What are radiant barriers?
If you’re wondering, chances are you’re searching for home energy efficiency upgrades. The alternative to traditional insulation is highly recommended, and many experts consider radiant installation to be one of the best ways to save money on home heating and cooling costs. Here, the professional team at GreenHome Specialties explains what you need to know about the advanced technology.
How Radiant Barriers Work
To understand radiant barrier technology and how it works, think about where you park your car on hot days. You likely aim for shady spots whenever possible — you know the sun will turn your vehicle into a virtual oven, making everything inside feel as if it’s generating heat.
During the summer, your attic can be just like your car, as heat from the sun enters the space. And eventually, the warmth extends into your other living spaces, making your entire home hotter.
Radiant insulation reflects heat, blocking it from entering in the summer – functioning much like how a nice shade tree keeps your car cool. At the same time, the barrier material is designed to reflect heat into your home during the cold weather months.
Types of Radiant Barriers
Radiant insulation comes in several forms, and some products combine the reflective barrier material with other insulating materials.
Most types of radiant barriers feature a highly reflective surface material applied to a substrate, which may be made of cardboard, plastic film, kraft paper, oriented strand board or an air infiltrating barrier material. Manufacturers also offer fiber-reinforced radiant insulation, and these products provide increased durability.
Why Hire a Professional Installer
If you’re handy around the house, you might think about trying to install radiant barriers yourself. Doing so really isn’t the best idea, however – just take a look at what you’ll need to do to complete the project:
- Inspect your insulation for damage, mold and mildew
- Replace or add to your insulation where necessary
- Research the current building codes for your region
- Make any needed repairs to the involved structural elements
- Properly seal the areas around lights, vents and attic penetrations
- Apply the radiant insulation so that the reflective material faces air spaces
The effectiveness of any radiant insulation depends upon how expertly the barrier material is installed – and by choosing to complete the project on your own, you likely won’t achieve optimal results. To make sure the home energy efficiency project really pays off in terms of energy savings, hire a certified installer.
If you live in Salt Lake City or the surrounding northern Utah area, call on the licensed and certified professionals at GreenHome Specialties. Contact our Provo or Layton office and schedule a free home energy audit and consultation to discuss radiant barrier installation today.