Winterizing Your Home Is Easy With Proper InsulationWinterizing Your Home Is Easy With Proper Insulation

Surviving the winter months in Canada is not easy. Amidst the thick snow and freezing temperatures, your home should be the perfect place to enjoy much-needed warmth. It is essential to make your home winter-ready so that you do not end up with annoying drafts, icy floors and uneconomical energy bills. And, what’s the simple way of trapping heat and preventing unnecessary heat loss? Insulation! By insulating your home, you can expect to avoid the harsh winter weather.

Insulating your Home for the Colder Days Ahead!

Insulating the attic is not the only way of preventing heat loss. As a homeowner, you should focus on all the areas of your home. Here are a few ways in which you can insulate your home:

1. Attic

Because the attic is cramped and dark, it is wise to hire an insulation service. If you live in colder areas, you need to insulate the attic for preventing energy loss. The cost of attic insulation varies on the area of the attic and the type of insulation method. Usually, you will have to pay $2100 for batt insulation (fiberglass or cellulose).

2. Chimney

Most chimneys have an inner liner to keep the heat of flue gases inside the chimney. If the liner is damaged, you will have to re-install it. It allows you to avoid drafts and reduce wastage of fuel. Usually, the installation of chimney liner costs between $2500-$5000. But, for an accurate estimate, work with a chimney liner installation service.

3. Basement

In many old homes, you will find that the basement is left uninsulated. So, when you are insulating an old basement, do not just focus on the cold floors. Consider using rigid foam insulation for insulating the exterior basement walls. Also, insulate the basement ceiling. The price of insulation will be $2000-$8000 depending on the size of the basement.

4. Exterior Walls

Insulating exterior walls is pretty inexpensive. If you start from the exterior side, you will have to remove siding panels to blow insulation. On the other hand, you will have to tackle the drywall if you decide to insulate from the interior. A DIY blown-in insulation project will cost $500.

5. Ceiling

Many homes do not have insulated ceilings. Usually, homes with multiple additions fail to have proper insulation. If you want to insulate the ceiling, there are many options with you including fiberglass batts and foam boards. You can use blown-in insulation to strengthen the existing insulation as well. You can enjoy better ceiling insulation for $700-$1500.

6. Floors

If you want to avoid cold floors, insulating them is a wise option. Insulation batts and rolls are few of the easiest and effective ways of trapping heat. Rolled insulation is available in different lengths. And, batt insulation comes in pre-cut sections to suit your needs. Because of its low cost, many homeowners prefer to use it. For a 500 square feet area, you may have to spend $500-$700.

7. Doors and Windows

Before insulating the doors and windows, you need to fix the air leaks. Once you prevent air leakage, it’s time to fill the small gaps with spray foam insulation. You can find a wide variety of spray foam insulation kits in local home improvement stores. You will be able to get one for $10. Even a window insulation film is an option with you.

8. Vents and Ducts

In order to prepare for the winter, do not ignore the vents and ducts in your home. You must seal the ducts that are present in unconditioned areas of your home. You need insulation material that can easily fit the ducts. So, you should buy pipe wrap insulation products or special ductwork insulation sleeves that are available with the home improvement stores.

9. Pipes and Faucets

You can install frost-proof outdoor faucets and buy faucet covers to prevent it from freezing in winter. But you also need to take care of the pipes. Water pipes can freeze and burst so you may need pipe sleeve or pipe wrap insulation. If it gets very cold, you may need to buy electric heat cable kit to solve the problem of freezing pipes.

Note: The prices mentioned above are estimates. And, your cost may change depending on the complexity and the scale of the project. To ascertain a more accurate estimate, please contact an insulation installation expert.

How to select an Insulation Material for your Home?

For choosing an insulation material, you need to consider its R-value. It is the material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. Higher the R-value, higher would be the material’s effectiveness in preventing energy loss. Different materials have different R-values. Vacuum insulated panels have one of the highest R-values but they are very expensive. On the other hand, the most common insulation method involves the use of fiberglass batts. It has a lower R-value but it is sufficient for insulating walls and floors.

All areas of your house may not need the same type of insulation. Attic insulation requires using a material with R-30 to R-60 value. And, R-4 is sufficient for windows. So, spend money wisely after understanding the R-value of insulation materials in advance. Remember that you can control the cost of insulating your home by making informed choices.

Adding Insulation to your Home: Smart Work is the Key

Usually, homeowners believe insulation is a one-time project. They believe that a home doesn’t require new insulation ever. And, that’s where they go wrong. You need to assess the requirements of your home regularly. It is because alterations in weather, heating needs and property conditions can change the insulation needs of your home. An energy audit is necessary to know which part of your home needs insulation. Conducting an energy assessment is one of the best ways of reducing energy costs. An HVAC technician will thoroughly check the furnace, ductwork, attic, basement and every part of your home for drafts and air leaks. He will also ascertain the condition of weather stripping and caulking on the doors and windows. Once the audit is done, you will have a clear picture of the areas that need your attention.

So, do not make a hasty renovation decision. Understand your needs and the requirements of your home, before installing insulation. Remember to hire professional technicians to ensure correct installation.

by Christine Delongte
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