A radiant barrier is a reflective insulation system that offers a permanent way to reduce your monthly utility costs. Radiant barriers are installed in homes attics primarily to reduce summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs. The Radiant Barrier consists of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. Studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs 10% to 25% when used in a warm, sunny climate.</>
How They Work
Heat travels from a warm area to a cool area by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation.
Heat flows by conduction from a hotter location within a material or assembly to a colder location, like the way a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand.
Radiant barriers work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the reflective surface must face an air space. When the sun heats a roof, it’s primarily the sun’s radiant energy that makes the roof hot. Much of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy on to the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor.
A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic. Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates than in cool climates, especially when cooling air ducts are located in the attic.