When most people think of spray-on radiant heat barriers, they think of the hot summer sun blocked from overheating the attic. While effective in the summer, radiant heat barriers are also a practical measure year-round. Winter is also a good time to have a radiant heat barrier installed in the attic to help save on energy bills.
A radiant heat barrier is a reflective coating that is put on an attic ceiling or floor. It can be sprayed on or stapled on in sheets and is silver in color. Heat can not pass through it in either direction. First developed by the National Aeronautical and space Administration (NASA) for use in space flight, it reflects the radiant heat energy produced by the sun. Barriers are assigned an emissivity rating, which describes how much of the sun's radius is blocked. For example, homeowners receive a 75 percent reflection rate for an emissivity of.25.
This protective coating can be used in sheets which are attached to an attic floor or ceiling. It is also available as a spray-on coating applied directly to the attic's ceiling, directly under the roof. The spray provides a less expensive and longer long-term solution than sheeting. Although it is available to consumers, radiant barriers must be applied correctly in order to be effective. To achieve the best results, this job is best left to a professional who is familiar with the process and has the proper application equipment and know-how.
This protection can lower direct heating temperatures from the sun by up to 30 percent in the summertime when the sun's rays are at their strongest. It is still effective in wintertime, however. Heat rises. Any heat from the living spaces below will continue to rise until something blocks it. In winter, radiant barriers help save energy by preventing the home's warm air from escaping through the roof.
Working With Insulation
Homeowners looking to save on utility bills can use both insulation and radiant barriers together to lower their monthly expenses. Warm air rising from the living spaces below is trapped in insulation, but historically passes through. How quickly this happens depends on the type and thickness of the insulating later. A sprayed-on deflector preserves the warmth, trapping it in the attic and preventing cold air from penetrating the space.
Homeowners can use a combination of methods to reduce their energy bills. Hiring an affordable attic insulation company to handle the installation of both types of protection means consumers will save money on their initial investments and for years to come.