Radiant barrier is a highly reflective material, typically made of aluminium, which blocks the transfer of radiant heat by reflecting it away from its surface offering a permanent way to reduce your monthly utility costs. Radiant barrier foil insulation systems BLOCK radiant heat energy instead of absorbing it like fiberglass insulation. Because this foil insulation is unaffected by humidity, it will continue to perform at a consistent level no matter how humid the seasonal climate.
A radiant barrier insulation system is a layer of reinforced aluminium foil facing an airspace inside a building.
How Radiant Barrier Works
It is designed to BLOCK (reflect) radiant heat energy, unlike traditional insulations that are designed to slow it down by absorbing it. A radiant barrier can also REDUCE heat transfer caused by convection by blocking convective air flow.
How does a radiant barrier reflect/block radiant heat?
There are two physical properties of aluminium that a radiant barrier utilizes to reduce the transfer of radiant heat.
Reflectivity = The natural reflectivity property of a reflective surface facing a heat source across an airspace allows the aluminium to REFLECT radiant heat back to the direction from which it came.
Emissivity = All materials have emissivity’s ranging from 0% to 100%. The lower the emittance percentage of a material, the lower the amount of radiant heat radiated from its surface. The naturally low emissivity property of a reflective surface facing an air space results in very low emittance of heat from itself; it does not radiate much of its own heat from itself.
Radiant barrier reflects radiant heat that strikes its surface across an air space from a heat source and conversely, it EMITs very little radiant heat from its surface across an air space opposite a heat source.
Blocking Radiant Heat Transfers in a Home
All building surfaces include roofs, ceilings, and even conventional fiberglass and blown-in insulation radiate heat in varying degrees. Radiant heat from the sun strikes the outer surfaces of roofs and walls and is absorbed causing building surfaces to heat up. This absorbed heat moves through the material (via conduction) to the opposite side and is then radiated from itself into attics and living spaces increasing the temperatures inside the building.
Installing a radiant barrier is a MUST to combat the major form of heat transfer (radiant) that is currently not being controlled by your conventional insulation.
How this Barrier Benefits You
Radiant barriers reflect/block 95-97% of the radiant heat transfer and when installed in an attic space, they can result in a reduction of attic temperature below the radiant barrier of up to 30 degrees. Lowering the temperatures above living space ceilings provides a significant benefit by reducing air conditioning loads and energy usage. Radiant barrier can:
• Reduce heat transfer from attic to living spaces by 16-42%
• Extend the life of air conditioning unit
• Increase the comfort level of a home
• Reduce monthly cooling bills up to 17%