Tips For Choosing Your Insulation Method and Material

Insulation is a big topic in Canada, especially with the electricity prices on a constant rise. Proper insulation of your home can reduce hydro payments drastically, saving hundreds of dollars yearly. The question we get asked a lot, as Toronto insulation professionals, is – which insulation to choose.

This question is not exactly trivial but is neither too difficult to answer, which is exactly what we’ll be doing in this brief review of insulation methods. After reading this, and regardless of whether you are doing the insulation work yourself or hiring a contractor, you should be able to make an informed decision on this important topic.

 Batting Insulation

Batting is one of the most common and easiest to install types of insulation used in Canada today. This insulation is made of long fibers connected with adhesive binding strips. The fibers it is made of can be fiberglass or cotton (from recycled denim clothes). Both have pretty much the same R value. The “con” of using batting, which is the main reason why you see more and more use of spray foam in Toronto homes, is that batting does not fill up the space all that well, leaving gaps and voids. It also sags over time (especially when hit by moisture), and needs replacing more often.

 Blown Insulation

This insulation type is very similar to batting, but has the advantage of coming in smaller chunks. Those chunks are blown in via a hose into the attic, dispensing them evenly across the space, filling all gaps. The chunks are churned in a large shredding machine outside, so they come out without compression and are nice and fluffy, like a huge down blanket.

The stuff they are made of can be fiberglass or cellulose. They have approximately the same R value, with the fiberglass being more sustainable because it’s made of sand while cellulose comes from recycled newspapers. Both will do well in keeping the gaps filled in the attic, sealing the warmth in.

Sprayed Insulation

This is the third big type of insulation and is growing in popularity among homeowners in Toronto. Spray foam can be open cell or closed cell, each type with its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage over batting or blown insulation, is that spray foam ensures a complete seal, not allowing for any air to penetrate thereby reducing your energy bills. The one downside of spray foam is the cost, which may still be worth it because of the fact that it lasts much, much longer and insulates better than the alternatives.

For more advice or any questions, feel free to contact Jerry’s Insulating and we’ll do our best to assist you.

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