October 1, 2007

Radiant Barrier Information

My House, note the white roof shinglesRadiant barriers are installed in homes to reduce summer heat gain through the attic, which helps lower cooling costs while increasing home comfort. See The Florida Solar Energy Center's Radiant Barrier FAQ for more information on the benefits.

Here's info I used to figure out the radiant barrier foil I installed in my attic - so far it's reduced the temp up there significantly, since installation it's not gone over 113F up there even with it getting up to 102F outside. I bought a wireless digital indoor/outdoor thermometer that I threw up in the attic to get the before and after temperature measurements. In May, it got up to 130F up there, now, it averages around 8 degrees higher than the outdoor temp on sunny days. It cost me $269 for the radiant barrier material with S&H and 4 sweaty mornings of my life. Right after installation my AC felt too cold upstairs - I had to readjust the air flow per wife's "orders". Different stuff you read says anywhere from 8% to 40% AC cooling savings, depends on how well insulated your attic and AC ducts in the attic are. For cold climates, you're supposed to put it on top of the insulation you have on the floor of your attic so you get both summer and winter savings (summer reflects sun heat away from your house, in the winter reflects house heat back into your house). Regardless of the climate, you should add another layer of insulation in your attic while you're up there (especially if it's blown in insulation).

Picture's worth a thousand words - so here's one vendor's graph on the results of installing their product and the temperature difference. Our results were similar.

SOURCE: www.RadiantGUARD.com

Lessons I learned the hard way (Warm Climate Installation)

More Information

Installation Concept

Hybrid Installation Method
Source: AtticFoil.com

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