Heat energy is always in motion, and a radiant barrier is one way to stop it. Solar heat energy radiates through the roof into your attic, raising attic temperatures as high as 150 degrees in summer. This heat conducts down through your ceiling into living spaces, causing your air conditioning to work harder. It also causes thermal loss in ductwork routed through the attic and can damage wooden structural components in the attic. A radiant barrier on the underside of the attic roof reflects radiating heat energy back into the roof and helps keep the attic cooler.
Radiant barriers are available as foil-backed material that’s stapled to the attic roof rafters with the shiny surface facing down. Another type of barrier is a spray-on material that coats the underside of the roof. This material contains low-emissivity substances that reflect 68 percent of the radiant energy entering your attic through the roof. Spray-on barriers applied by a professional have these advantages over foil-type materials:
- Because of the internal structure of most attics, it’s almost impossible to achieve full coverage of the entire underside of the roof with foil material. Therefore, some radiant energy will infiltrate the attic through the gaps. Spray-on coating reaches all the areas that foil can’t accommodate, providing a more complete and consistent barrier against radiant energy.
- Energy savings are one of the major benefits of a radiant barrier. However, the labor-intensive and costly process of installing foil barriers often substantially delays return on investment. Installers must access every square foot of the underside of the roof in order to install a viable foil system. Construction variables such as steep roofs or multiple peaks greatly complicate this process and make installation even more expensive. A sprayed-on coating applied by trained technicians is a more efficient, cost-effective procedure with a lower installation cost. This shortens the time required for return on investment.
CCAC, Inc. keeps Coastal Bend homes comfortable and energy efficient all year round. Contact us for more information about a radiant barrier to keep your attic cooler and save you money on your energy bills.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about radiant barriers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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