The "house as a system" principle reminds us that even if you are investing in new heating and cooling equipment or new windows and doors, you cannot optimize the energy performance of your house if you are not keeping heat in during the winter and out during summer.
In Canada, there is a large variety of choices when it comes to insulation materials and installation methods for walls, attics, basements, floors and ceilings.
Insulation upgrades coupled with air sealing are among the most cost-effective home retrofits. This simple home improvement sometimes pays for itself in less than a year.
- To determine the current level of insulation in your low-rise property, obtain an evaluation as part of the EnerGuide Rating System – Existing Homes. For new construction, learn about initiatives for new homes.
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) offers a booklet called Keeping the Heat In to educate homeowners on basic principles of building science and to provide guidance on how to proceed with home retrofit projects.
- Although the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program is no longer available, the building envelopes and insulation section of the Grant Table is still used by certain complementary programs and incentives across Canada. The table also offers some useful information on insulation and air sealing.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers a technical fact sheet called Insulating your House.
- If you are installing insulation yourself, NRCan also offers a Web page on health and safety considerations and the publication Planning Energy Efficiency Renovations for Your Home.