Do radiant barriers really work?
When you install a radiant barrier, you want to reduce heat gain, especially in the summer. This, in turn, reduces cooling costs. Does this really happen when radiant barriers are installed? The answer is both “yes” and “no,” depending on the type of heat you’re looking to reduce. Radiant barriers reduce the radiant heat that affects your roof and attic. This type of heat from direct sunlight is the primary type of heat that causes your roof to get hot, so the barrier will work on this type of heat. The barrier slows the radiant heat transfer from the roof’s underside to attic surfaces like air ducts. It doesn’t slow down heat conduction, which happens as the heat flows from the hot roof to the cooler attic. Insulation protects from heat conduction.
For the best effect, you need a good combination of reflective barriers and insulation. Reflective barriers are especially valuable in areas like Texas where summer heat can linger in the triple digits for weeks on end. If you are looking to slow the effects of summer heat on your home and want professional radiant barrier services in Fort Worth, TX, you can always count on the team at ACT Home Energy Specialists for all your insulation solutions. Learn more about the services we can offer you by calling 817-781-8781.
How radiant barrier works
Radiant barriers work on basic principles of heat transfer and reflectivity. The process is fairly simple.
- The sun’s radiant energy follows a straight line to the roof and heats it.
- The heat that isn’t conducted to insulation and other materials in the attic is radiated to surfaces like air ducts or the attic floor.
- The barrier slows down the heat transfer from this radiant energy.
Is radiant barrier better than insulation?
If you are wondering when to install radiant barrier material, it’s all going to depend on where you live. If you live in a hot climate a radiant barrier can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 10%, especially if you’re running the air conditioner almost year-round. So, if you live in Texas, radiant barriers are especially valuable for stopping summer’s heat which can run into the early fall. On the other hand, in colder climates like those in the Northeast or Midwest, these barriers aren’t really useful. Instead, install additional thermal insulation. Having both insulation and a barrier is a good idea because the insulation will protect from heat conduction.
Does radiant barrier need air space?
For a radiant barrier to work effectively, it needs an air space to create radiant rather than conductive heat. The barrier only reflects radiant heat. The space needs to be at least somewhere between ½-inch to ¾-inch for it to be effective. Larger gaps will also work.
Which way should radiant barrier face
The most effective facing for a radiant barrier is foil-side down. That means it faces the building’s interior. It’s also better to install it under the roof’s sheathing.
Does radiant barrier affect WIFI?
You may have heard that if you install a radiant barrier it will affect WiFi and cell phone reception. In most cases, this is not true, as long as you have a strong signal. If your signal is weak to begin with, the barrier might very well affect it. It could then push the signal so hard, it breaks up the reception.
Can radiant barrier cause mold?
While radiant barriers are very beneficial when it comes to slowing down heat transfer and keeping your home cooler in the summer, they have to be properly installed to be effective. First, they need to have at least a ½-inch gap between the barrier and the attic floor for the barrier to even work effectively. If the barrier doesn’t have a gap and is installed directly on the floor, not only will it not be effective, it can trap moisture underneath it. Anywhere moisture gets trapped, mold will be sure to follow. This becomes especially problematic in the winter. So, the key to preventing mold growth when a radiant barrier is installed is to install it properly.
Is radiant barrier bad for shingles?
When you install a radiant barrier, you do not need to worry about harming your shingles. In fact, it might actually help the shingles last longer. That’s because the barrier can actually decrease the roof’s temperature by as much as five degrees. Any reduction in heat will reduce the wear and tear on the roof caused by the heat from direct sunlight the roof receives daily. Installing barriers also won’t void any manufacturer’s warranties on the roofing shingles.
Call Us Today
Do you want to keep your home cooler in the summer and reduce energy bills? When you install a radiant barrier in Fort Worth, TX, you’ll be doing just that. Let the experts at ACT Home Energy Specialists help you make your home cooler and more energy efficient. We provide a wide range of solutions to do just that. Give us a call at 817-781-8781 to find out more about how we can help you.