Attic Radient Barriers

attic-radiant-barrierRadiant barriers are installed to primarily reduce the summer heat gain and reduce the costs of cooling. These radiant barriers are made up of highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat instead of absorbing it. This does not mean it reduces heat conduction, but it does reflect it.

How they work

Conduction, convection, and radiation combined help heat travel from a warm area to a cool area. Conduction makes heat flow from a hotter location within a material to a colder location. Convection makes heat transfer when a liquid or gas is heated, becomes less dense, and then rises – like air. When the gas or liquid cools down, it becomes dense and falls. Radiant heat travels in a straight line away from any surface and heats anything solid that absorbs its energy.

Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems reduce radiant heat gain. In order to work, the reflective surface must face an open air space otherwise dust can reduce its reflective capability. The radiant barrier should be installed in a way that minimizes dust accumulation and the reflective surface.

When a roof is heated by the sun, it is because of the sun’s radiant energy. Most of this heat travels through the materials on the attic side of the roof which radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the side beneath the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.

A radiant barrier should be perpendicular to the radiant energy hitting it in order to really work. If the temperature difference between the sides of the radiant barrier material is more, the radiant barrier will offer more benefits.

Radiant barriers are most effective in hot climates. Some studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs anywhere from approximately 10% to 30%, especially in a hot and sunny climate.

Types of Radiant Barriers

Radiant Barriers contain highly reflective materials, like aluminum foil, which is applied to one or both sides of a number of substrate materials like plastic films, cardboard, Kraft paper, and air infiltration barrier material. Some products might be fiber reinforced to increase durability and make it easier to handle.

Radiant barriers can be combined with many types of insulation materials in reflective insulation systems. When materials are combined, radiant barriers can act as the thermal insulation’s facing material.

Installation

When installing a radiant barrier, it is important to use highly trained professionals since its effectiveness depends on proper installation. We strictly follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions.

We can install radiant barriers in an existing home or in a new home. If it is a new home, an installer usually drapes a rolled foil radiant barrier foil-face down between the roof rafters to minimize dust buildup on the reflective surfaces. This step is usually done before the roof sheathing goes on, but it can also be done after by stapling the material to the bottom of the rafters inside the attic.