Controlling heat, air & moisture movement

Thermal insulation is a material that is used to reduce the flow of heat. Within this region, we tend to think it functions to reduce heat loss, during the winter months. Escalating energy costs and the monthly home heating bill provide the incentive for this belief.

Did you know?…in a house with a polyethylene vapour barrier, diffusion accounts for less than 5% of the total moisture removal.
— National Research Council of Canada, CBD-231

Yet, thermal insulation also serves a similar function during the summer months, in reducing the flow of outside heat towards the interior. This becomes an important function when the usage cost of air conditioning systems are a factor.

You can’t change the nature of how heat flows or the wind from blowing. We build instead to control heat loss with a thermal barrier that reduces the free flow of heat. This isn’t new to wood frame residential construction, as products like fibreglass insulations have been used since the late 1930’s. What has changed, over the past few decades is increased recommended level of insulations for thermal barriers, options on the choice of insulation systems, and attention to detail. Heat flow can be slowed by a thermal barrier. Yet, it is still looking for a path of least resistance to flow freely. That will be towards any insulation gap it can find - large or small, down to a colder basement, up around light fixtures, etc.

The Energuide rating for homes is an energy efficiency label developed by Natural Resources Canada that provides homeowners with an indication of the house’s energy performance.

Typical ratings:

Type of Residence
Old house not upgraded
Upgraded old house
Energy efficient old house or typical new house
Energy efficient new house
Highly energy-efficient new house
House requiring little or no purchased energy

Visit the EnerGuide Rating at EnerGuide Rating

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