Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kelowna Its Insulation season again!

Well it seems as though summer has past and sweat pant season is back. With the forecasts calling for a cold winter in the Okanagan, now is a great time to seal up those drafty areas in your home and make sure your insulation is adequate. I met a fellow entrepreneur a few weeks ago with a great idea to help people find those leaky areas in your home. With some high tech gear developed to draw a negative vacuum on your home Lloyd can tell you where all your leaky areas are on your home and recommend a course of action so you can fix them. He has a special on right now for $99 to have this test done. Lloyd can be reached at 250-768-8512 or www.lloydsweatherization.com.

If you are wondering how you can check your insulation there is a couple areas you can easily check on your own. The first one is the attic. Grab a ladder, pop open your attic hatch and bring a flashlight and a measuring tape. You want to put the measuring tape on the dry wall and then try to figure out the average depth of your insulation. It should read at least 14-16 inches deep, anything less than that and you are going to spend more than needed to heat and cool your home. If you have a crawl space you want to look at two things. The walls to see if they have insulation on them and the joist ends (the cavity between each joist that sits on top of the foundation wall). Both of these areas are often left uninsulated and can lead to 30% of your heat loss.

Or you can call a professional for a free insulation estimate at: 250-215-8020

Terry Laurin www.tlces.com 250-215-8020 “Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is your house too hot?

I have had many calls over the last couple weeks with the heat affecting just about everyone.  I'm not sure when this heat wave will end but I can promise you that the heat will always be back in the Okanagan.  So many people are asking for solutions to keep cool and keep their cooling costs down. 

Here is a few helpful hints on what you can do to combat the heat:
  • Make sure your ceiling insulation is at least up to code R-44 or have at least 12-16 inches of insulation.  Some home owners that are really suffering in the summer may want also consider a radiant barrier for their attic.  They are really helpful especially in the hot summers as they can improve your insulation performance by 20% and also reflect 97% of all radiant heat gain which can result in a 40% reduction in cooling costs
  • Invest in dark or multi layered blinds for your windows.
  • All though it is expensive to replace windows they can usually pay them selves off in 5-7 years if your windows are poor.  With Low E, multi layered glass and Argon technology the R-value in a new window can easily be R-4 or even R-7 where old windows can give you an R-value of only 1 at best.
  • Make sure your attic is properly ventilated.  For every 1200 sqft of attic space you should have at least 4 attic vents and baffles coming through to your soffits for cross ventilation.  Ventilation is key to keeping cool as insulation is designed to hold heat and if it is not ventilated it will keep your house warm all through the evening.  Also mold can be a concern when areas are not properly ventilated, this is bad for the home and your health.  Seasonal attic fans are also a good idea.
  • If you ever replace your roof consider lighter colors as black and other dark colours are very warm.
  • Old air conditioners can be very poor performers and cause you allot of money.  Its worth checking the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) on your unit as to my knowledge AC units go as high as 12 or 13 SEER but heat pumps can go over 19 SEER which results in big savings for cooling and heating.
  • Is your house south facing and exposed to the sun?  Planting or transplanting a large tree can add landscaping value and shade for your home.
For all your insulation needs contact TLC Energy Solutions

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Okanagans Multi Million Dollar Overhall

I had the privilege today of taking the first steps in my second government funded Eco energy upgrade project.
Last year was my first year working with the government upgrading insulation in over 400 local residential homes.  The project was so successful that more money has been allocated to improving even more homes right here in the Okanagan.  Its good to know that there is help for some select homes that score poorly with Eco energy testing devices.  I would also like to congratulate UK Trades a local industry leader in the renovation business for being asked to take a major role in the project.  Do you or does someone you know have a home that is costing them an arm and a leg to heat and cool?  I would like to hear your story...

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kelowna Insulation Grants

Looking to keep cool this summer?  Making Energy efficient upgrades to your home has never been more attractive with todays Government Grants.  The process is quick, easy and very worth while for those looking to keep cool this summer, add value to your home and save on utility costs.  Below are just some of the grants available for insulation:

Attic or roof — insulation up to $590

Exterior wall — insulation up to $400

Basement — insulation up to $500

Crawl space — insulation up to $520

Air sealing — for your home up to $280

If you are interested on how you can get some money from the government to help subsidize your renovation costs call Terry at 250-215-8020.

For all your insulation needs call toll TLC Energy Solutions toll free at 1-877-558-1808.

