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

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