What Are Radiant Barriers?

January 10, 2020 7:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Radiant barriers are installed in attics to help reflect heat, rather than absorbing it. Instead of reducing heat conduction like other types of insulation, it uses a highly reflective material to bounce the heat away from your attic. Read on to learn more about this and other reflective attic insulation benefits in Fargo, ND.

How they work

To understand how radiant barriers work, you first need to understand how heat travels. Heat can travel from warm to cool areas in three different ways: conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is when heat travels through a material, convection is when heat travels through air or gas and radiation is when heat travels away from any straight surface, which then heats anything solid that can absorb heat.

Radiant barriers work differently than insulation. Insulation stops conductive and convective heat flow by using solid materials to stop heat from penetrating or escaping a building. Radiant barriers, on the other hand, need to face out, toward an air space. When the sun’s radiant energy hits the barriers, it’s reflected back into the air instead of penetrating through the roof into the building.

To maximize their efficiency, radiant barriers need to be installed so that heat strikes it in a perpendicular fashion. It’s also important to keep dust and debris off the barrier, or its reflective properties will be greatly diminished.

How radiant barriers are installed

Radiant barriers can be installed yourself, but we recommend hiring a seasoned professional for the utmost safety and efficacy. A professional will be familiar with all the local building and fire codes, as well as the best practices for installing it in your individual home.

Although radiant barriers can be installed in pre-existing homes, it’s easier to install them in a new home. The builder installs them by draping it over the roof rafters before the roof sheathing is installed. In pre-existing homes, radiant barriers can be stapled to the bottom of the rafters. There needs to be at least an inch between the barrier and the roof. Installers also need to be careful to keep the foil barrier away from bare electrical wires, since the foil can conduct electricity and cause electric shock.

Barriers should not be installed on top of attic floor insulation, because it can trap moisture within the fibers. This may cause mold and mildew issues, among other problems. However, when installed properly, radiant barriers can be combined with other insulation types.

When professionally installed, radiant barriers alone can help reduce your energy bills by up to 10 percent—a great way to beat the summer heat.

Discover reflective attic insulation benefits in Fargo, ND

Ready to find out how reflective attic insulation can benefit your Fargo, ND home? Call the pros at Interstate Insulation. We’ve been serving the Fargo area since 2007. Our family owned and operated company specializes in spray foam insulation, but we also provide fiberglass batts, blown-in insulation and a variety of other products. No matter the size of your project, we can meet your building’s insulation needs. Call us today to get started saving money on your energy bills.

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