Radiant Barrier Attic Insulation
Why Florida Homes Should Have Radiant Barrier Insulation
With an annual average of 230 days of sun, it’s like summer year-round in the Sunshine State. The solar heat beats down on your roof and permeates through the insulation into your living spaces.
Luckily, you can shield your home from the powerful Florida sun with radiant barrier insulation. Similar to space blankets worn by hikers, athletes, astronauts, surgeons, and others, radiant barriers use thermal-reflective material to keep heat out while also working to keep heat in.
How Do Radiant Barriers Work?
Heat travels from one place to the next by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation.
Traditional insulation materials, such as fiberglass, helps slow conductive heat flow (and some convective heat flow), but is powerless against radiant heat gain (infra-red radiant energy).
That’s where radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems come in. When the sun’s radiant energy beats down on your home, the hot roof material begins to radiate heat energy into the attic. The radiant barrier helps reflect heat away from the attic and underside of the roof.
While radiant barriers are most effective against solar heat gain and downward heat flow, they can also help reduce heat loss in the winter by blocking radiant heat from escaping.
Radiant Barrier Materials
Radiant barriers use a highly reflective material, usually aluminum foil, on one or both sides of a variety of different backings, such as:
- Kraft paper
- Plastic films
- Polyethylene bubbles
- Oriented strand board
Many radiant barriers are made of fiber-reinforced material to increase strength and durability.
How Effective Are Radiant Barriers?
In order for radiant barriers to work properly, the reflective side must face the air space. The higher the temperature difference between both sides of the radiant barrier material, the more effective it is. Dust and dirt can reduce the ability of the material to reflect radiant energy.
According to the Energy Department, if properly installed, radiant barriers can add another R-2 to the overall thermal resistance.
Radiant barriers are especially effective if you have your HVAC system located in the attic. As soon as you install a radiant barrier, your attic will be noticeably cooler and your electric bills quickly lowered.
Radiant Barrier Benefits
- Lower cooling costs 5% to 15%
- Blocks up to 95% of radiant heat gain
- Class A / Class 1 Fire Rating
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Meets all building codes
- More comfortable, productive, and livable structure
- Lower maintenance costs and increase longevity of HVAC system and building structure
Radiant Barrier Installation in Tampa Bay
Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems can be combined with other insulation for unfinished walls, ceilings, and floors. The reflective insulation is normally installed between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams.
Foil-type insulation will conduct electricity and is susceptible to dust and moisture accumulation. To ensure proper installation and code compliance, hire a certified installer.
Tampa Bay’s Favorite Radiant Barrier Installers
Over half of the energy used in the average U.S. home is for heating and cooling. It makes sense to reduce this energy consumption as much as possible. In Florida and other sunny climates, radiant barriers can make a huge difference.
For the strongest and most effective radiant barrier for your Florida home, contact the experts at Home Service Heroes!