It’s that time of year again.  A time when we can watch the beautiful leaves change and open our windows to let in the fresh fall air, but as we all know it won’t last forever. In just a few short weeks the time will come to close our windows, turn on the heat and brace ourselves for the long Ottawa winter ahead.  Unfortunately, the cold weather is not the only thing we need to prepare for, as we all know that a cold winter means an even more chilling heating bill.

With that being said, this pain can be eased by your home’s insulation. Many homes are fully equipped with traditional insulation, which is good, but not great. Over half of home energy costs come from heating and cooling, so why would you want a good insulation, when you could have a great one that’ll save you money?

One of the most cost effective ways to make your home more efficient year round is adding insulation to the attic. The reason being is that one of the largest sources of heat loss in a home is the attic, making up around 25% of your home’s heat loss. Attics are typically insulated at the time of the build, but over time batted insulation loses it’s insulating effect. In order to check this whether or not this has happened to your insulation, a homeowner should measure the amount of attic insulation they have. If the measurement is coming out to be less than a value of R-30, then it may be time to re-insulate and start saving money on those expensive and bothersome heating and cooling bills.

Before the savings can begin a little research will need to be done. There are certain characteristics you will want to look out for when choosing the right insulation for your attic – especially with the cold Ottawa weather. 

Here is a list of steps to take in choosing the insulation that will best suit your home:

First, you will want to ensure that the product you are buying has an R-value of R40, but over R50 is best. This will ensure your home is protected from unwanted heat loss and keep your heating and cooling bills down.

Second, and the most important decision you have to make is what type of insulation you want installed into the attic. Whether you go with blown fibreglass or spray foam, it is truly up to you. This being said, we do recommend staying away from traditional batted insulation, as this is what has been decaying in your attic already and forcing you to replace it. There are some great batting options that are more eco-friendly and are made to last, unlike the traditional batting.  So, if you choose the batting option then it’s recommended you go with a more upgraded option. Otherwise, blown fibreglass or spray foam are the best routes to take as they are the most efficient and seal the attic more securely.

Third, once you have chosen the attic insulation you would like to use, you must then chose a brand. There are many to choose from, but one key element is finding a product that has a lifetime guarantee. This will ensure that you aren’t putting money into something that will lose value overtime. Instead, you will be able to start saving money on your monthly heating and cooling bills and use that extra cash for something more enjoyable. Another aspect to look at when choosing a brand of insulation is its eco-friendliness. Having a brand that caters to clean products will ensure that you are breathing in fresh clean air and not chemicals coming from your insulation.

Fourth, choose a contractor that will install the product of choice to the finest degree. The last thing you want is to pay a lot of money for insulation that is meant to save you money and then have it installed incorrectly. A poor installation job will down grade the effect the insulation is suppose to be creating. In turn, it will end up costing you more money, rather than saving. A good contractor should ensure the removal of any old or decaying insulation and the proper installation of a new and efficient insulation. It’s always a good idea to check with friends and family on referral for a reputable contractor.

Fifth, enjoy your now warm and cozy home, even throughout the frigid Ottawa winter weather. You can now be rest assured that your heating bill will not be through the roof, as your new fully insulated attic will stop it.

Taking all of these steps will ensure that you have chosen the best insulation to keep your house warm and efficient during the long Canadian winters. The cost of improving you insulation may seem expensive, but it will end up saving you more money down the road on those never ending heating and cooling bills. It is estimated that insulating your home will reduce heat lose by 75-80%, so once you see those new heating and cooling bills come in, you’ll be happy to know that your return on investment has paid off.

The first spotting of frost has already been seen in Ottawa, so make sure you prepare by choosing an attic insulation that will keep you and your family warm.