a properly insulated and sealed building envelope can effectively retain heat and keep people and water pipes warm until the power returns.
Nordenstrom encourages Canadians to take advantage of incentive and rebate programs offered by governments and local utilities.