As winter approaches you want to make sure your home ( and the people inside!) are protected against the winter elements. The Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp. describes a well insulated house like dressing for winter.
Some of the winter threats to your home include ice dams and heat loss. Ice dams may lead to costly damage on your roof and eavestroughs as well as interior water damage. Heat loss reduces your home's efficiency and leads to higher heating costs.
"A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon - it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure."
What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are formed when heat escapes from the home and causes snow to melt. The water formed from heat loss then freezes as it flows down the roof, closer to cold edges, causing ice dams and icicles. This ice build-up can create a dangerous situation for homeowners and their visitors. Attics require proper insulation and ventilation to function correctly.
Your attic should have approximately 15-20 inches of insulation, in addition to adequate ventilation through soffits and at the top of the attic. Some recommendations for ice dam prevention may include:
Adding insulation or ventilation
Air sealing the attic floor
Locating problem heat loss areas
With the extremely cold weather trend in previous winters, many older homes that are lightly insulated are having a big problem with energy consumption and cold drafty areas. Homes built prior to 2010 might use upwards of 25% more space heating energy than newer homes. This is because of recent improvements in the building codes for insulation and airtightness levels.
Signs of Insulation Problems in the Winter:
In Canada over 60% of residential energy use goes to space heating, so a good portion of your energy bill is impacted by insulation problems or poor quality materials that aren't doing the job.
To reduce energy costs you can look at adding insulation and reducing air leaks. A well insulated home will reduce your energy heating costs in the winter and your cooling costs in the summer. You can see how making sure your home has proper insulation is very important to protecting your home and loved ones, and keeping costs down.
The right insulation system can not only reduce the amount of energy you use and save you money, but make your home safer and more enjoyable. It's an important upgrade or reno project and you want to be absolutely sure you have professional advice and excellent options. Georgian Insulation Systems, the areas leading insulation contractor will work with you to achieve the highest level of efficiency in your home. Call us for a free estimate on your project. 1-866-576-9338