How Do Radiant Barrier Insulation Work?
Home and office insulation have become a common thing this day.
It is because there are cheap insulation material and company who their aim is to better the lives of their customers.
Although when choosing the material, you will need to choose a material that has the lowest thermal conductivity as well as ecofriendly.
One of the best material to use for home insulation when you need minimal heat loss is aerogel.
Aerogel material as used by NASA to construct heat resistant tiles.
The material can withstand temperatures of 1366 Kelvin with minimum heat loss or heat transfer.
The main drawback is the cost as it is one of the expensive but yet effective insulation material.
But why think about radiant barrier insulation?
We install radiant barriers in our homes, especially in the attics.
Radiant barriers help to reduce heat loss during winter and fresh air during summer.
This results in low heating and cooling costs.
They work by reflecting away radiant heat rather than absorbing it as other insulation materials work.
How radiant barrier works
Heat travels from hotter areas to cold areas through convection, radiation, and conduction.
This depends on the type of material the heat is passing through.
If it is through a solid material, heat will move through conduction, while in liquids and gas it travels through convection.
Most insulation materials work by slowing the flow of heat.
For radiant barriers, they work to prevent heat gain through a reflective material.
To function appropriately, the reflective material must face the air.
The reflective material should always stay clean to improve its efficiency.
Dust accumulated on its surface will reduce the reflective ability.
When sun heat hits the roof, the heat travels to the roofing material though conduction before being radiated to the cooler parts of the attic.
The radiant barrier works to reduce the heat being transfer from the roof to the attic.
The radiant barrier should be placed perpendicular to the radiant energy striking it.
Radiant barriers work effectively during hot climates as compared to the cold seasons.
Radiant barrier installation
Radiant barrier effectiveness solely depends on how well it is installed.
It is, therefore, it is crucial to hire a certified professional to fix it.
If you chose to do on your own, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the latter.
Installing radiant barriers is more comfortable compared to incorporating in an existing house.
In a new home, the installer will spread the rolled-foil in between the roof rafters.
This will help to reduce dust accumulation on the reflective surface.
After laying this foil, the roof sheathes are then put.
Radian barriers can be used in combination with other insulation materials.
The barrier will act as a thermal insulation material installed facing the additional insulating material.
Safety considerations to take when installing a radiant barrier
Always ensure you wear appropriate gear.
Handling this insulation can have an irritating effect on your eyes, skin, and respiratory system.
Ensure you still have protective clothing, eye protection, and breathing protection.
Be cautious when installing the area around electrical wiring.
Ensure to repair any uncoated wires or any damaged in the wiring before insulating the area.
If possible, keep away from electrical wired areas.
Work on your duct when there are reasonable temperatures.
This way, you will able to retain favorable temperatures within the rooms since you insulate.
Morning hours are always the best.
Working with a partner is always ideal.
It will not only help to complete the task faster but it is also a precaution in case an accident occurs.
This is especially where you are working on an unfinished attics.
Also, always watch your head.
There might be roof nails penetrating the duct.
Use proper lighting during the process to prevent yourself from injuries.
Why use radiant barriers?
Radiant barriers are not affected by moisture or hot air.
There are some radiant barriers with perforations that act as barriers to prevent moisture from passing through and at the same time allow airflow.
Also, radiant barriers do not emit harmful gases or particles that might be harmful to your body.
The high R-value adds to their thermal efficiency.