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HEALTHY HOUSING INSIGHT

Insulation Selection

There are many insulation products available, and the number is growing as manufacturers seek to provide better performing and easier to install products. Some important factors to consider when selecting insulation products are summarized below.

Occupant Health: Never use insulation products which may adversely affect the health of the house occupants. This may occur when insulation is left exposed, or particulates enter ductwork.

Energy Efficiency: The energy efficiency of Insulation products may vary significantly on a unit of thickness basis. For example, glass fibre insula tion batts for installation in 2 x 6 in. (38 x 140 mm) cavities can vary from R-19 to R-22 (RSI 3.3 to 3.9). Obtain the highest thermal efficiency where possible.

Resource Efficiency: Where possible, use insulation materials made from industrial by products or recycled waste. Most glass and mineral fibre products as well as cellulose products meet these criteria. Appropriate selection of insulation materials is an important step toward greater resource efficiency in house construction.

-* Environmental Responsibility: Avoid using insulation products which use processes or chemicals that degrade the environment. For example, some foam insulations use blowing agents which cause damage to the o^one layer. Also, some products produce toxic effluents during the manufacturing process. Research insulation products carefully to ensure that your purchasing power is promoting environmental responsibility.

Affordability: The stability and longevity of insulation products ensures that their stated thermal performance is sustained over the useful life of the house. Using innovative products should be balanced against proven performance, since the heating costs of housing can significantly affect its affordability, particularly for fixed-income households.

Insulation is a passive, energy-conserving element in the house which should be selected with careful consideration.

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