Residential Energy Specialist Associates

RADIANT BARRIER

 

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Welcome to RESARB -- the PRODUCT


Where did it come from?
An innovation originally developed by NASA for astronaut space suits has become a viable way to save on heating and cooling energy bills. The popularity of reflective insulation products is growing rapidly as homeowners become aware of their benefits. Aluminum foil based Radiant Barrier has found its way into the homes of people across the world, making their homes more comfortable and increasing their homes efficiency saving them money.

What is a radiant barrier?
Radiant barriers are materials that are installed in buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss, and hence to reduce building heating and cooling energy usage. The potential benefit of attic radiant barriers is primarily in reducing air-conditioning cooling loads in warm or hot climates. Radiant barriers usually consist of a thin sheet or coating of a highly reflective material, usually aluminum, applied to one or both sides of a number of substrate materials. These substrates include kraft paper, plastic films, cardboard, plywood sheathing, and air infiltration barrier material. Some products are fiber reinforced to increase the durability and ease of handling.

How do radiant barriers work?
Radiant barriers work by reducing heat transfer by thermal radiation across the air space between the roof deck and the attic floor, where conventional insulation is usually placed. All materials give off, or emit, energy by thermal radiation as a result of their temperature. On a sunny summer day, solar energy is absorbed by the roof, heating the roof sheathing and causing the underside of the sheathing and the roof framing to radiate heat downward toward the attic floor. When a radiant barrier is placed in the attic, much of the heat radiated from the hot roof is reflected back toward the roof. This makes the entire attic 50 degrees cooler than it would have been without a radiant barrier, thus reducing the amount of heat that moves through the insulation into the rooms below the ceiling and keeping your house cooler.



Radiant Barrier Demonstration Box
Note thermometer readings; 80 degrees on RB side, 200 degrees on insulation side


How does a radiant barrier differ from
conventional attic insulation?

Radiant barriers perform a function that is similar to that of conventional insulation, in that they reduce the amount of heat that is transferred from the attic into the house. They differ in the way they reduce the heat flow. A radiant barrier reduces the amount of heat radiated across an air space that is adjacent to the radiant barrier (radiation). The primary function of conventional insulation is to trap still air within the insulation, and hence reduce heat transfer by air movement (convection).

How much can I save?
It is generally accepted by the DOE that installing radiant barrier in the attic will reduce heat gain through the ceiling by 48% typically producing a 24% reduction on cooling utility bills.


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