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Ontario government announces home energy retrofit and solar power initiatives - up to $1,500 toward insulation for exterior walls

Wednesday, June 20th 2007 1:17:38pm

Interview Opportunity

Ontario government announces home energy retrofit and solar power initiatives - up to $1,500 toward insulation for exterior walls


Stephen Koch, Executive Director, NAIMA Canada, representing North American Insulation Manufacturers


Mr. Koch is available to respond to the Ontario government's announcement and provide comment on specific areas, including:

    * How this initiative compares to other Canadian programs;
    * How exterior wall insulation can reduce home energy costs;
    * The various types of insulation that are available to homeowners and commercial operators;
    * What areas of the home should be insulated;
    * What are the options when choosing insulation.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jonathan Laderoute, e|c|o, (416) 972-7401, laderoutej(a)huffstartegy.com

NAIMA Canada is the association for North American manufacturers of fibre glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation products doing business in Canada.  Its role is to promote energy efficiency and environmental preservation through the use of fibre glass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation, and to encourage the safe production and use of these materials. NAIMA Canada is a sister organization to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).


Where you can add insulation

To achieve maximum thermal efficiency and comfort, it is important to insulate any space where energy could be lost. For optimal energy savings and comfort, consider adding additional insulation to your home.

1.      Attics & Ceilings

The attic is one of the largest sources of potential heat loss in a home and often one of the most neglected areas when it comes to insulation, even in homes that are less than ten years old.

In most of the country, homeowners will want to add between R-8 and R-30 insulation to what they already have.

If your attic is unfinished, you, or a contractor, can install fiber glass, mineral wool batt or blown-in insulation in the floor joists.  If the attic is finished, fiber glass and mineral wool blown-in insulations are the best options.

To achieve R-values* of R-40 and higher, two layers of fiber glass batts can be used, to combine their R-values. For example, an R-20 batt added to an R-30 will yield an R-50.

When installing a second layer, always use unfaced insulation. The second layer should be applied across the joists. Fiber glass or mineral wool loose-fill insulation can also be used.

2.      Don't Forget the Walls

Sections often overlooked in homes are the walls between living spaces and unheated garages, storage rooms, dormer walls, and the portions of walls above ceilings of adjacent lower sections of split-level homes. Today's fiber glass insulation products are manufactured to fit in both 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 construction.

3.      Floors

Floors that are above unheated or open spaces, such as garages, porches, and unheated basements, need insulation, too. This will also help control noise.

R-20 (or higher) insulation batts are usually cut into small pieces to fit snugly between the floor joists, sills and band joists.  But when insulating floors over unheated basements or crawlspaces, faced products are necessary.  The vapor retarders should face heated areas and be in contact with the sub floor.

4.      Basements and Crawlspaces

Heat loss through basements and crawlspaces is often neglected.  However, in an otherwise well-insulated and tight house, as much as 25% of the total home heat loss can occur through uninsulated foundation walls and floors (source: ACEEE).

If the basement is an unheated space and isn't used as a living area, insulate between the floor joists for the room above, instead of around the exterior or perimeter walls.  This keeps conditioned air in the living areas where it belongs, and out of the basement. R-12 to R-14 batt insulation can be used.

If the basement is going to be heated and used, you need to insulate the basement walls, instead.  The simplest method is to build 2 x 4 frames against the concrete foundation walls, using R-12 to R-14 fiber glass or mineral wool batt insulation beneath the drywall.  Vapor retarders should face heated areas and be covered as soon as possible.

If the basement is already finished, it is difficult to add insulation without tearing out the drywall. Look to other areas of your home that are easier to access for places to add insulation.

A crawl space is an unfinished, accessible area below the first floor of a building. Fiber glass or mineral wool batt insulations are the most typical products used to insulate this area. R-20 or R-21.5 insulation batts are usually cut into small pieces to fit snugly between the floor joists, against sills and between band joists. If you use faced insulation for insulating floors, put the facing up toward the living area.

Verify that the walls are dry and do not leak ground moisture before insulating a basement. If a crawlspace wall is vented, you should insulate the floors above and not the crawlspace walls.
* For more on the life cycle and environmental attributes of fiber glass and rock and slag wool insulations, visit www.naima.org/pages/benefits/environ/environ.html