Radiant barrier insulation reduces summer heat gain and lowers cooling costs by reflecting radiant energy. Foil-backed sheathing and foil stapled to rafters are the most effective barriers, according to recent control tests.
Be sure to look for a premium radiant barrier product with a foil surface and a skid-resistant surface. Also, be aware of the differences in material makeup between products. Consult Radiant Barrier Foil Houston for professional expertise.
Foil insulation, or reflective barrier foil, is an innovative form of insulating material that works to block radiant heat transfer and help keep the hot summer sun out of your building and the warm winter sun in. It is typically made of aluminum foil with low emissivity, and it has been found to be very effective in both new construction and retrofit applications. This type of insulation can significantly reduce energy costs, especially in hot climates, and it is often preferred over traditional forms of insulation like fiberglass that depend on conduction and convection as the primary means of heat transfer.
Fiberglass insulation is rated according to its R-value, which is a measure of how easily it resists thermal transfer. Most manufacturers of fiberglass insulation boast R-values ranging from R-15 to R-19 for two-by-four walls. This is a significant increase over the R-value of wood framing and other common materials, but it is not enough to stop the radiant heat flow that drives most heating and cooling costs.
The most commonly available reflective insulation is a product called Reflectix, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores. It is tightly spooled in rolls of shiny foil-looking material that looks a lot like bubble wrap. The material reflects 97% of radiant heat and has a very low emissivity rate of 3%. It is also mold, mildew, and rodent-resistant.
There are many different manufacturers of reflective barrier foil, but it is important to choose a product that has been thoroughly tested and approved for safety and effectiveness. Look for a product that has been certified by a recognized independent testing lab, and make sure it meets the requirements of your local building and fire codes. It is also a good idea to select a product that has an air gap or space between it and the roof surface. This is because the foil insulation must have a layer of air on the surface in order to work effectively.
Foil insulation also requires that it be kept free of dust and debris in order to maintain its ability to reflect radiant heat. Foil insulation can be installed with the foil face down to prevent dust accumulation, but it must be maintained in a manner that minimizes the amount of dust on the surface.
Reflective Foil Back Sheathing
Foil-back sheathing consists of plywood or OSB with a layer of low-emitting aluminum foil attached to one side. This type of sheathing is used primarily in attics but can also be installed on walls. It is designed to reflect radiant heat, which lowers the Delta-T and reduces energy use. The reflective surface of the sheathing can be covered with drywall, insulation, or shingles. Foil-backed sheathing can also serve as a vapor barrier, which helps prevent moisture buildup and mold.
There are a number of different types of radiant barriers on the market, and they are designed for different applications. Some are designed for a specific roofing material, while others are used in general attics and wall systems. The type of radiant barrier you choose depends on how much airspace your attic has, your home’s climate zone, and other factors.
Some radiant barriers are made of foam, while others are composed of layers of reflective foil and other materials bonded together. A quality radiant barrier should have a low emittance rating and be designed to last for a long period of time.
It is important to note that radiant barriers only reflect thermal radiation, not conduction or convection heat. This means that if you have cellulose insulation in your attic, it will prevent the radiant barrier from reflecting any heat and can diminish its effectiveness.
Many builders use radiant barrier sheathing in new homes, with the foil facing into the attic space. It can also be used in older homes to increase their energy efficiency. If you are considering a radiant barrier, it is recommended that you consult with a professional to determine which option is best for your home.
According to LP Building Products spokesperson Drew, 87 of the top 100 production builders use LP TechShield radiant barrier sheathing for roof and gable-end sheathing in their new homes. He says that this product adds $300 to $400 to the cost of a new home but yields a return on investment in the form of increased energy savings for homeowners. It is important to note that installing radiant barrier sheathing requires additional attic insulation to help maximize energy efficiency.
Reflective Foil Stapled Insulation
Reflective insulation, also known as a radiant barrier or foil-faced insulation, is installed in an attic and can be stapled to the underside of the roof rafters. It is commonly used as a wrap for polyisocyanurate rigid foam insulation. It is especially effective in warmer climates and can help improve a home’s HERS rating, an industry standard that helps determine a building’s energy efficiency. However, it is not as effective in colder climates and must be kept dust-free to maximize its effectiveness.
Foil-faced insulation comes in rolled form for attics or as part of foil-backed sheathing. The foil is typically white to prevent heat absorption from the sun and can have either a single or double face. It can be draped in an attic before the roof sheathing goes on, but it is usually installed afterwards by stapling it to the underside of the joists. This method can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive in new construction, but it is well worth the extra effort to achieve a highly energy-efficient building.
This type of insulation is similar to traditional fiberglass or cellulose insulation, but it works differently. Fiberglass and cellulose insulation slow down conductive or convective heat transfer but do not stop radiant transfer, which is the majority of energy loss in a building envelope. Foil insulation does this very effectively and is the premier product to use in a radiant heating system, a metal or steel building, or underfloor applications.
The type of insulation used in a home can have a major impact on its overall energy efficiency, but it is important to choose the right type for each situation. In addition to choosing the right kind, the method of installation is equally important. This is because the R-value of thermal insulation can vary greatly depending on how it is installed.
In general, the higher the R-value of a thermal insulation, the more effective it will be. Generally, foam insulation has a higher R-value than fiberglass or cellulose insulation. This is due to the structure of the insulation, which can trap air within it. Foil insulation is a good choice for residential and commercial buildings, but it is not the best option for cold climates as it will not provide much resistance to the flow of heat.
The metalized foil liner used in spacesuits repels the intense radiant heat emitted by the sun. It also helps retain thermal energy when the suit is in darkness or in extremely cold temperatures, and it acts as a barrier against water vapor and aromas, keeping oxygen and other gases within the spacesuit. It is also a component in solar energy systems and homes designed to be environmentally responsible, and it has been used by Frank Sinatra in his Palm Springs home.
Foil is a lightweight material, often made of aluminum or copper, that can be formed into various shapes and sizes for packaging, insulation, or other uses. It is available in a range of thicknesses, from very thin sheets to thick films, and can be laminated with different materials for added strength or protection. In addition, it is impermeable to air and moisture, making it useful in food storage and other applications.
Some new construction houses have a form of radiant barrier built into the attic, and it consists of plywood sheets that are taped together with foil back sheathing, allowing the reflective surface to reduce heat through emissivity. This is an ideal option if you are building a new house, but it isn’t practical for most existing homes. The other common way to use radiant barriers is to staple them directly to the underside of attic joists.
One of the main benefits of a radiant barrier is that it keeps your conditioned space cooler in the summer by reflecting solar heat gain away from the roof. It can also be supplemented with other types of insulation to further reduce conductive heat flow from the attic floor into the rooms below.
The biggest drawback of the radiant barrier is that it becomes less effective when covered in dust or dirt. It is essential to keep the foil clean to avoid this and to ensure that the attic floor underneath it is also clean. In addition, builders should choose an area of the attic where moisture can’t reach the foil, since if it does, it may cause condensation.