Insulate to save

Spend time battening down the hatches to save money on the cold days ahead

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by Gail Vaz-Oxlade
October 25th, 2011

Online only.

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When I bought my home, one of the selling features was that it was an R-2000 house with an average monthly heating cost of ninety bucks. Leaving a house that had cost upwards of $400 a month to heat—it was big and it was half on electricity—you bet that caught my attention.

Look up. Is money evaporating through your roof? I bet you’ve never checked on how well insulated your attic is. Making an attic hatch airtight and adding insulation to the space above your head can save up to 50% on heating costs according to HandyCanadian.com.

Whether you install fiberglass insulation or choose to blow in your insulation, leave this job to the professionals. Wouldn’t DIY be cheaper Gail? Not in this case, since professionals can often get you better quality insulation and install it for less than the retail price you’d have to pay for the insulation alone. And if you mess up the insulation process because you’re a novice, you won’t get the best results.

Determined to DIY because the job is bigger than just some insulation in the attic? Head on over to Natural Resources Canada’s website and check out their book on retrofitting, which is their term for upgrading to keep the heat in. From caulking to weather-stripping, adding insulation to replacing windows, the book deals with all kinds of houses.

Your insulation efforts don’t have to be huge to give you big savings rewards. Just sealing drafts in your home with durable weather-stripping can save you between 5-15% on your heating bills.

Want to check how tight your current seals are? Hold a stick of burning incense near suspect areas. If the smoke does a little dance, you’ve got some insulating to do.

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