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kelowna Insulation Choices Get Better

Insulation material choices increase with more Eco friendly materials to choose from. 

One of the latest and greatest materials comes from recycled blue jeans.  Yes those dirty old jeans can be recycled and put to good use.  However the unfortunate problem in today's market is that the vast majority of the public aren't willing to anti up the extra 10% or so to have such products installed.  I don't blame the public as I have always thought that recycled products should cost the same or less than competing products.  That being said, if the government would stand behind and support more products like recycled jeans then perhaps the costs would be more equal.  The truth is that most Eco friendly materials actually perform better as well.  If the education on such products was endorsed than perhaps more people would see the big picture in regards to their ROI.  Recycled news papers also known as blown cellulose is another great example.   Cellulose out performs fiberglass in terms of performance, safety, air quality, R-values per inch and its 100% recycled.  Again your only talking a small increase in price to use a superior product yet most of us have the horse blinders on and only think about the upfront costs.  What makes it more difficult to promote these products is the advise that 90% of the insulation contractors are giving.  If you were to contact 5 companies for insulation quotes you may have one that will offer you a recycled product other than fiberglass.  Being a customer listening to 4-5 companies that slag products like cellulose, you are likely to think that if most companies offer fiberglass and are telling you its better......well than it must be better...not so true.  Business owners will stick with the demand and that's the cheaper products because we as consumers are so price focused.

Keep this article in mind the next time you make a purchase no matter what it is.  The cheapest quote or material will often result in you getting the worst product, with the worst return on investment.  Like Mike Holmes says "Pick the quote in the middle, ask questions and qualify your contractor by getting referrals."

Have a great weekend!

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hats Off To All Earth Day Participants

Earth day is celebrating 20 years of over achieving!  Hats off to all earth day participants and those who take a green approach to every day living.  I found this great article that everyone can use on a daily basis to fight climate change.

Earth Day Canada celebrates its 20th anniversary

Apr 13, 2010 Kelly McMath
Twenty years ago, Canada began celebrating Earth Day. Today more than six million Canadians participate in Earth Day events.

So many events are held across the country that April is now known as “Earth Month.” When Canada celebrated its first Earth Day in 1990, the most publicized environmental issues included:
  • Global warming
  • Ozone depletion
  • Air quality issues
  • Deforestation
  • Ocean pollution
  • Waste management
In 2010, these issues continue to compromise the future of generations to come. Environment Canada reports that total greenhouse gas emissions rose 26 percent from 1990 to 2007, 33% above Canada’s Kyoto target.
Everyone can make a difference. Earth Day provides the opportunity for positive actions and results.

Ideas for taking action on Earth Day

To help make a positive difference in the fight against climate change, consider taking action on Earth Day.
  • Spearhead or participate in a neighborhood clean-up.
  • Instead of driving, walk, ride a bike, or take public transit.
  • Eat meat-free for Earth Day. Reducing the amount of meat consumed by North American families can help diminish the methane gas emissions associated with domestic livestock farming. Methane gas is the third-highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reduce power consumption for the day. Try to use as few electronic devices as possible, turn off lights when not in use, and hang clothes outside to air dry.
  • Get involved in a tree planting. Trees offer shade, improve air quality and offer a natural habitat for local wildlife.
  • Host an Earth Day event and teach adults and children different ways to reduce, reuse and recycle items from their homes.

Earth Day Canada’s Top Ten Actions to help the environment

Make a greater effort in helping the environment with these lifestyle changes suggested by Earth Day Canada:

Terry Laurin



“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Utility Increases and more grant money will motivate BC residence to become more energy efficient.

Keep an eye out for some major changes this year with Utilities such as BC Hydro making a near 10% increase.  The other big news is that the Eco energy program is looking to announce a new government grant budget any day that could help renovators subsidize their costs even further through the yet to be announced budget.  In my industry "Insulation" some customers will essentially be getting 50% off! 

To keep updated on the latest government grant table visit www.tlces.com and sign up for their newsletter.

For all your insulation needs call TLC Energy Solutions at 250-215-8020

Terry Laurin



“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Water efficiency and your home!!!

We need to invest in efficiency because that is where the long-term results can be found. Efficiency means using water more wisely -- by fixing leaks, replacing old appliances and fixtures, and taking other common sense steps in our homes and our communities. For example, if one homeowner fixes a leaky toilet in her house, she can save between 30 to 500 gallons of water a day. And if Metro Atlanta scaled it up and fixed the leaks in all of its water pipes, the region could save between 30 and 60 million gallons a day.

