One of the attic insulation options available at New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. is called a radiant barrier. Installing a radiant barrier is a great way to help regulate the temperature of your home and reduce your monthly utility bills. It’s so effective, in fact, that it’s often better at controlling heat than other types of insulation. But, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know much about radiant barriers or how they work. So let’s break it down.
What Is an Attic Radiant Barrier?
Radiant barrier insulation looks quite different from traditional insulation. It’s not foam or padding as you might be used to seeing. Instead, it’s actually a multi-layer aluminum sheet that resembles foil. The material is extremely reflective, which is why it’s so effective at controlling heat transfer. When the radiant barrier is installed, it’s usually attached to the roof rafters in the attic, since this is where most of the heat enters a home via the roof.
What Does a Radiant Barrier Do?
Due to the high reflectivity, radiant barriers can successfully reflect heat back to where it came from, i.e. the sun. This keeps the attic, along with the rest of the home, from overheating in the summer. Reflective surfaces also have low emissivity. This means the barrier itself doesn’t give off as much heat as other materials would.
But why is this important? Because traditional insulation has limits. Most insulation only prevents two out of the three types of heat transfer: conduction and convection. With the third type unaccounted for, there’s still a lot of heat being allowed to enter the attic. Here’s a brief description of the different types of heat transfer.
- Conduction: This is heat transfer between two solid objects. An example of this is when you touch a hot steering wheel in the summer and the heat is transferred to your hands.
- Convection: This is heat transfer through liquids and gasses, including steam. When hot air rises, it causes cool air, which is less dense, to fall. This is why attics tend to get so hot in the summer.
- Radiation: This is the transfer of heat from a warm object across an air space to another object where it gets absorbed. It explains why your skin starts to feel hot after spending an afternoon in the sun, and why cars and pavement feel hot in the summer. It also explains how, when your roof heats up from the sun, that heat then gets absorbed into the attic.
With the addition of a radiant barrier, you can be sure that all three types of heat transfer are covered. New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. uses eShield™ radiant barrier insulation, which is known to reflect as much as 97% of all radiant heat. As a result, your heating and cooling system won’t have to work as hard to keep the home comfortable.
Should You Get a Radiant Barrier Installed?
The best thing about eShield™ foil insulation is that it can be installed in conjunction with your existing insulation. You don’t need to replace your fiberglass or add on to it in order to get the desired effect, which means more savings for you. But if it is time to replace your attic insulation, then it’s a great opportunity to get the attic radiant barrier and the entire eShield™ Perfect Attic Insulation System. To learn more or to request a quote, contact New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. today.