Denver Attic Radiant Barrier
When looking for ways to save money and make your home more comfortable, consider having a radiant barrier or attic foil installed.
What Is a Radiant Barrier or Attic Foil Insulation?
Radiant barriers, also known as attic foil insulation, are tools for reducing the summer heat in your home and saving you money on your utility bills. They’re usually made from aluminium foil affixed to one or both sides of a section of the paper, strand board, plastic, cardboard, or air infiltration barrier. The material is sometimes reinforced with fiber to make it more durable and easier to handle.
Without a barrier, the sun’s radiation hits your roof and raises the temperature, which sends heat back out in multiple directions. The materials used in the barriers and insulation are highly reflective, turning away radiant heat instead of soaking it in. This process protects the heat envelope around your home.
How Does It Help Costs?
Radiant barrier decking can help you save money on your utility bills. However, the amount you save varies based on where you live. Because radiant barriers save money by reducing heat gain, they’re much more effective in areas where temperatures are above average. Some research finds savings of up to 10%. Anecdotal evidence suggests that temperatures in attics with a radiant decking barrier can be as much as 25 degrees lower.
Radiant barrier decking is less effective in colder climates where research finds no significant savings, and attic foil insulation may be more beneficial.
Is It Really Necessary?
If your home is an area that stays warm for much of the world, like Colorado, radiant barrier decking is necessary to help keep your home cooler and save you money on your energy expenses. This factor is especially true if your attic is poorly insulated or your roof gets direct sunlight most of the day.
Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans has worked with clients around the Northern, Central, and Southern Colorado area, including Colorado Springs and the Denver metro. Here are some of the most common questions we answer for our customers.
A radiant barrier overlays your insulation or gets stapled under your rafters. They are also sometimes installed in a crawl space.
A radiant barrier’s effectiveness is only as good as the installation, and it can be dangerous since the barrier conducts electricity. For safety and quality sake, you want to leave the task to the professionals. You can add a radiant barrier to an existing home, but installing one in a new construction is more manageable. The installer puts the radiant barrier between the rafters of a new building just before adding the roof sheath. In an existing home, the barrier is added by stapling the material to the rafters from inside the attic.
The “R” value of a radiant barrier varies based on the airspace around it and the direction in which the heat flows. However, ultimately the “R” value is irrelevant because it is installed over mass insulation. The energy savings from a radiant barrier comes from its ability to deflect heat.
A research study by the Heat Measurements Laboratory at the Michigan Institutes of Technology over 10 years found no significant change in the effectiveness of a radiant barrier.
Multiple field tests across the southern United States have found no significant increase in roof temperatures using a radiant barrier.
At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Solar Energy Center performed extensive research in the lab setting and full-size buildings models. These studies found that radiant barriers did significantly resist the transfer of heat. Additional studies by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Mississippi found similar results. Northeastern Illinois University performed similar tests in the winter months in both residential and commercial buildings and again found significant resistance to heat transfer when compared with traditional insulation materials.
The Florida Solar Energy Center research found that even well-insulated homes could benefit significantly from the addition of a radiant barrier. However, the benefits are more significant in poorly or uninsulated homes.
How to Learn More
Whether you’re renovating or building a new home or business property, contact Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans to see if an attic foil radiant barrier is a good choice for you. We can help you keep your home more comfortable, save more money on your energy bills, and protect your investment. We pride ourselves on our technical knowledge and our unsurpassed customer service.
We also offer numerous other services such as whole-house fans, insulation, and moisture barriers. Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans can help you make your home quieter, improve your air quality, and save you money on energy costs. We’re open six days a week for your convenience, or you can book your consultation online. Contact us today to get started.
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