When choosing a radiant barrier product, it’s important to read the product label carefully. Foil-type radiant barriers should have high reflectivity and low emissivity.
Radiant barriers are installed in homes, often in the attic, to reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling bills. They don’t work by reducing heat conduction like thermal insulation. For more information about Ultimate Radiant Barrier & Insulation read the article below.
Radiant barrier is an energy-efficient insulation that reduces the transfer of radiant heat. In warm climates, the sun’s radiant heat can quickly raise attic temperatures, forcing air conditioning systems to work harder and costing homeowners money each month. By reflecting this radiant heat, a radiant barrier keeps the attic space cooler and helps reduce cooling costs by up to 17% in many homes.
While fiberglass attic insulation slows down the flow of conductive heat, radiant barriers reduce thermal radiation transfer and improve comfort throughout the year. They can be used alone or in combination with traditional attic insulation to enhance energy efficiency and comfort.
The basic component of a radiant barrier is aluminum foil. It is installed in the attic, typically laying on the attic floor with the reflective side up. In some applications, it may be affixed to the attic joists or rafters, or it may be draped over the attic joists and rafters prior to installing roof sheathing. Radiant barriers can also be incorporated into new construction as an alternative to plywood sheathing on roof joists. This method is not as effective when applied to existing homes, but it is a good option for builders who are interested in reducing the overall cost of a new home and gaining Energy Star certification.
Traditional attic insulation works by preventing the transfer of conductive heat, with R-values indicating its effectiveness. A radiant barrier prevents the transfer of thermal radiation with low emissivity values (lower is better) to help reduce heat gain in the summer and keep warmth in during the winter.
Adding both types of insulation will offer the best results in terms of energy savings. Adding both will ensure that the R-value of your attic is higher than it would be without either insulation, helping to maximize the benefits of both products.
Many energy companies will bundle radiant barriers with other energy-saving measures in a package deal for homeowners. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare these packages to see which offers the best value for your home. Be sure to take into account installation costs and any extra costs for materials or labor that may be included in the package.
Reduced energy bills
Radiant barriers work by reflecting thermal radiation and can be supplemented with many different types of insulation materials. Thermal insulation reduces energy transfer by conduction and convection as well, reducing heating and cooling costs. The type of insulation you choose will depend on where you live and how much heat your home typically gains or loses.
Radiant barriers are usually installed in the attics of homes, and they can be installed along with traditional cellulose or fiberglass insulation. In fact, the combination of radiant barrier and traditional insulation can reduce the installation cost since you won’t have to install as much blown-in insulation.
In addition, radiant barriers can be used on their own for new construction. This is done by having the contractors install foil-backed sheathing on the attic floor over the plywood or oriented strand board, with the reflective side facing down toward the attic space. This will decrease heat through emissivity and significantly lower your utility bills.
A radiant barrier is different from the popular cellulose or fiberglass insulation because it doesn’t rely on density for performance. Instead, radiant barriers are rated according to their reflectivity and emissivity, with higher numbers indicating better performance. You can look for products with these numbers, and you should always check that they meet the minimum classification requirements set by the DOE.
When you use a radiant barrier in your attic, you can save on your heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. This savings is even more noticeable if you live in a warm climate, where air conditioning can account for more than half of your energy bills.
You can also save money by switching to smaller air conditioning units since radiant barriers will allow you to run your unit at a lower capacity. Radiant barriers are often a better investment than a solar system for these reasons because they can help you get the most from your existing equipment. If you’re considering installing a radiant barrier in your home, it’s important to speak with an experienced professional and compare prices between companies before making a final decision.
Increased Home Value
Radiant Barrier helps your home become more energy efficient and is a valuable investment that will pay for itself in lower energy bills. It also protects your house from heat damage and can even reduce the need for air conditioning in hot climates. It is a more permanent alternative to paint or coating and will not need to be touched up or reapplied every few years like a coat of paint might.
Unlike thermal insulation materials that slow down conductive heat transfer, radiant barriers block and reflect radiant heat away from your roof. They are rated by an emissivity value, which is a measure of how much a material reflects or absorbs radiative heat. The lower the emissivity, the better the radiant barrier.
Builders and HVAC installers have used aluminum-foil sheeting in attics for decades to reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling costs. More recently, liquid radiation control coatings designed to be sprayed or rolled on interior surfaces have been developed. Radiant barriers are more effective than conventional fiberglass attic insulation and are recommended in warm, sunny climates by many of today’s green building rating systems and emerging codes.
A perforated radiant barrier consists of small holes throughout the product that allow moisture vapor to pass through. In addition to providing an insulating effect, these holes help the reflective surface stay dry. The permeability of a non-perforated radiant barrier should not exceed five (5) perms as measured with ASTM C1313. GreenHome Specialties uses only perforated radiant barriers.
When used with existing insulation in a vented attic, radiant barriers can reduce energy costs by as much as 5% to 10%. They are most effective in warm, sunny climates, where a significant percentage of a home’s cooling energy is lost through the attic and walls.
Installing a radiant barrier in combination with an attic with insulation will improve the performance of the entire system and yield greater savings than either product alone. A standard economic calculation that converts energy savings into present values and takes into account the projected future price of natural gas or electricity demonstrates that radiant barriers can provide a much greater return on investment than traditional attic insulation alone.
Easy to install.
Radiant barrier is a foil-like material that reduces heat transfer by reflecting radiant heat rather than absorbing it. It is most effective in hot climates where cooling costs are typically the highest, and homeowners can save 5% to 10% on their energy bills. When used in conjunction with insulating materials, it can significantly decrease energy bills and increase comfort.
Most commonly, radiant barriers are installed during the construction of a new home or building. Contractors apply the reflective sheathing to attic joists before applying plywood or oriented strand board over it. The foil faces down toward the attic space, decreasing emissivity. However, they can also be installed in an existing home or structure by stapling the sheathing to the attic joists with the reflective side down.
Compared to cellulose insulation, which has a higher moisture content and is more prone to delamination, radiant barrier foils have a lower moisture content, are less prone to delamination, and are not contaminated by insects or rodents. In addition to their increased durability and reduced moisture levels, radiant barriers are more resistant to abrasions, making them easier and faster to install than other types of insulation.
Radiant barriers are available in both breathable and non-breathable varieties. Breathable radiant barriers are perforated, while non-breathable versions have a solid surface. Both types meet a variety of fire ratings, including ASTM E84 with the optional UL 2599 mounting method and Class A/Class 1 flame spread and smoke development.
Both breathable and non-breathable barriers have the potential to reduce your energy costs by lowering attic temperatures and reducing the amount of heat that radiates from the sun into the living spaces below. In fact, the savings from a single-story ranch-style home can be as high as 25%.
Radiant barrier installations are relatively simple, and most people can do them themselves if they follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. It’s always best to hire a professional, though, for optimal results and to ensure that the installation process meets local building and fire codes.