Why insulating basement walls with Quik-Therm CIS is an environmentally responsible choice

Rigorous independent testing confirms that the Quik-Therm CIS basement insulation system will make your home or building more comfortable and less expensive to heat and cool. In addition to knowing Quik-Therm CIS is an exceptional way to insulate basement walls or concrete or masonry buildings, we also want you to be confident about the environmental qualities of Quik-Therm CIS.

Quik-Therm CIS is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), which in turn is made from petro-chemicals. Because of this, we recognize that Quik-Therm CIS and other Quik-Therm products are not as “green” as some other insulation products, such as blown-in insulation made from recycled paper. However, green building experts have made it clear that, “From an environmental standpoint, a thicker layer of a relatively nongreen insulation material is almost always better than an inadequate thickness of the greenest insulation material available” (from Environmental Business News). In other words, get the most effective R-value bang you can for your buck. This makes Quik-Therm CIS a very environmentally responsible basement insulation choice because it dramatically improves the energy efficiency of homes and buildings, while also being affordable and easy to install. (Read more.)

Insulating for future generations

When you use effective home insulation products like Quik-Therm CIS you are doing your part to act sustainably. Often it can seem challenging for individual homeowners to influence how much greenhouse gases Canada emits each year. Most of us do not write government policy or run big industrial companies. However, properly insulating your home is within your control and is likely the easiest and most effective way to lower your greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural Resources Canada reports that residential energy use accounted for 15% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 and that 63% of residential energy was used for space heating. Therefore, all other things staying the same, if a homeowner uses less energy for space heating, he or she will be responsible for the emission of fewer greenhouse gases.

Distribution of residential energy use in Canada by end-use, 2009 (figure from NR CAN)

Figure 3.3 – Distribution of residential energy use by end-use, 2009.

With regard to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, there is evidence that the efforts of homeowners are working. Since 1990, Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions have risen by approximately 20%. However, during that same time period, levels of greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s homes have fallen by 4.7%. This is good news, but it is also important to realize that much of this improvement is due to cleaner fuels (natural gas vs. oil) being used to heat our homes. In fact, 13% more energy is used today to heat Canadian homes than was used in 1990. (Overall, as there are 36% more homes today compared to 1990, the heating efficiency of Canadian homes has improved by about 24%.)

For the Canadian residential sector to maintain or improve upon this successful lowering of its greenhouse gas emissions, the next obvious step is for us to continue lowering the amount of energy we use to heat our homes. As discussed earlier, improvements to our homes’ building envelopes (using better air and water barriers, more effective insulation, preventing thermal bridging, etc.) is the best way to do this. Therefore, when you use Quik-Therm CIS to insulate your basement, or other Quik-Therm products, you are making a good decision for yourself and a responsible one for future generations.

Some other environmental qualities of Quik-Therm CIS

1. As an insulation choice, expanded polystyrene (EPS) is an efficient use of fossil fuels.

  • “Across their total life cycle, plastics insulation boards save 150 times more energy than is needed for their production” (from Plastics Europe).

2. Manufactured with pentane.

  • Does not produce ozone depleting off-gasses.

3. Manufactured with recycled materials.

  • Insulation panels contain up to 15% recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS), the most allowed by government regulation.
  • T-studs are manufactured using 100% recycled plastics.
  • Packaging contains up to 80% recycled cardboard.

4. Long lasting, durable, and lowers the consumption of building materials.

  • If your basement floods, Quik-Therm CIS does not need to be removed, unlike fibreglass batt insulation.
  • The EPS in Quik-Therm CIS can be recycled.

5. Made in locations across Canada.

  • This lower transportation distances, saving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

6. Promotes a healthy living environment.

  • With Quik-Therm CIS there are no off-gasses like formaldehyde and no vitreous glass fibers.
  • Because it does not absorb moisture, it inhibits the growth of mold and mildew and lessens damage caused by basement flooding.
  • Acts as a barrier to radon gas.

The development of the Quik-Therm line of insulation products has been a passion for us. We are concerned about the state of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources. We know Quik-Therm sells superior insulation product that can significantly improve the energy efficiency of Canadian homes and buildings and in turn lessen our environmental footprint.