Radiant heat barriers are a form of insulation that reflects heat back into the house to keep it warm in the winter. In the summer, this same sort of insulation reflects heat that is attempting to enter the house, so as to make the house easier to keep cool. In Houston, Texas, for example, the main problem is keeping houses cool in the summer. Radiant heat barriers are an effective way to treat the attic.
What Exactly Are Radiant Heat Barriers?
Radiant heat barriers usually take the form of rolls of specialized reflective foil or spray-on material that can be installed in various areas of a house where heat exchange occurs. They are usually aluminum foil over a synthetic sheeting material that allows it to be easily hung. Another type of radiant heat barrier is the foam board type. This is a more rigid product that takes the form of the same sort of foil glued to rectangular sections of foam board. These are often used in new construction more so than as retrofit type insulation improvements. Spray-on types are applied directly to the attic floor or ceiling.
How Are Radiant Heat Barriers Installed?
Radiant heat barriers are easy to install. They are either stapled or sprayed on to the rafters or trusses of an attic or laid over the existing insulation between or on top of the ceiling joists of the top ceiling. They are able to reflect back the heat that is hitting the roof as well keep existing heat in the house. Installing a radiant barrier in Houston or similar warm climates is a practical idea, because it can help keep the house cool for the long hot season that the city experiences and can also maintain more heat in the house in the winter.
To install a foil radiant heat barrier in an attic, the homeowner simply unrolls the roll of insulating foil and staples it to the rafters or trusses with a staple gun. The object is to try to cover as much area as possible. The more area is covered, the more heat will be reflected and the more money, in either heating or air conditioning, the homeowner can potentially save.
To install the foil between the joists of the attic floor, and also the ceiling of the uppermost rooms in a house, the job is a lot easier if there aren’t nailed down floorboards in the attic. If the joists are open, an individual can simply install the barriers between the ceiling joists over whatever other type of insulation is there.
Radiant heat barriers are practical for residents of warm, sunny climates. They are a good overall insulation type that is easy to install and that works in all seasons. The result is lower energy bills, whether this takes the form of greater summer air conditioning or winter heating efficiency.