In today’s post we’re going to discuss lowering your carbon footprint, saving money on your utility bills, and investing in a more comfortable home with radiant barriers. Many people don’t know what a radiant barrier is, but it is one of the most energy efficient updates you can do to your home. In Texas, where we get extremely heat in the summer, radiant barriers pay for themselves quickly.
What is a Radiant Barrier?
Think of a radiant barrier as a blanket for your home that prevents heat transfer via thermal radiation. In other words, it is a “blanket” for your home in the winter (keeping heat in) and a barrier for your home in the summer (keeping heat out). While attic insulation tends to work in the same way, insulation tends to provide a barrier at the wall/ceiling level whereas a radiant barrier lines the underside of your roof.
How does a Radiant Barrier Work?
When heat energy strikes your roof, the shingles are heated by conduction, causing the underside of the roofing materials to radiate heat downward through the attic toward the direction of your home. A radiant barrier placed in the attic reflects part of that heat back toward the roof and prevents most of that heat from radiating down into the rooms below the ceiling/attic. This happens with the radiant barriers’ property of low emissivity. At the same time, a majority of that heat becomes reflected back out through the property of high reflectance. As a result of this, the top side of the insulation remains cooler than it would have been if the radiant barrier wasn’t installed and helps keep your home cool.
Installing Radiant Barrier
Now that we know what a radiant barrier is and how it works, the next question becomes how do you install it? While a radiant barrier can be installed by a good do-it-yourself homeowner, it is very important to follow the manufacturers directions for the particular kind you purchase. While it may be tempting to watch some tutorial videos online and then dive in yourself to save a few bucks, another option is to consider the benefits of a professional roofing installer. Trust the experts to give you that added benefit of a proper installation, so you can get the most benefit from your insulation.
While radiant barriers may not be as exciting of a home upgrade as a new lawn or a new couch, the long-term benefits of it cannot be argued. Saving money on your utility bills (approximately 10%), using less energy (lower carbon footprint), and enjoying a more comfortable home are all a part of “living the dream” with your home. Regardless of the type of radiant barrier you choose, you can be sure you will “feel” the difference.