We’re always looking for ways to make our homes as energy efficient as possible. A solution that sometimes goes overlooked is radiant barrier. This insulation method is pretty much tin foil. We can see your quizzical expression, and today we’re telling you how radiant barrier works.
What is Radiant Heat?
During the summer months, your attic takes a beating from the sun. For example, on a hot summer day even though it’s 95° outside, your attic can reach a temperature of 150°.
The reason your attic gets so hot without actual sun exposure is because of radiant heat. UV rays from the sun will make your attic so hot it starts to radiate its own heat. All without actually being touched by something that’s physically hot.
Think of your car in the sun. When parked in an area without shade, the inside of your car gets warmer faster than the outside temperature.
This extreme heat can do damage to anything stored in your attic and even your HVAC system. Additionally, the high temperature can be felt in your insulation, which transfers that heat to your home. Making your HVAC system run harder to cool your home.
How do Radiant Barrier Work?
Going back to the car example, when you put a shade over your windshield or park under a tree, these things block the heat from the sun. There’s a remarkable temperature difference between the interior heat of a shaded and non-shaded car.
This same rule applies to your home. Radiant barrier acts as a mirror in a way. It bounces heat and UV rays away from your home. The heat will try to transfer from the sun to your roof, shingles, and eventually your attic.
When installed properly, radiant barrier will stop heat from getting in. Think of an insulated stainless steel cup. The science that keeps your drink cold throughout the day can do the same for your home.
What is a Radiant Barrier Made From?
Radiant barrier is reflective surfaces that create a gap between your home and the sun. They’re usually made from an industrial grade tin foil. Similar to the tin foil blankets found in emergency survival kits.
We don’t recommend getting the tin foil in your kitchen and taping it all over your attic, this will do absolutely nothing and just waste a bunch of time and perfectly good tin foil.
Your options are to either call in a professional, like the ones at Service Champions. Or work closely with someone well versed in the language of home improvement.
What are the Benefits?
With the right conditions, radiant barrier can have great perks. This insulation will be the most beneficial for homes with HVAC systems and ductwork in the attic.
When your HVAC system and ductwork are in the attic, the extreme heat from the sun can degrade your system and force it to work much harder than it needs to. With radiant barrier, you’re elongating the life of you HVAC system.
Additionally, you can save between 5% and 10% on your energy bill. Which also makes your carbon footprint a bit smaller.
Radiant barrier can be a great, cost effective, way to help keep your home cool, lengthen the life of your HVAC system, and be more energy efficient.