radiant barrier insulation | are they worth it
Radiant barrier insulation is a little different from the more common types of insulation and is a reflective surface that reduces heat transfer into attics. This helps improve energy efficiency of the home.
A radiant barrier, on the other hand, actually blocks and reflects heat back to where it came from, rather than just slowing down the process.
Reflective insulation is essentially a barrier usually made from aluminum foil or aluminized polyester.
Types of Radiant Barrier
- Radiant Barrier Paint
- Foil-Backed Sheathing
- Radiant Barrier Foil
Each of these approaches offer a different level of effectiveness in blocking heat transfer.
Most radiant barriers are composed of the same materials, but different blends and compositions give them different weights.
How Does It Work?
this type of roof works primarily through the reflection of heat. The inside of the attic lined with a highly reflective material such as aluminum.
like all types of insulation, radiant barrier has both pros and cons.
Best used in warm climates to reflect heat; good for wrapping pipes and duct work
It is thin and fairly lightweight and much less bulky than other forms, making it easy to work with and fit.
they are produced with aluminum or metalized polyester and polyethylene (plastic). None of these materials is flammable or a fire hazard.
the radiant barrier insulation’s material does not allow for the growth of this type of fungus.
Simple to install; provides vapor barrier
Unlike other forms of insulation, it is also non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, making it safer and easy to install with the use of less safety equipment.
Does not deteriorate or compress like other inexpensive insulation materials
Radiant barrier insulation also does not deteriorate overtime. Other types of insulation might be more prone to moisture, mold and even pests, causing them to degrade quickly. However, radiant barrier insulation does not have that issue.
they were able to determine that the radiant barrier reduced heat transfer by 40-50%. That can only translate to a serious discount on your next utility bill.
It can also be used as a vapor barrier, as it is relatively waterproof and unaffected by moisture.
cons of Reflective Insulation
It is generally more expensive due to being a metal-based product.
It Isn’t as Effective in Colder Climates
It Does Not Tackle Conductive Heat Gain
While radiant barrier insulation is effective in preventing radiant heat, it will not be able to prevent heat gain that occurs through convective and conductive means.
This biggest problem with a radiant barrier roof is the fact that moisture will often collect on its interior surface.
While radiant barrier insulation is not prone to mold, it is certainly prone to dust and dirt. it can reduce the efficiency of your radiant barrier insulation.
There is the potential of reflective insulation becoming an electrical hazard should a wiring fault occur. After all, it is a metal and conducts electricity.
1-When installed in the attic, foil insulation should be perforated so that moisture cannot build up, causing condensation and even freezing in the winter.
2-The radiant barrier should be installed in a manner to minimize dust accumulation on the reflective surface.