Radiant Barrier Foil Houston is a reflective insulation installed in homes, typically in attics, to reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling costs. It’s a great way to cut your energy bills and move one step closer to being green!
A radiant barrier should be placed under the roof sheathing with the foil side facing down. The radiant barrier should not be overlapped or stapled to the sheathing.
Radiant barriers are a type of thermal insulation that inhibits heat transfer by radiant (or non-contact) radiation. They are usually made of aluminum foil, which is attached to substrates such as kraft paper and oriented strand board (OSB). The surface of the barrier must be kept clean in order to maintain its effectiveness. In addition, the emissivity of the radiant barrier must be low. The emissivity of the radiant barrier is rated on a scale of 0 to 1; the lower the number, the better.
Most experts agree that radiant barriers are most effective in hot climates, particularly when the air conditioning ducts are located in the attic. Studies show that they can reduce cooling costs by 5% to 10% in these types of climates by keeping the attic much cooler and limiting the amount of work required by the air conditioner to cool the house.
For existing homes, radiant barriers can be installed in several different ways. They can be stapled directly on the underside of the roof joists, or in some cases, they are installed over attic insulation. They can also be incorporated into the construction of a new home by having a sheet of foil-backed sheathing inserted between the rafters instead of plywood or OSB.
The cost of radiant barriers varies widely, and many companies promote them as an energy-saving product with claims of reduced heating and cooling costs. It is important to shop around and compare prices before making a decision. In general, however, radiant barriers can be expected to save money in most homes and will pay for themselves in less than a few years in some cases.
Radiant Barrier is an insulation that is applied to the attic floor, and it is often installed underneath conventional insulation. The product is essentially reflective foil that is bonded to either the underside of the roof sheathing or to the wood framing in the attic. It is important that it be installed correctly in order to achieve the energy efficiency that is promised. There are several different radiant barriers on the market, including paint, foam boards, spray-on products, and breathable housewrap. The product that is best suited to each home may differ in reflectivity, emissivity, and flame and smoke characteristics, and it is important to choose a product that is rated for the type of application in which it will be used.
The radiant barrier is able to reduce attic temperatures significantly, especially when it is combined with sufficient attic ventilation. This reduction in attic temperature allows for more efficient air conditioning and cooling of the living spaces, which results in significant savings on energy bills. Some studies show savings of up to 25%, and single-story ranch-style homes typically experience the highest percentage of energy savings.
Some people are skeptical of radiant barriers because of a study that has been misquoted online, which indicated that the effectiveness of the material decreases when covered in dust. However, the full study indicates that even with dust covering the reflective surface, the barrier continues to be effective in reducing attic heat transfer and lowering home cooling loads.
In addition to saving on energy costs, radiant barriers can help protect the life of shingles and extend the life of the roofing system. Shingles can be damaged by the sun’s heat when it reaches the attic, but a radiant barrier helps keep the attic cooler, which minimizes damage to the shingles.
Radiant barriers can also help increase the R-value of the existing attic insulation, which increases the overall R-value of the attic. This increased R-value can reduce the size of the HVAC unit needed to cool the home, which in turn can result in additional savings on utility bills.
longer life for HVAC systems
Radiant barriers are often included in packages of energy-saving features offered to homeowners. You will want to shop around and compare prices before you buy. In some cases, you may find that a radiant barrier is less expensive than the cost of other insulation, or even as little as half the price of the installation.
Radiation barriers are often installed under existing attic insulation with the foil side facing up. It is important to make sure the foil surface does not touch drywall or attic flooring, as this will prevent it from working properly.
If the attic is properly ventilated, radiant barriers will lower attic temperatures by up to 30 degrees. This will help reduce summer cooling costs and extend the life of your roof and AC unit.
Insulation slows the transfer of heat by preventing thermal transfer, but it does not actually reflect it. In contrast, radiant barriers work to actually reflect radiant heat as it travels through space, keeping your home cooler and extending the life of your HVAC system.
The effectiveness of a radiant barrier is determined by its reflectivity and emissivity ratings. These are typically expressed as percentages and represent a material’s ability to reflect radiant energy and its ability to absorb it. For example, aluminum has a reflectivity rating of 97% and an emissivity rating of 3%. If you hold your hand in front of a candle flame, 97% of the radiant heat will reflect away from your hand, and the remaining 3% will be absorbed by the air.
When radiant barriers are correctly installed in your attic, they will reflect the majority of radiant energy back to its source and help keep your home cool. The lower attic temperatures also allow your HVAC system to operate more efficiently and extend its life by reducing the amount of wear and tear it has to endure.
The installation of a radiant barrier can be done by a homeowner or a professional contractor and is usually relatively easy. If you would like to learn more about radiant barriers and their benefits for your home, you can visit the Florida Solar Energy Center website or Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Reduced energy bills
As radiant barriers keep heat from entering your home in the summer, you won’t need to use energy-sapping air conditioning as much. This greatly reduces your cooling bills in the summer. Radiant barriers also help in the winter by reflecting the heat that naturally rises through your attic to escape your home, reducing the load on your heating system and again cutting energy costs.
Radiant barriers are made of a highly reflective material that is often aluminum foil. They can be installed in attics by themselves or in combination with other insulation systems. Depending on the type of attic insulation and other factors, they can help reduce both cooling and heating bills.
The concept behind radiant barriers was pioneered in 1860 by Jean-Claude Eugene Peclet, who experimented with the insulating effects of high and low emissive metals facing into air spaces. He found that the lower emissive metals were significantly more effective than the higher emissive metals in stopping heat transfer.
Today, radiant barriers are used in new construction and retrofit applications to reflect sunlight away from the attic floor or rafters of existing homes. They are typically attached to the underside of the roof sheathing and can be either placed under or pre-laminated to the attic truss or rafter framing. In the latter case, a minimum of 1.5 inches of air space should be maintained between the top surface of the radiant barrier and the attic ceiling sheathing.
A recent study based on field tests conducted on homes with varying types and amounts of attic insulation shows that radiant barriers, when properly installed and combined with other insulation systems, can reduce both heating and cooling costs by 30% or more. These savings translate into substantial cost reductions on electricity and gas consumption.
It is important to remember that radiant barriers are a long-term investment and should only be installed by a professional. A reputable contractor will be familiar with proper installation techniques and can offer a wide range of additional energy-saving options. Those who do the work themselves should carefully research the materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They should also take the necessary safety precautions and adhere to local building codes when installing the product.