Radiant barrier insulation is similar to foil insulation in that the primary objective of this sort of insulation is to reflect sun heat away from the targeted insulated area. Radiant barrier insulation is typically lightweight, and anything weighting more than say 5 times the weight of aluminum should be considered heavy.
The radiant barrier should be installed on the outside of an insulating stack, in order to prevent reflecting heat back through other layers of insulation, which then would only serve to trap the heat inside the targeted insulated area.
They are different from fireproof barriers by their fundamental objectives. They, again, reflect heat away from the insulated area, whereas fireproof barriers try to stop a fire from spreading across the protected barrier-typically a wall.
Though radiant barriers are typically fire retardant, they don’t necessarily qualify as so called fireproofing or fireproof materials. It is for this reason that you should explicitly fireproof an area, on top of merely adding fire retardant materials such as radiant Stopper materials.
Same goes for sound proofing. Especially in close urban quarters such as New York City, San Francisco (California), or even down Seattle, although radiant barriers carry similar soundproofing characteristics to its materials, it isn’t a proper soundproofing material, when used solely and exclusively just for that purpose.
When shopping for radiant barrier materials, expect to pay about $20.00 to $80 per 4- by 6 foot areas. This price is typical, as are the dimensions. Like aluminum foils, the radian barrier materials come in rolls, and are very easy to pick up in small cars, if that’s all you have to use to pick up your home improvement supplies.
A popular brand is Ultra Touch; it’s a lightweight aluminum, and is said to reflect up to 97% of radiant heat. This is often advertised and in fact standard. What must be realized about this percentage is that it is actually a range; and the typical range is 30 to 97%, 97 being the absolute highest and most heat that can be reflected by the material.
Several theories exist about whether reflect sort of materials it should be placed anywhere other than the so called membrane of the insulated area-the perimeter where the heat is to enter or attack the insulated area. Some say it’s redundant and indeed useless to install radiant barriers between, say, an attack floor and a top floor ceiling. The idea is that whatever heat is going to make it to the attic floor should not be made to reflect back into the attic to keep the lower floor cooler, as this will work to just heat the attic unnecessarily, by trapping that heat in between two-a top and bottom-radiant barrier.
An opposing idea is that this is effectual and effective, it just needs to be done about a space that is large enough to warrant a so called sandwich. The idea is that if the attic has large windows that lets significant sun light in, then radiant barriers across the top floor ceiling just underneath the attic floor would be warranted. The radiant barrier wouldn’t be warranted in such situations where the floors were open, as they are in loft style buildings and units. In this situation, The solutions are available, but are less effective, since the insulating space is fundamentally and essentially shared by each room.