As Canadian homeowners we endure a long, cold winter. It seems most of our efforts are spent trying to keep warm, increase our home’s efficiencies for heat retention and lower our energy costs. Now that winter is finally behind us and the sun is shining hot, it’s time to switch our focus to keep our homes cool and comfortable. You can control your indoor temperature, reduce the strain on your air conditioning system, and increase its life by upgrading your insulation and ventilation system. The benefit of this home improvement is that it will also increase your efficiencies in the chilling winter months.
Upgraded insulation in your attic keeps your house warm in cold temperatures. Likewise, a well insulated home will keep cool air inside the house and block the hot air from seeping through the attic. R values and RSI values are a way of labeling the effectiveness of insulating materials. The higher the R value the more resistance the material is against the movement of heat. Each provincial building code has its own R or RSI value for new construction; ensuring newer homes are performing at maximum efficiency.
If you own an older home and have never considered your insulation, you should take a peak in your attic. Chances are you’ve inherited older insulation and may find a few inches of wood chip or newspaper-like material. These older materials offer an R value of 4 to 8. In Alberta, Climate Change Central suggests your attic’s R value should be an R50.
Insulation installation companies from our trusted directory offer leading insulating products. Unless your current attic insulation is Zonolite or Vermiculite, which contain asbestos and require removal, they are able to blow environmentally friendly, high performance insulation over top of your current insulation.
Jet Stream Max Insulation
Jet Stream MAX Fiber Glass blowing insulation is made by a company called Knauf Insulation. It’s an unbounded, virgin fibrous glass insulation that has optimal thermal properties and can easily be blown into hard to reach areas. This high performance insulation is formaldehyde-free, creates a great sound barrier between the floor and ceiling, durable and resistant to mildew and rot, is fire resistant and non-combustible and incredibly effective in blocking heat transfer. Jet Stream MAX will not settle like cellulose products and will retain its R value for years to come.
Pro Pink Insulation
Pro Pink blown insulation is made of virgin pink fiberglass insulation made partly of recycled glass and it’s not itchy. It is widely used in new construction and in existing homes. Fiber glass insulation is non-combustible and non-corrosive by nature, will not settle or lose its energy saving abilities over time, and does not require additional fire-retardant chemicals that can be harmful to your pipes and wires. It doesn’t rot, promote fungus or mold growth and insects and vermin tend to stay away from it. It’s also made locally in Edmonton, Alberta.
Insulation and ventilation work hand in hand. Improving your attic ventilation will help increase your home’s efficiency for keeping cool by moving that hot air out of your attic. It will also decrease moisture build up in your attic which can cause big problems down the road including ice dams, rotting and potential leaks.
Vents at the soffit need to allow air intake into the attic. Vents at the ridge of your roof need to allow hot air to escape you attic. Both venting areas must be free of obstruction. There should be one square foot of venting space for every 100 to 300 square feet of insulated ceiling space.
Wind driven turbines or “whirly bird” vents will remove the summer heat from your attic and reduce the strain on your air conditioning system. They also remove moisture year round and help maintain your attic’s insulation by helping to keep it dry. They’re durable, maintenance free and incredibly efficient.
Increase Your Home’s Cooling Efficiency
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