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Neil Ledger

Neil Ledger

INSULATION COSTS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The savings are long-term!

For anyone researching how much it costs to insulate their home, it’s important to understand the different products and home insulation costs associated with insulating each part of the house. The choice of insulation you make largely depends on the area you need to insulate (walls, attic, crawl space, garage, etc.), the current R-value of your home’s insulation (if it’s a retrofit), and your available budget.

Let’s get started!

Many homes were built long before Ontario building code requirements for insulation were available or before builders truly understood how ventilation and other factors affect insulation. When Homeowners paid much less for utilities and contractors never imagined the demand we would experience and fluctuations in utility pricing. The Ontario Building Code act (first introduced in 1975) is a legal framework set up by the provincial government to establish minimum building standards, and it applies to any new builds, renovations, or change of use construction. 

Building codes change (almost annually)! Many houses don’t have insulation up to current code, but the important thing is to bring it up to code whenever you are renovating or changing something in your home. 

We will talk about this a lot – It’s important to know an insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value — the higher the R-value, the greater the insulation effectiveness. 

Spray Foam Insulation

It is water-resistant, while also serving as a vapor barrier and high performance air barrier. With a more compact structure it has the highest R-value of any insulation material you can buy, up to R6 per inch. Furthermore, spray foam takes up much less space than fiberglass or comparable blown-in materials. Not to mention, it can create a 95%-100% air seal to create a net zero energy efficient home versus conventional insulation at most creates 80%-85% air seal (we will focus a blog post on this later). Closed-cell can be installed anywhere in the home, inside, outside, and in-ground. At Trillium East Insulation Inc. we are CUFCA certified and we spray Heatlok Soya made from recycled plastic materials, rapidly renewable soy oils, and 4th generation blowing agent with zero ozone depleting potential. If spray foam is installed and cured properly, it should not emit fumes or odours. We do still recommend homes be vacant for 24 hours after installation to avoid any unpleasantness.

Current Code: R22-R24 (main floor walls) – approx 3.5 inches
Lifespan: A lifetime (if undamaged)

Cellulose or Fiberglass Blown Fibre Insulation

Cellulose creates a thermal blanket that fills gaps and voids to reduce air infiltration; keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Perfect for blow-in applications like attics, and into walls and floors. It works very well and has a higher than average R-value, depending on the depth blown. Cellulose is usually made from up to 85% recycled paper material that meets Class 1 Fire Rating to protect your home (and give you more time to evacuate in a fire emergency). Cellulose has little to no dust, but can spill into the house through any openings.

Cellulose R50-R60 – approx  22 ½ inches
Lifespan: Around 20 to 30 years

Since fiberglass does not absorb moisture, this insulation will not hold water, preventing permanent loss of R-value. When properly installed it will not settle or deteriorate to maintain R value longer than cellulose products. Safe for any environment, fiberglass Insulation is non-combustible, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified, and contains over 70% recycled content. Eyes may become red and irritated after exposure to fiberglass. Soreness in the nose and throat can result when fibers are inhaled if precaution is not taken on installations.

Fiberglass R50-R60 – approx 18 ¾ inches
Lifespan: Around 25 to 35 years

Blanket Insulation

Fiberglass batts are among the most inexpensive ways to insulate your home, especially when the walls are already open, like in an attic area or unfinished basement. Large, rolled batts of fiberglass are designed to fit the standard distance between studs. They fill the large void and stop air from penetrating the exterior wall. Batts do not themselves create a vapour barrier. A proper installation must include a separate vapour barrier. When installed tightly and securely, fiberglass batts improve energy efficiency by 25 to 30 percent and are rated at an R4 per inch.

Fiberglass R12-R40
Lifespan: Around 15 to 20 years

Note it’s difficult to provide cost estimates on the above products in your home.  An accurate estimate can only be provided on examination and measurement of your homes required installation spaces. But…..

Feel the Savings!

Regardless of the installation costs, you will have savings! Let’s not forget the savings you will experience through your reduction in utility bills – Save up to 50%. By many estimates, the heating and cooling systems in your home (regardless if you are on propane, oil or electric heat) account for anywhere between a half and two-thirds of your energy bill. Insulation makes your home comfortable year-round and reduces both your heating and cooling costs.

What we learn from the below is rates can always go up!

Here are examples of time-of-use electricity rates. Under time-of-use rates, the amount you pay depends on when you use electricity.

Effective DateOff-Peak Price
(¢ per kWh)
Mid-Peak Price
(¢ per kWh)
On-Peak Price
(¢ per kWh)
May 1, 20186.59.413.2
May 1, 20168.713.218.0
May 1, 20126.51011.7
May 1, 20082.77.39.3

You can view the full historical electricity rates

Here are examples of the average retail prices for furnace oil in Kingston over the years.

Effective DatePricing (¢ per litre)
January 1, 2019126.8
January 1, 2015112.0
January 1, 201091.1
January 1, 200571.7
January 1, 200047.9

You can view the full historical furnace oil prices

It’s interesting to note, according to an article published in the Globe & Mail, in 1975, the average size of a house in Canada was 1,050 square feet. Fast forward to 2010 and new homes being built almost doubled to an average of 1,950 square feet. That’s a lot of house to keep warm (or cold). 

If you are ready to upgrade your home, you can also benefit from a wide range of energy-saving rebates for the whole home. Do your research and check for availability and qualification details before you begin (or leave it to us to inform you of what’s currently on offer).

Next Steps

Call Trillium East Insulation Inc. of course! Let us come by and take a look to offer you solutions. Contact us today to setup a time 613-922-2259.

Why wait? Don’t let your home stay under-insulated.

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Contact us today to ask any questions about our products and services, and to schedule an estimate appointment.

Local business located in Brighton, proudly serving the Counties of Northumberland, Peterborough, and Hastings, Quinte West, the City of Belleville and Prince Edward County.

Contact us

613-922-2259
info@trilliumeastinsulation.ca

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