Now, let's be clear: water efficiency does not mean telling people to shower just once a week, or to plant a cactus in their front yards.

Water efficiency does not mean turning the water off. It’s not about water use restrictions – because that just brings temporary results.

Click here to see the site where we pulled this great information from

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

TLC Smart Insulation Tips

Attic insulation

Either in cold or hot climates, the attic's insulation is critical. Install insulation to a level of at least R-40.
If you have a flat roof or a no-open attic space, consider some structural approaches to solve their deficits in terms of insulation.


Walls insulation (and floor insulation, in cold climates) isn't less important than attic insulation... A two to four inches of plastic foam insulation added to the outside of your walls can make a little miracle in your heating and cooling needs

Crawl spaces, basement and slab insulation

The insulation of basements, slabs and crawls is also crucial in cold climates.
Do not forget to also apply a ground-moisture or vapour barrier if that space is damp.

Vapour Barriers

If the insulation material is water absorbent (e.g. cellulose) and there isn't vapour barriers and the ventilation is insufficient, moisture and other negative consequences can be unstoppable.
You should use vapour barriers to keep moisture away from bulk insulation materials and to maintain their performance. Use non-combustible barriers to protect loose-fill insulation.

A proper Installation

Be aware with the quality of the installation.

- If the insulation doesn't fill small gaps, its efficiency will diminish drastically. Materials should be well fitted, and leaks sealed and avoided. Corners of walls, ceilings and floors should be properly insulated, and it shouldn't be allowed gaps around obstructions. Similarly, the holes, joins and ends of the insulation material should be well sealed or closed. Sprayed-on foams or loose-fill insulation are, in many situations, excellent solutions because they eliminate voids, and edge and other gaps.

- Do not compress bulk material insulation. They should be fixed with their normal thickness to perform well.

- In outside applications, foam insulation requires an adequate covering, to protect it from degradation (e.g. from the sun) and possible physical damages (e.g. caused by lawnmowers). Foam insulation should also be protected from fire and heat in outside applications (a drywall layer is a common protection).

Reflective insulation Cares

Reflective insulation is important in hot climates. But the quality of its installation is also very important.
- Maintain an air space of at least 0,8-1,2 inches (2 or 3 cm) next to the shiny surface of the reflective insulation.

- Dust settled on the surface of the reflective material will reduce its performance. To avoid it, keep the reflective surfaces downwards (or keep them vertical).
- In walls and under floors, when dealing with porous materials, use perforated reflective foil. It will prevent rotting, by allowing materials to dry.
Window and door Frames
Qualified windows is crucial to get high energy savings. Pay also attention to possible thermal breaks connected to windows and doors. They are responsible for important heat losses.

For all your insulation needs contact:

Terry Laurin
TLC Energy Solutions

Monday, February 1, 2010

No more renovation tax credits and HST on the horizon

Many people are up in arms trying to figure out how the HST will affect them across BC. From what I understand the majority of the public perceive this to be a negative and maybe I don’t fully understand it yet, but so do I.

When I started TLC Energy solutions (Okanagan based Insulation Company) 4 years ago, up until now it’s been an asset to not have to charge PST. Several home owners I have come across didn’t know PST was exempt from insulation and as a result they moved ahead faster knowing their project was going to cost 7% less than expected. Now with HST being introduced, my customers will have to pay 12% HST instead of 5% GST. This carries through every industry and product across BC including new homes....wow!

The government claims it will be easier on business owners like myself because there will be HST rebates coming back to me. Didn’t they forget a step there when the customer buys from me because he can afford it in the first place. With more costs in my opinion comes less spending which then results in businesses sinking and fewer jobs to go around.

The most ironic part of this whole thing is that the Fed’s are giving the province in the area of 1.6 billion dollars to introduce the HST. Hmmmm where might they get 1.6 billion dollars...oh I know YOU and ME!

Another words we are paying the government to raise our taxes! Something tells me that 1.6 billion is more of an investment by the fed’s as they milk this cash cow.

If you or someone you know is considering upgrading their insulation, doing a home renovation or purchasing a new home, it might be wise to get it done before July 1st 2010.

Terry Laurin
TLC Energy Solutions