House insulation involves extra expenses, but they can be recovered in a fairly short time with a reduction in heating costs. The process is quite complex: you can not focus on one component without paying attention to the others. Only a comprehensive solution can make your house warm, even in extremely cold conditions, without making your heating bill exorbitant. You cannot, for example, only install energy-efficient Ecoline windows in Edmonton, even though it is one of the basic elements, and feel fully protected from possible temperature lows in winter – you must also use additional options.
Canadian climate patterns
Canada is a vast country with six time zones, so the climate varies greatly from region to region. Latitude and longitude, the rocky mountains, the proximity of the three oceans, the spread of winds, and many other factors influence it.
The North of Canada is located in the polar climate belt, and if we talk about the Prairies, the weather is distinguished by large fluctuations in temperature and not only within a month or a week, but also within a day. The presence of the Canadian Rockies prevents Arctic air from passing westward into British Columbia, so it has a milder climate. The Pacific Ocean has a major impact on the West Coast, where the weather is characterized by mild and rainy winters and fairly hot summers.
In other words, there is a wide range of temperatures, but one thing is certain – there are no regions with the climate of southern Europe or Africa, where people don’t even think about the beginning of the heating season. Every Canadian province experiences a proper winter, and this must be taken into account when building houses that need to be insulated. So, here are 10 rules for insulating your house.
Rule #1: Estimate the insulation thickness
The biggest mistake made during construction is installing insulation with the wrong thickness: it may be thinner than required, which makes the house “cold” or much thicker, which results in excessive financial costs. When it comes to insulation, you should take into account a lot of factors:
- Climate belt.
- The type of building and material used to build it.
- Design: type of roofing, access to an attic and basement.
- Type of insulation and its thermal protection properties.
Rule #2: Think of thermal conductivity
When choosing a material, consider its thermal conductivity rather than density. You need to know that the material with a lower index keeps heat better, so you should determine the thickness of insulation depending on it.
Rule #3: Pay attention the number of chambers in the windows
Half of all heat can escape through windows, so the more windows in a house, the greater the loss. You can reduce them by using double-glazed windows with multiple chambers (from 1 to 5), but the most popular option for most regions of Canada is two or three units. It has been proven that a two-chambered window can help reduce heat loss by 30-40%. For instance, according to reviews, the famous Ecoline windows in Edmonton should preferably have 3 chambers, while those in Vancouver may only have two.
Rule #4: Buy windows with sprayed coatings
Oxide-coated glass greatly reduces heat loss. For instance, a single-chamber window with a metal layer would be more energy-efficient than a two-chamber design with ordinary glass; the difference is about 15%. In other words, instead of using a more cumbersome three-chambered, uncoated glass window in Edmonton, you can have a two-chambered window with an oxide layer.
Rule #5: Use double-glazed windows with inert gas
In regular windows, the inter-chamber space is filled with air, but if you install an energy-efficient design with injected argon or xenon, the thermal insulation characteristics will increase by at least 10%. In high-quality windows, the chambers are as tight as possible, so gas leaks are excluded.
Rule #6: Consider the part of the house
When choosing insulation, you should know where you are going to install it. When it comes to the foundation, you need to choose materials with high mechanical strength. For those installed on the roof, insulation must be water-resistant, fire-safe, easy to install and resistant to temperature fluctuations. The type of wall insulation depends primarily on the material (brick, wood, foam concrete, etc.).
Rule #7: Check the joints for leaks
The important thing is that warm air should be kept inside, and cold air – outside. In low-quality buildings, this can happen due to gaps between window frames, or defects in the doorframe or joints. You can check for air movement by bringing a lighter to the probable source of the problem and watching the flame fluctuate.
Rule #8: Define the thickness of the double-glazed window
The thicker the window, the heavier the construction, yet the more insulated it will be. Manufacturers offer a variety of solutions. For example, you can choose from several of the most popular Ecoline Edmonton windows, where the thickness of the chambers varies from 10 to 16 mm. On-site specialists can help you choose the best option.
Rule #9: Install effective ventilation
Bringing fresh air into the room is vital. You can do this by airing the room or using ventilation. But it entails the following problem: fresh air from the street lowers the temperature, so you have to turn on additional heating to restore the temperature, thus increasing the costs of heating. To avoid this, you can install a heat recuperator in the ventilation system. It warms the air, allowing it to enter the room at a normal temperature. The efficiency of such a device is 80%. For instance, if the temperature outside is -15°C, the air stream comes into the house with t=+23°C and is heated to +12°C.
Rule #10: Consider your climate zone
There is no need to insulate a house in Vancouver, just as there is in Edmonton, where winter temperatures are much lower. This way you will save money on materials and labor.
However, insulation of houses in Canada is a must: if done properly, you can avoid unnecessary financial costs without losing energy efficiency.