A Brief Introduction to Radiant Barriers
Normal insulation has a lot of trouble keeping heat from passing around it during the summer months. It makes your air conditioning system work twice as hard as it should have to. That’s because the heat that is found in your attic in the summer is what is known as radiant heat. It’s not like normal heat because it’s found in electromagnetic waves which predominantly travel in the infrared spectrum of light. The only way to stop it from penetrating through to your home’s interior is to add a ‘radiant barrier’ to or around your insulation to reflect these waves away.
What is a Radiant Barrier?
There are three ways that heat travels through and around insulation. That’s by convection, conduction, and radiation. Radiant barriers, as the name implies, are designed to stop radiant heat transfer. Radiant heat travels in straight lines until something solid absorbs that heat. More often than not radiant barriers are made of aluminum but any shiny metal that reflects electromagnetic waves in the infrared light spectrum will work. They have no effect when it comes to stopping heat conduction or convection and that’s why radiant barriers work in tandem with regular insulation.
Radiant barriers are also sometimes called reflective insulation systems because of how they work. They will not perform as designed either if they are not properly placed. In order for them to do their job efficiently a radiant barrier’s reflective side must face an air gap of at least several inches. It’s also important that any radiant barrier is installed in a way that minimizes dust accumulation on it. That’s because dust will make the radiant barrier surface much less reflective and that makes it harder to do its job.
Why Are Radiant Barriers Necessary?
The most common way for heat to build upon any roof is from the suns powerful rays acting upon it. Much of those powerful rays contain sunlight’s natural radiant energy. Some heat travels into your attic by means of conduction while a significant portion of your roof’s heat is transferred by radiant heat waves. These radiant heat waves will travel through your roof until they are absorbed by the material on your attic floor and eventually that heat will end up in your home.
When too much heat enters through your attic into your home it really stresses your air conditioning system and makes your home much more expensive to cool. Adding a radiant barrier helps prevent this transfer of radiant heat into your home by reflecting it away from your attic floor. Radiant barriers do not help cool the air in your attic but they will stop the radiant heat from getting into your home. Because radiant barriers are made of metal, it is highly advisable not to have any wires that are not in conduit running across them.
Radiant Barriers Are Proven To Work
If you do not currently have radiant barriers working for you in your attic then you should highly consider adding them. This is best done by talking to your local insulation expert. Once you add radiant barriers inside your addict it should save you between 5% - 10% on your home cooling bill. Over time that adds up to some pretty significant money for what usually is a minimal investment. Radiant barriers really will work that well for you.
For assistance in radiant barrier installation, All Florida Insulation is the company to call. We have a team of insulation professionals who have the expertise and experience in installation of radiant barriers no matter how large or small the property is. We service areas in all of Central Florida including Orlando, Debary, Maitland, Windermere and surrounding communites. Call us at 407-410-3626 for a free estimate.