Insulating Your House

By: CMHC

While previous generations may have been content to live in drafty houses, most people now want comfortable warm houses. A healthy house today is well sealed, well insulated and properly ventilated.

A well-insulated house is a bit like dressing for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.

Signs of Insulation Problems

In the winter

  • walls cold to touch
  • cold floors
  • high heating costs
  • uneven heating levels within building
  • mold growing on walls

In the summer

  • uncomfortably hot inside air
  • high cooling costs
  • ineffectiveness of air conditioning system
  • mold growing in basement

Insulation Effectiveness

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