What is a radiant barrier?
A Radiant barrier is a double-sided highly reflective radiant insulation reinforced with a poly fabric scrim for tear and puncture resistance. Radiant Barriers have been in the marketplace for almost 30 years, however, they have recently gained popularity due to the ever increasing cost of energy. When our radiant barrier is installed in your attic, it acts like a shield and radiates back 97% of the radiant heat. In short, it keeps the heat out during the summer and keeps the interior warmth in during the winter. The result is reducing energy costs and maintaining more consistent and comfortable temperatures in your home. Our radiant barrier is an Energy Star Product, which means it meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star products can save homeowners significant amounts on their energy bills. In fact, our radiant barrier is the only radiant barrier that is PARTNERED with Energy Star. The other thing that sets our radiant barrier apart from others is it meets the ASTM E84-10 fire test. All reflective insulations and radiant barriers made with traditional aluminum foil FAILED this test.
How does a radiant barrier work?
Radiant heat is generated by many of the things around us. In summer, the sun is the primary source of radiant energy. It heats the exterior of your home, and this heat is radiated into the interior, primarily into the attic. A radiant barrier helps keep your home cool by reflecting back the sun’s radiant energy and preventing heat build-up in your attic.
Doesn’t my home’s insulation do the same thing?
No. While traditional insulation is extremely important, it will not stop radiant heat transfer. In fact, once your insulation is saturated with heat, radiant heat can easily escape from your home in the winter and be absorbed in the summer. The Department of Energy states it takes 9 hours for your attic to cool down once the sun goes down. In the summer, all that radiant heat in your attic is constantly seeping right into your home. In the winter, 50% of your heat rises through your insulation and leaves your home.
Are all radiant barriers the same?
No. For starters, there is only 1 radiant barrier that is partnered with Energy Star and that is Radiant Guard from ALL ABOUT ENERGY SOLUTIONS. Another key feature of Radiant Guard is its perforation, which allows the radiant barrier to breathe so no unwanted moisture can build up. According to the ASTM E84-10 fire test, all reflective insulations and radiant barriers made with traditional aluminum foil FAILED the fire test. Our radiant barrier is a double sided highly reflective metalized film, (instead of aluminum foil), reinforced with a poly fabric scrim for tear and puncture resistance. eShield, EcoFoil, and Attic Foil are all made with traditional aluminum. Also, other radiant barriers can prevent air flow which leads to moisture damage and will not help with ventilation like a good radiant attic barrier should. ALL ABOUT ENERGY SOLUTIONS, according to Energy Star, uses the very best radiant barrier on the market.
How soon will I see a return on my investment?
The average payback for installing our radiant barrier in your home is 2 to 4 years. As utility rates increase, the payback period will decrease, making this already-attractive investment in your home even more compelling.
What is the benefit of insulation?
Heating and cooling systems consume 50% of the energy used in the average American home. You’ll save on your energy costs if you reduce the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. Insulation helps your home retain heat in cold weather and reject heat in warm seasons.
Doesn’t my house already have insulation?
It may not have enough. In much of the housing in America, attic insulation levels are minimal at best. That’s because many homebuilders only offer standard (not optimal) levels of insulation in order to maintain competitive selling prices. Couple this with the fact that older insulation tends to settle over time so most homes have the need to add insulation. Upgraded insulation will also increase the value of your home
How does insulation work?
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In cold weather, it flows from heated rooms to the unheated attic, garage or basement, or to the outdoors. In hot weather, heat flows from outside your home to its interior. To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system, and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulation resists the flow of heat, preventing unwanted circulation. The living space of a well-insulated house will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, with less energy expenditure.
What is R-value?
The R-value rating refers to the insulation’s thermal resistance – its ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value of thermal insulation depends on the specific type of insulation, its thickness and density. Installing more insulation in your home increases the total R-value and resistance to heat flow.
What is the best kind of attic insulation?
All About Energy Solutions installs blown fiberglass and cellulose attic insulation. Honestly both products are good insulators.
- Fiberglass is very light and tends not settle over time like cellulose might.
- Fiberglass has a R value of 3 per inch
- Cellulose is more dense than fiberglass and therefore is a better barrier for air movement through holes in walls and ceilings.
- Cellulose has a R value of 3.6 per inch
The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. NEVER COVER ATTIC SOFFIT VENTS WITH INSULATION — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.
Why ventilate the attic?
The primary reason to ventilate the attic is to remove the excessive heat that can build up due to the blazing Southern sun. With attic temperatures upwards of 160 degrees, an extremely hot attic puts a tremendous “heat load” on the living space coming from the ceiling area. Attic ventilation is a cost effective method for removing this heat before it can penetrate your ceiling.
How does attic ventilation improve energy efficiency?
Ventilation promotes a cooler attic in the summer and a drier attic in the winter. By exhausting heated air from the attic, a good ventilation system will help keep the rest of the house cooler with less energy usage. In cold months, ventilation prevents moisture build-up in the attic. As warm, moist air rises into a cold attic, it can condense under the roof deck, causing the decking and shingles to distort and deteriorate. Excessive heat and excessive moisture can both lead to serious roof damage. The most common reason for shingles failing in the south is from high temperatures in your attic. If you read any shingle warranty if the temperature of your attic gets above 100 degrees, your warranty is void.
What is the best way to vent my attic?
It depends. Be leery of any energy management contractor who uses only one type of attic venting system. Each home is unique and you have to be very careful with messing with how a home breathes. Solar powered vents and electrically powered attic vents are recommended for removing heat and moisture from the attic. A full ridge vent system with proper soffit venting is the best way for your home to breathe in the south. The problem with solar powered vents and electrically powered attic vents is they are holes in your roof. Every hole in your roof is a potential leak.
How does a solar powered fan work?
As the sun comes up, the solar panel on the fan converts the suns light into “free” electricity, running the fan to remove the air as it BEGINS to warm up. As the sun increases in intensity, the fan reaches its maximum speed, increasing the air flow thus keeping the attic “heat bubble” from forming. As the sun sets, the fan speed decreases, thus not drawing moisture laden evening air into the attic. And because the Solar fan uses a 20 watt solar panel, it even runs on cloudy days. The end result is that the attic is ventilated during the hottest part of the day, reducing the heat load on the home, making the home more comfortable and cost efficient to own. All without using ANY other power source than the sun to run the fan.
How much energy can I save?
The amount of energy conserved depends on several factors, including your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. According to a national survey of building improvements, you can save 25% on your heating bills just through a radiant barrier installation. With this being said, it is reasonable to expect even higher savings through the combination of insulation being up to code, and proper ventilation. These 3 factors work hand in hand in slashing those ever rising energy bills.