Do you have a newer home with a high R-Value insulation installed? Good for you! But there is still one more thing you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A step that will actually decrease your bills even further: installing radiant barrier reflective foil insulation in your attic.
Once your home is completed by a builder there are still two to three places in your home that may possibly be leaking your energy resources: attic, garage and windows. Since the attic covers the entire home, I recommend it as the place to start if you want to further energy-proof your home.
Installing radiant barrier insulation in your attic can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It is a type of foil insulation that works with your existing cellulose or fiberglass materials to deflect the heat or cold and help with your home’s temperature control. It is easy to install. You can tack it up with nails, staples or glue right over the studs in your attic. It is very affordable on the front end and you could see the return in full of your initial outlay via your heating and cooling bill within months.
How does reflective foil enhance your existing insulation? Cellulose and fiberglass simply absorb the heat so the more of it you have, the better. This depth is what your R-Value refers to. Radiant barrier, which is not measured by R-Value, is a thin sheet with aluminum foil on each side that reflects the heat or cold so it does not pass through into your house. When it is cold, it sends the cold air back outside. When it is hot, it sends the hot air back outside. Thus your furnace and air conditioner are not working as hard to keep your house at a pleasant temperature.
It is best to use perforated radiant barrier insulation when installing in an attic. This allows the material to breathe and prevents unwanted moisture and condensation from developing.