Do Radiant Barriers Really Work?

Close Up of Radiant Barrier Fiber Reinforced Foil

Radiant Barrier Information

Radiant heat, otherwise known as heat radiation is the best kind of heat transfer in relation to the other two methods of convection and conduction. Conduction involves direct transfer of heat like a stove heating a pot while convection involves surrounding heat from liquid or air heating something like with something in an oven or a being heated in a hot bath.  With radiant or heat radiation you can refer to a microwave as the kitchen analogy. Essentially heat is generated from the movement of the charged particle within an atom that is converted to electromagnetic radiation. Other such examples can be from materials or objects such as heat from light fixtures, floors or the sun. With a radiant barrier in a home, radiant heat will transfer through the air without heating the air itself. It will instead transfer to surfaces which will then re-radiate the heat in the space making it feel warmer. Here is some more Infomation about a radiant barrier that may prove useful for you.   

Does Radiant Barrier need air space?

As mentioned before a radiant barrier will work with air and without air space you won’t have radiant heat or a radian barrier. That is to say, the radiant barrier material, say if aluminum is involved would turn into a conductive heat object once the air is removed from the equation. Essentially, without the required air space heat, will work against its nature and increase heat flow.

What is radiant barrier made of?

A radiant barrier is made of highly reflective materials such as aluminum foil. The material is then applied to one or both sides of a substrate that can be plastic film, kraft paper, oriented strand board, cardboard or air infiltration barrier materials. Some of these options may even go further and be fiber-reinforced to increase durability and ease handling. As of such, a radiant barrier could be applied with numerous different insulation materials as a facing material.

Is spray foam a radiant barrier?

With radiant barrier vs spray foam insulation of the spray foam variety doesn’t protect from radiant heat but it will have the effects of conduction and convection. They won’t be as effective in keeping cool in the summer however when radiant heat is more powerful.

Can Radiant Barrier cause mold?

A radiant barrier can risk causing mold and other damages if not properly installed. Grime and dust buildup can come in the way of a radiant barrier’s ability to reflect heat and allow it pass on. If a property has leaking problems or too much condensation from improper air seals or poor vents than moisture is being collected in the house. If it’s the attic you have a confined space that will trap moisture on drywall and the radiant barrier. In the winter months, this condensation can be worse and form mold. These issues can be resolved as long as your vents and seals are in place as they should be. Problems of the mold with a radiant barrier are not caused directly by the barrier but by home systems that are having issues instead and affecting moisture levels in the air.

Attic Insulation Project Between Joists

Radiant Barrier Benefits

  • Reduce HVAC Costs
  • Stabilize Internal Temperature
  • Various Substrate Options
  • Can Be Fit To Any Roof
  • Efficient Installations

Does radiant barrier really work?

Studies show that a radiant barrier can lower cooling costs by 5-10% in warm sunny climates. Reduced heat can allow for smaller air conditioner systems and more energy conservation efforts as well. In cool climates, however, it’s usually more cost-effective to install thermal insulation that a radiant barrier. 

When To Use Radiant Barrier Insulation

A radiant barrier is a great way to improve on the comfort of your building’s temperatures in any season as essentially it works as any proper insulation should in being adaptable in any climate or season. Particularly harsh seasons like summer or winter however it will prove especially useful. The heat will move from hot areas to cold areas thereby reducing energy costs in the summer and the sheathing will prevent heat transference away from the interior during winter months.

Is radiant barrier worth it in Texas?

Essentially a radiant barrier can be useful in any climate, it’s essentially insulation and insulation is great in stabilizing temperatures inside of a building. As radiant heat is perhaps the highest in summer it can be great for warmer climates.

Contact A Professional 

Add radiant barrier benefits to your property with a roll-on foil barrier or other such material to improve your home or business’s insulation. Remember, it’s important that a professional install your radiant barrier with precision and care or you may run into problems down the road. When you require assistance, be sure to contact a professional as they will be able to conduct a roof inspection to determine the specifications and characteristics of your property. Look into your local residential or commercial roof installation services for professional care. Benefit from a radiant barrier today!

If you’d like to learn more about a radiant barrier in Fort Worth, TX call 817-781-8781 with ACT Home Energy Specialists!