Radiant Barriers for Energy Efficiency

Radiant barriers are comprised of aluminum foil and other reflective materials. They are installed in a building structure to maintain the temperature, such as in homes to keep the keep inside or outside out of the house. Why install these?  Because they are directly proportional to a more comfortable temperature and reduced energy bills. They are mostly installed on a roof deck’s underside as well as on a gable ends’ inner surface, or any other appropriate straight areas in an attic. The objective is to protect a building’s insulation from absorbing heat.


It can be positioned under the roofing materials. This will protect the home from the heat, as the sun will be redirected elsewhere and the flow will not follow the downward direction. This is how a radiant barrier keeps a property cool. If we are able to shift back the incoming thermal radiation, we will be able to keep the house cool; this same thing is done by a radiant barrier.  Keep in mind that the technique to install radiant barriers may vary depending on the roof.  Different techniques must be taken if the home is new or existing.  For instance, radiant barriers can be used on houses that are just being constructed, and aluminum foil may be used on houses that homeowners want to customize that are already existing.

Almost every installation of radiant barrier needs a gap or air space; this is because the radiant barrier requires space to work in a proper way.  People living in humid area should not overlook this gap, as ignoring this will lead to moisture, which is not safe for the property.  This often happens in the southern United States, where humidity is a way of life.  If your attic traps moisture, it will become a place of mold, critters, or even deterioration.  So that gap, which provides air flow, is essential to maintain your attic.

Types of Radiant Barriers

There are many types of radiant barriers and you simply cannot tell which type will best suit your home without understanding the characteristics of each.  The most common type of barriers are:

  • Single and double-sided foil
  • Foil faced
  • Barrier chips

The insulation, as well as the reinforcement used in construction, will determine which type of radiant barrier will be ideal for the home. Chips are ideal for attic floor.  It is always best to let a trained professional determine the best radiant barrier for your home.

Do you know that a perfectly installed radiant barrier can restrict or block 90% of the heat?  Yes, it is a proven fact. That is why radiant barriers are popular, as they will not only save you money on your power bill, but they will make your home more comfortable in general. They not only block the sunlight, they also block the heat and allow homeowners to save on utility bills.

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Toni Nowlin

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