Dayle Laing

The ‘coolest shade of green’ is the sustainable choice. Dayle Laing is a Professional Speaker and Author who uses her experience and training as an educator, a designer and a LEED Accredited Professional to empower Conscious Consumers to make practical yet beautiful choices for sustainable living, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing their body, mind & spirit.

duvet_300_1Can you imagine a better way to keep yourself warm than snuggling under a soft fluffy duvet on a cold February night?

Now imagine, on that same winter’s night, how comfortable it might be if the whole house were tucked under a massive fluffy duvet. Well, we decided to find out.

The existing attic insulation, barely enough to pass the 1983 building code when our house was built, had compressed over time and had been further trampled by contractors over the years. Our recent Home Energy Audit revealed that it averaged no better than R-20 and, in some spots the upstairs ceiling was virtually naked to the cold! Our hard-earned dollars, in the form of heating and cooling costs were, quite literally, going through the roof! Dayle and I decided our house needed a new blanket. 

certainteed_insulation_300Our recent Energy_Audit  recommended upgrading our existing base to R-50, aligning it with Ontario`s current minimum standard for new home attic insulation. With energy prices expected to rise steeply in the coming years we wanted better than the minimum and opted to increase our insulation value to R-62. That meant raising the existing level to 21 inches! 

Although cost was certainly a factor,

we were more concerned about job quality and the use of eco-friendly materials that would continue to keep us cozy and comfortable for many years.  We plan to stay in our home for at least 10 more years and we have been told to expect the energy cost savings will pay for the investment in about half that time. So it is certainly worth it, and we can list this feature on our “Green Property Information Sheet” when we do sell.

certainteed_northern_white_fibre_glass_blowing_insulation_300_1We discovered that although our existing insulation was ‘fibreglass pink’, other options were also available for our attic including: different types of blown fibreglass, mineral fibre and cellulose fibre.  Our choice was fibreglass manufactured by CertainTeed. According to CertainTeed, in its first year of use, a typical pound of fibreglass insulation saves twelve times as much energy as the energy used to produce it. They claim the fibres in their product are longer than other brands making it resistant to compression over time and less likely to be disturbed by air currents in strong winds.  CertainTeed fibreglass is GreenGuard™ certified, contains 60-70% recycled glass and no added formaldehyde, acrylics, dyes or fire retardant chemicals.

We liked the fact that, unlike many other fibreglass products, you could handle it without gloves and we saw virtually no dust created in our attic as it was being installed!

Speaking of installation,

the effectiveness of insulation at keeping the house comfortable for the long-term, depends on the skill and thoroughness of the installer. We had heard about, and wanted to avoid, `blow and go` installers.  

certainteed_insulation_in_progress_300The team from our installation company, Affordable_Insulation, spent the first 4 hours preparing the attic before even bringing in the blowing hose. The floor was covered with drop sheets. They taped and sealed the vapour barrier around each of the ceiling fixtures, pot lights, vent stacks, bathroom fans and the chimney base. They put batt insulation around pot lights near the roof edge to prevent condensation and roof ice damming. They ensured the soffit vents were clear of insulation and obstruction.

Where required, they installed dams to prevent the blown insulation from blocking the soffit vents. The attic hatch was weather-stripped and covered with several fibreglass batts. Needless to say, we were very pleased with the job they performed!

Although the weather has been relatively mild, we’ve already noticed a difference in our comfort level, particularly on cool nights.  Now it`s time to compare bills and see how much we`re saving as a result of our new ‘home-duvet’!

The follow-up Energy Audit was performed, and the next article will show the improvement and what a home EnerGuide rating means to you.

Information about Energy Audits is one component of Dayle’s seminar on "Unlocking_your_Conscious_Consumer" . To book Dayle for your group, contact the office at 905-846-3221 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Comments (4)

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Great article, thank you!<br />Dayle we have a linkedin group called: Sustainable Kitchen and Bath Professionals, please join and post your wonderful articles! <br />Regards,<br />clara<br />http://www.xlkitchens.com<;br />http://www.sipgreen.or...

Great article, thank you!<br />Dayle we have a linkedin group called: Sustainable Kitchen and Bath Professionals, please join and post your wonderful articles! <br />Regards,<br />clara<br />http://www.xlkitchens.com<;br />http://www.sipgreen.org

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Thanks Clara, I will be pleased to post my articles!<br /><br />Regards,<br />Dayle

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Dayle, <br />Could this apply to basements as well, where most of us unload so much stuff?<br />Helene

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Helene,<br />Yes, basements have their own need for insulation in the walls and selection of an appropriate floor to cover the cold concrete. If done right, they can be quite cosy and energy efficient. Conscious consumers can clear the path to...

Helene,<br />Yes, basements have their own need for insulation in the walls and selection of an appropriate floor to cover the cold concrete. If done right, they can be quite cosy and energy efficient. Conscious consumers can clear the path to those unfinished walls by donating unused items to charity!<br />Thanks for the comment,<br />Dayle

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