Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Radiant Barrier Insulation

Radiant Barrier is a great option to keep your home cool in Summer and warm in Winter. It works the same way wrapping a potato in foil works. It slows the transfer of heat from the roof to the attic space. This can result in dramatically cooler attic space in Summer. We have installed this in our own space and notice that even on the hottest Summer days the temperature is a manageable 98 degrees. Most attics will tend to get into the 120-140 range.

Radiant Barrier is in its simplest form aluminum which is an excellent reflector of Infrared (IR). Infrared Heat is what really makes an attic hot in the Summer. Up to 95% of this heat can be reflected back out if the radiant barrier is correctly installed.

There are 2 kinds of radiant barrier. Radiant barrier paint is the first type and is sprayed under the roof on the back side of the decking. If properly installed you can see 75% reduction in IR heat. But it is a messy and difficult product to install. The second type is Radiant Barrier Foil. This product ships on rolls and installs under the rafters which also creates a dead space of air between the rafters and the roof. It is simply stapled on and the seams are taped. We have installed this product and seen a 10% drop in our cooling bill in Summer as a result with a pay back of only a few years.

If you are installing a new roof, they now make radiant barrier plywood which installs the same as standard plywood. It cost about $5 more per sheet which will add a few hundred dollars to the roof bill, but once again will pay for itself quickly.

One comment

  1. A foil type works best, especially if it is set up correctly with a little space between the underside of the roof and the foil.