Energy Saving Reviews – Radiant Barrier & Insulation

What is a radiant barrier? Radiant barriers are materials that are installed in attics to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss. Basically this will reduce cooling, and heating costs. The barriers usually consist of a highly reflective material, such as a thin sheet, or a sprayed on, normally aluminum.

How is it installed?

There are many ways this can be installed, however we’ll cover the 2 basic ways that are used in residential applications. The most common way that this is done is by spraying #85 Barrier Coat on the underside of your roof, in your attic. This mixture is made up of pure metal (aluminum) pigment, insulating ceramic microspheres and NO mineral spirits or other volatile, flammable solvents. This type is approximately 70% effective. The other was is to install a aluminum foil type barrier on top of your existing insulation, this is the most effective at approximately 97%, but a lot more expensive to install.

How does it work?

On a warm sunny day, solar energy is absorbed by the roof materials, heating the roof and causing the underside of the roof and the roof framing to radiate heat downward toward the attic floor, and into the attic itself. When a radiant barrier is placed on the attic floor, a lot of the heat radiated from the hot roofing material is reflected back toward the roof itself. This will make the top of the insulation itself cooler than it would have been without a radiant barrier in place, and reduces the amount of heat that moves through the insulation into the rooms below the ceiling. For the spray on barrier on the underside of your roof, it will reflect the radiant heat away from entering your attic up to it’s effectiveness (approx 70%). This is the most economical way to install the barrier. Radiant barriers can also reduce indoor heat losses through the ceiling into the attic in the winter.

This can be an effective way to reduce heat from entering your home during the summer, especially those that live in extremely warm environments.