Radiant Heat Barrier in 2021: Exploring Comfort

The Science Behind Heat

A radiant heat barrier is a high-performance insulation made up of multiple layers of aluminum that reflects and reduces the emittance of radiant energy. The layers of aluminum (that separate when installed) form an enclosed airspace that blocks heat during the summer months and holds warmth during the colder months, which translates into lower heating and cooling costs year-round. 

The Science Behind Radiant Heat Barriers

Did you know that heat transfers in three different ways?

  • Conduction: Conductive heat transfer
  • Convection: Convective heat transfer
  • Radiation: Radiant heat transfer

Energy from the sun travels in the form of radiant heat across millions of miles in space to the Earth. That radiant heat then hits your roof shingles, and most of that energy is converted into conductive heat that can travel through solid material. Once that heat meets your air space (aka- your attic), it will continue to travel until it meets another surface (aka- your attic floor and air ducts).

As it travels through your attic space, it creates convective heat that rises to increase the overall attic temperature. As all of this heat travels and mingles in your attic space, some of the radiant heat will continue to travel to other parts of your home, increasing your energy use and utility bills. 

Did you know that most of the heat entering and exiting your home is radiant heat? 

  • Studies show that on a hot summer day, the roof of a home absorbs solar radiant heat to the point that your attic space is often 30-40 degrees hotter than the outside air temperature. 
  • In cooler months, 50%-75% of heat loss is through radiant heat. 

Most traditional insulations (fiberglass, cellulose and foam) aren’t effective at blocking radiant heat but rather slows conductive heat transfer. Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain in your home and protect your home against the primary method of heat transfer.

Benefits of a Radiant Barrier

Radiant heat barriers are effective year-round and have cost savings in both winter and summer. 

  • Installing a radiant barrier will increase the overall effectiveness of your existing insulation. 
  • A radiant barrier will reduce heat transfer from your attic to living space by up to 50% and can prolong the life of your heat and cooling system. 
  • A radiant heat barrier can reflect up to 98% of radiant heat and certain products are approved for use by testing authorities across the country. 
  • Some radiant heat barriers come with a lifetime warranty that makes it one of the simplest and least expensive energy improvements you can make to your home. 

Radiant Barrier: Energy Crisis

Radiant barriers can also provide a fast return on your investment and will reduce your monthly energy costs. With energy costs increasing and no break in the trend, the Department of Energy is encouraging all Americans to weatherize their homes to lower demand on energy sources and lower utility costs. In fact, some studies show that a radiant barrier can reduce cooling costs by 5-10% when used in a warm, sunny climate which translates into a 30-degree decrease in your attic or storage space temperature in the summer. 

Installation Process

A radiant barrier is only as effective as the installer! At NC Solar Now, we team up with an experienced dealer who is a certified installer and carefully follows the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety precautions for proper installation. When you decide to install a radiant barrier along with your solar panels, you are getting an expert in each field that utilizes only the best products for your residential or commercial application. 

NC Solar Now

NC Solar Now is North Carolina’s Most Trusted solar panel installer and embraces the philosophy that solar is for everyone! We’ll be by your side from your first free virtual consult through our warranty period and beyond. Visit us online at NC SOLAR NOW or contact us for more information. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram. Want to chat with someone? Give us a call at 919-833-9096.

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