Debating if a radiant barrier is a wise investment? Here is everything you need to know about radiant barriers and how they help protect your home.
One of the most common forms of insulation for households is radiant barrier insulation. Radiant barriers block heat from entering and escaping via the attic and help you save money on utility bills. How long a radiant barrier lasts is the question most often asked by customers.
As long as homeowners or certified attic specialists install them appropriately, radiant barriers last anywhere from 80 to 100 years. They are built to last and won't cause you any major issues for decades.
If you're thinking about installing a radiant barrier, keep reading.
The sun's radiant energy (or simply, the sun's energy) causes a roof to heat up. This results in radiant heat transfer from the side of the roofing material exposed to the sun to the attic side of your roof. Attic elements like the air ducts, attic floor, and the rooms below eventually absorb heat from the heated roof.
Does reflective insulation work? There is less heat transmission between the roof, attic surfaces, and the living spaces below when installing a radiant barrier and reflective insulation.
Radiant barrier insulation has a reflective surface that reflects heat away.
What is the R-value of a radiant barrier? A radiant barrier doesn't have an R-value because it doesn't resist heat flow like insulation, but a radiant barrier blocks an impressive 97% of radiant heat from the sun instead of soaking it in.
A radiant barrier is optimal when installed at a straight line at an angle of 90° to the incoming radiant energy. Radiant barriers work harder when there are considerable temperature differences between the two sides of the attic radiant barrier.
Installing radiant barriers in the attic of a house is a common way to reduce heat gain during the summer and see reduced cooling costs. Radiant barriers can lower cooling bills by 5% to 10% when utilized in a hot, sunny region like Dallas. Using a smaller air conditioning system may be possible because of the lower heat gain.
Manufacturers create different types of radiant barriers with either aluminum foil or another highly reflective material that they usually place on one or both sides of various substrates, such as kraft paper, plastic films, cardboard, oriented strand board, or an air infiltration barrier material. Meanwhile, manufacturers design fiber-reinforced radiant barriers to be more durable and easier to handle.
How to install reflective insulation in the attic? Working with a certified attic specialist is advisable because a radiant barrier's efficiency depends on being installed correctly. If you decide to do the radiant barrier insulation installation on your own, ensure that you thoroughly examine the manufacturer's instructions, take all necessary safety measures, and verify your area's building and fire regulations.
You can easily integrate radiant barriers into a newly constructed home, but they can also be installed in an existing house, mainly if the attic is open. Certified attic specialists hang radiant barriers between the roof rafters when building a brand-new residence, with the foil face down.
This position helps prevent dust from settling on the reflecting surfaces of the barrier (double-faced radiant barriers are available). The reflecting surface must face an open area to be effective. Dirt diminishes the reflecting surface's capacity to reflect light. You should place the reflecting surface of the radiant barrier in a way that minimizes the buildup of dust.
You can use staples to attach the material to the bottom of the rafters after installing the roof sheathing.
When installing a barrier made of foil, it is essential to provide the material room to droop between the attachment points so that there is at least a one-inch-and-a-half-centimeter-wide air gap between the barrier and the underside of the roof. Manufacturers also make sheathing with foil-faced plywood or oriented strand board, which are widely available.
It is crucial to remember that reflective foil is a conductor of electricity; thus, contractors and homeowners must refrain from making contact with bare electrical wire. Because the foil will be prone to dust accumulation and may trap moisture in the attic insulation material if installed on top of it, certified attic specialists recommend installing a radiant barrier on your roof's underside.
A correctly installed radiant barrier in the attic provides outstanding benefits. They are generally cost-effective and complement the benefits of your home's existing insulation.
They work well with all other insulation and slow down conductive heat. Radiant barriers also work better when it's hotter.
By installing a radiant barrier in the attic, you secure two key advantages: control over attic temperatures and significant energy savings.
Radiant barriers are effective at making your house more comfortable by ensuring the rest of the home is more evenly temperate as well. A radiant barrier's main job is to keep heat from getting into your home. Without protection like radiant barriers, an area that gets a lot of direct sunlight can get very hot in a short amount of time.
Sunlight comes right into your home through windows and other clear openings. But it can also get into your home indirectly through things like your roof and walls.
When placed in your attic or elsewhere, radiant barriers help you save money on cooling costs by lowering the temperature. Radiant barriers reduce the amount of air conditioning you have to use, instantly optimizing your energy savings.
Because they have to work harder and longer, high temperatures degrade cooling systems. They also strain your ducting by pushing more chilly air through them. Excess cold air reduces your air ducts' lifespans and leads to debris collection.
Is an attic radiant barrier worth it? Radiant barrier installation helps make HVAC systems more energy-efficient, have longer lifespans, and have fewer repairs.
Radiant barriers may also help you keep your home warm in the winter. You will have better control throughout the year, and a radiant barrier will lower your energy expenses. In places where it is cold, radiant barriers keep heat from escaping and send it to other parts of the house. This makes sure that everyone in the house is comfortable.
Attic radiant barriers cost between $1,000 to $3,000.
Let us put some radiant barrier questions and myths to rest as we close.