There are three types of heat: direct, convection, and radiant. Modern home construction techniques still primarily draw upon standards set up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Since those times, advancements have been made in materials as the world seeks to reduce the wasteful use of precious resources. We’re learning to become more efficient, one day at a time.
Presently, your home may have traditional or mass insulation up in the attic. Typically known as “the pink stuff,” much of the mass insulation in homes today is made from fiberglass and exists in long sheets of batting or perhaps loose fill. When placed between the joists in your attic’s floor, mass insulation slows down the transfer of heat from your home’s interior up through the attic and into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, slowing down this process does not limit it all together. Once mass insulation absorbs all it can, it emits the excess heat. In this manner, your HVAC system may be constantly working to make up the difference lost through the roof.
Reflective insulation is a thin, lightweight product made of 99% aluminum and a polyester scrim inner core. While very easily cut, the product is difficult to tear, which makes it easy to handle and install with a simple box cutting knife.
Reflective insulation may be laid on top of traditional insulation in a loose pattern across the floor joists. Spaces between the layers are fine, and in fact may be necessary to prevent excessive condensation from building up. Overall, the effect should greatly lessen the amount of radiant heat lost into the atmosphere through your attic. Your HVAC system will work less hard, saving you money and wear and tear on an expensive home appliance.