Attic Insulation Types - The 101 guide for homeowners

We have talked earlier why it is important to have the attic properly insulated or given new insulation when upgrading to an energy-efficient system. This blog is meant to highlight the different types of Attic Insulation, their cost value and what homes they are ideal for.

1. The cheapest - The Fiberglass

Fibreglass Insulation is used in every other Toronto home for all the cost-effective reasons. Although the fiberglass is the least expensive, it rating is also relatively very low when it comes to efficiency. Owing to the ease of installation, fiberglass is often the first choice of DIY approach homeowners because it is cut in custom length and width leaving homeowners with the only job to roll it in the spaces of the attic.

Note here that this type of installation, though, is most favorable for less humid climates, it is not ideal for very humid climates.

2. The Foam Boards - Effective Air Barrier

Fiberglass does not offer an effective air barrier. Therefore, a step up from fiberglass in efficiency and price is the rigid foam boards. They offer a structural layer and therefore are ideal for those who want to add to the thickness of the existing attic insulation. The rigid foam boards cannot be set fit by default into the attic. They in fact need to be cut and fit according to the spaces that need to be filled.

3. Blown-In, a step up from the foam boards

Since foam boards are rigid and it is hard to adjust them in small spaces, blown-in insulation comes with a solution. Blown-in is a mixture of similar kinds of materials that are used in fiberglass roll in insulation with the only difference that this comes in a scattered form and is blown in using special kinds of equipment. A prime edge of this insulation over roll-in and rigid fiberglass is that it fills in the gaps properly. It is equally effective when compared with spray foam insulation, however, cheaper in price. It works best for controlling moisture.

4. Spray Foam - Increases reselling value

Spray foam is formed by mixing two chemicals and this formulation is then sprayed into the attic. As it is sprayed, the best attribute it offers is that any spaces or gaps are well filled in leaving no holes, gaps, and spaces for the air to leak. This type of insulation should be avoided DIYing and a professional's help should be sought because if not properly done, expected results would not be possible to draw.
Although expensive, this insulation offers a long-term benefit which is; it increases the resale value of your home and attracts customers towards your home.

5. Radiant Foil Insulation

Adding some extra layers within the existing attic insulation can help make the attic even more effective. 5 to 10 percent on energy bills can be saved by adding an additional layer of foil-like material. This is cut and fit into the attic and is targetted at combating the radiant heat of the sun to enter and warm the attic. On the one hand, it is easy to apply, on the other cheap to afford.

For hotter climates, this is highly recommended where the sun lasts longer and the radiant heat lasts longer.

Bottom Line

When choosing which attic insulation to use, it is important to not make a decision all by your own self and instead talk to a couple of professionals in your vicinity to ensure you choose the best type as every home's needs are different.


A homeowners 101 guide to HVAC Parts Warranty

Lack of sufficient knowledge about HVAC warranties, as we always mention, is the primary factor behind homeowners experiencing frequent warranty claim rejections. HVAC warranties can not only save you bucks on repairs and maintenance, but they can also be of great use if a unit fails to perform or manifest production faults. However, neither replacement expenses nor repair dues is paid by the company if a homeowner knowingly or unknowingly voids his warranty. The unit no more remains covered even if the initial warranty offered 10 or 15 years of warranty. So the point lies in ensuring that the warranty remains valid. And this is only possible when a common homeowner is equipped with sufficient knowledge about HVAC warranties.

This blog is dedicated to discussing some basic know-how about the HVAC parts warranty. How a unit replacement is ensured and what factors need to be proven to get a replacement unit or replacement parts.

The must-know conditions for Parts Replacement

- In order to claim a part replacement or unit replacement, a homeowner is necessitated to contact a certified HVAC contractor who inspects the units and proves that the problem has arisen as a result of the manufacturing fault. The claim is then made to the company proving the fault in the unit. Depending on the situation, a part or unit replacement may take place.

- Regarding the parts warranty, note that some parts of the unit have relatively more warranty than the unit itself or the other parts. For example, the critical parts like compressor, heat exchanger in Furnaces and coils in Air Conditioners usually have more warranty. The part must be claimed within the offered duration; 5-10 years.

- Replacing a unit from one place to another without professional help voids the warranty; however, if it is the homeowners who change places and a new homeowner comes to the house, he can still claim the warranty.

What happens after the conditions are met?

As mentioned, in order to claim a parts warranty, a certified HVAC contractor must inspect the unit. Once the problem is proven, the defective part is then purchased from a certified dealer and is replaced. During the inspection, if other parts are also found to be problematic and are not covered under warranty, the homeowner has to pay for such parts.

Will you have to pay for labor costs?

The certified HVAC contractors, when they first install the unit, offer a one year of installation warranty which means any issues in the installation will be covered for free within the given time. Covering all service costs within the duration of one year is now a common practice. Although there is no hard and fast rule, in most cases, you will not have to pay for the labor cost as long as the unit or the parts that need to be replaced are covered by warranty.

Have you ever experienced a scenario in which a unit or part replacement was made because of the manufacturer's fault? If yes, was the experience smooth?