A radiant barrier blocks radiant heat sources like the sun rays from passing through a home's attic into the rooms below

A radiant barrier blocks radiant heat sources like the sun rays from passing through a home’s attic into the rooms below

Are you looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of your current insulation by reducing heat loss or heat gain?  The US Department of Energy says that “Properly installed radiant barriers can reduce your cooling cost”.  Regular insulation will not stop radiant heat loss and only slows down heat transfer in your Attic or Crawl Space.  A radiant barrier stops heat from escaping when it’s cold and keeps heat from getting into your home when it’s hot.  Making your home cooler in the Summer and warmer in the Winter.  This article discusses radiant barriers and how they work in warm climate.


First, what exactly does “radiant” mean?  According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary radiant is defined as “radiating or reflecting beams of light”.  Heat, or warm air follows cold, or cold air.  So radiant barriers consist of highly reflective material that reflects radiant particles or “beams of light” rather than soaking them up or letting it pass through.


shutterstock_193818977-(1)-[Converted]What does this mean during Hot Weather?  When the sun’s radiant energy reaches a roof, it heats it causing the underside of the the roof to radiate heat downward through the attic and then the rooms below it.  By putting a radiant barrier on the attic floor between the roofing material and the insulation, much of the heat (about 97%) radiating from the hot roof is reflected back toward the roof before it can heat up the insulation.  Conversely the cool air in your home that is seeking to escape is reflected back into the home.


Because heat is reflected away from the interior of the home the attic temperatures can get really really hot!  This is why ventilation in an attic is especially important.  A good way to make sure that you have proper ventilation without adding to your energy expense is to use a solar attic fan.  Solar attic fans use energy from the sun to power the attic fan.  It is not necessary for an attic fan to run all the time.  When the sun is shining and warming up the attic you know the fan will be running and pushing that hot air out of the attic.


Comfort in the home is important year round.  Comfort is improved year round in at least two ways with a radiant barrier.  One, the need for your cooling system to replace the hot air that has entered the home is lowered thus reducing the amount of time it is running and making noise.  Because the cooling system runs less it’s lifespan is extended.  Two, the radiant heat barrier evens out the temperature of the air in the rooms below keeping room temperature from room to room less variable – about one to three degrees.


Depending upon the location and application of a radiant barrier it can be considered reflective insulation.  While there are technical differences – the end result is the same – both a radiant barrier or reflective insulation – reflect rather than absorb radiant heat.  Follow this link for more information about this.Sol Blanket


To insure maximum effectiveness of the reflective insulation system it’s a good idea to seal air leaks before installing insulation.  Keep in mind that reflective material used for radiant barriers will conduct electricity, so workers and homeowners must avoid making contact with bare electrical wiring.  According to the U.S. Energy Department’s website “a radiant barriers effectiveness depends on proper installation” so they recommend homeowners hire a certified installer.


If you are trying to keep your home cooler in the summer a radiant barrier is needed to stop radiant heat from getting into your home through your ceiling.  Radiant Barriers are one component of a whole attic system intended to complement existing insulation.  By preventing heat gain in the home through the attic you are saving wear and tear on your cooling and other systems in addition to saving money on your power bill and expanding the use of your home.


SETI Logo 150 Pixel TestSmart Energy Today, Inc.™ is a certified installer of reflective insulation systems and features a radiant barrier solution called Sol-Blanket Insulation™.  Sol-Blanket Insulation™ acts as a radiant barrier or reflective insulation and complements traditional insulation.  Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is located in Olympia and serves all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California and Pennsylvania.  Specializing in the installation of solar products and insulation, Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ offers products that are able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration saving you money and making your home or business warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ never wants a complaint and always strives for positive reviews.