Ensuring Proper Ventilation and Insulation Throughout The Home
One of the common mistakes when insulating a home (especially when a homeowner installs) is to overlook the importance of proper ventilation. Insulating, on its own, is not enough – a space has to be well ventilated to assure proper air circulation. And while a typical homeowner might make this common mistake, a reliable insulating contractor will not – a professional contractor will insist on providing proper ventilation as part of an installation or re-installation of insulation. For the professional, the combination of both is critical.
The attic is a good example of how insulation and ventilation work in tandem. When an attic space is well insulated, and when that space is well vented, the benefits are wide-ranging: overall energy consumption is improved during winter and summer; moisture buildup is restricted (as well as the potential for mold); and the lifespan of both roof framing and roof shingles is extended. In fact, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing, attics should be vented at a ratio of 1 square foot of venting per 300 square feet of attic space.
Most professionals would agree that the more ventilation, the better. And everything makes a difference, whether it’s a roof vent, a soffit vent, even a bathroom or kitchen fan. At the same time, before installing or re-installing insulation, a professional contractor will make sure that there are no roof leaks and no water damage – both can compromise the efficacy of an insulation product. The important thing with every project is to install the appropriate venting product that will ensure the optimum in ventilation and air circulation.
When it comes to proper insulation and ventilation, most homeowners don’t understand enough about the combination. That’s the benefit of having a qualified contractor – someone who can do it right. A qualified insulation contractor can do a “blower door test” to measure the actual movement of indoor air, and to assess the overall indoor environment. This test allows for an evaluation of desirable (and undesirable) ventilation, and a further assessment of what measures can be taken (insulation and ventilation) to remedy.
For a professional, the indoor environment of a home is a “system” – and it works best when insulation and ventilation are balanced. A well-balanced “system” provides a better comfort level for occupants; improved energy consumption and energy savings; and much less moisture accumulation and indoor air pollution. In terms of insulation type and installation method, once again, a professional insulation contractor will be able to recommend an approach to suit the circumstances – and needless to say, ventilation will play a big part.
Using the example of the attic, there’s no question that insulation, combined with ventilation, will stabilize seasonal ups and downs in the indoor environment. And because the attic is at the very top of the house, it’s more affected by changing weather than other parts of the house. In fact, the attic space is where most of a building’s heat and cold will be lost or gained. And it’s also why a good contractor will prioritize the attic for insulation or re-insulation.