A Homeowners Guide To The Best Radiant Barriers 2017

Best Radiant Barriers

A radiant barrier is basically insulation which is applied to the inside of your roof (ideally in your attic) in order to block radiant heat from making your home too hot.  They are used to help reduce the energy costs involved in trying to make your home cooler such as central air conditioning.  Traditionally, radiant barriers have been used in warmer climates for this purpose, but more recently they have become more popular in colder climates to help stop heat from escaping from the home in the winter, which also saves money.

The 5 Best Selling Radiant Barriers:

Bestseller No. 1
RadiantGUARD Ultima-FOIL DIY Radiant Barrier Commercial Grade Breathable Attic Foil Insulation (1000...
86 Reviews
RadiantGUARD Ultima-FOIL DIY Radiant Barrier Commercial Grade Breathable Attic Foil Insulation (1000...
  • 4 ft X 250 ft roll (1000 sf) breathable. Ideal for attics, sheds, warehouses, and as house wrap
  • Double-sided 99.9% PURE reinforced ALUMINUM that blocks 97% of the radiant heat in summer and winter
  • Industrialized strength with woven polyethylene scrim for tear resistance. Cannot be torn or ripped
Bestseller No. 2
1000 sqft Diamond Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Foil Reflective Insulation 4x250
1 Reviews
1000 sqft Diamond Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Foil Reflective Insulation 4x250
  • 1000 sqft Rolls (4ft x 250ft)
  • Perforated and Breathable
  • Clean, Lightweight, Easy To Install
SaleBestseller No. 3
Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation 16 Inch x 25 ft Roll
102 Reviews
Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation 16 Inch x 25 ft Roll
  • The product is 16x25 Staple Tab Roll
  • Easy to use
  • The product is manufactured in China
Bestseller No. 4
1000sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier...
16 Reviews
1000sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier...
  • Perforated No Tear Commercial Grade 8 Mil Strongest in the Market
  • 1000sqft 4ft wide
Bestseller No. 5
250sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Solid Platinum Non Perforated No Tear Green Energy...
14 Reviews

Our Selection of The 5 Best Radiant Barriers:

This article provides a helpful overview and quick reviews of the top 5 radiant barriers that will help you better manage heating and the costs related with heating, inside your home or business.

1. Radiant Barrier Insulation by RadiantGUARD

Radiant Barrier Insulation by RadiantGUARD

This attic insulation and aluminum foil insulation house wrap from RadiantGuard gives you 1,000 square feet of insulation roll. Each roll contains 250 linear feet of breathable, double-sided pure aluminum insulation. This radiant barrier is very effective at reducing attic temperature up to 40 degrees in the dead of summer resulting in an overall reduction of your monthly energy bills. Why spend money to cool your house only to have your attic heat it right back up again? This insulation product can be used anywhere where heat needs to be blocked and is known to reflect 97% of radiant heat.

Pros:

  • Very easy to work with and cuts easily with scissors but does not just tear.
  • Easy to install yourself saving you hundreds from having to use a contractor.
  • The difference can be felt almost immediately.

Cons:

  • Company has been known not to have the best customer service when you have an issue with your package being damaged.

Available at: Amazon.com

2. 1000 sqft Diamond Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Foil Reflective Insulation

1000 sqft Diamond Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Foil Reflective Insulation

At about $85 per roll, this Diamond Radiant Barrier by AES is an affordable option for solar attic foil reflective insulation. You get 1,000 square feet per roll which gives you 4ft wide by 250 feet in length to work with. This material is highly-reflective meaning it has a 99.97% reflective E value allowing it to easily reflect radiant heat rather than just absorbing it. With a 120 day 100% money back guarantee, you can purchase this product without any regrets knowing that if it doesn’t reflect the heat like you’re hoping for, the company will refund your money. This radiant barrier is non-toxic, doesn’t promote fungi growth and doesn’t provide any nesting opportunities for rodents or insects.

Pros:

  • 100% 120-day money back guarantee on your purchase.
  • The barrier also works on older, multi-storied homes that lack sufficient insulation.
  • The material is not affected by humidity or climate changes; therefore, no further maintenance is required once installed.

Cons:

  • Has been said to be much thinner and less durable than other barriers on the market.

Available at: Amazon.com

3. Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation

Reflectix ST16025 Staple Tab Insulation

Another super easy to use option is this Staple Tab Insulation by Reflectix. Each roll is 16 inches x 25 feet and is perfect to use in crawl spaces, attics, interior walls, metal buildings and post and frame structures. This insulation is fiber free, lightweight and is environmentally safe (non-toxic) to use on homes. The metallic foil surface effectively repels heat as is easy to install yourself – all you need are a pair of scissors and a staple gun. No contractor required! As this insulation is multi-layered, it reflects 94% of the radiant heat found in attics, and has Class 1, Class A fire rating.

Pros:

  • Very cheap at $16.25 per roll.
  • It has two inner layers of insulating double bubbles that resist conductive heat flow.
  • The two outer layers are made of aluminum foil and is 5/16-inch thick.

Cons:

  • Depending on the amount you need to cover, the cost can quickly add up.

Available at: Amazon.com

4. 1000sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier

1000sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier

If you’re looking for a heavy duty commercial industrial grade perforated radiant barrier, look no further than this radiant barrier from AES. Another great product from AES, this commercial grade radiant barrio is also 1,000 square feet per roll and is one of the strongest radiant barriers on the market. At just about $120 per roll, the price is reflected in how heavy duty this barrier is. It is double-sided (5 ply) and tear-proof making it a very strong barrier for jobs that need that extra strength. Even though this radiant barrier is heavy duty, the material is still known to be a superior alternative to other more bulky installation that is on the market today. As with all AES products, this commercial grade barrier also has a 120 day 100% money back guarantee; further proof that AES truly stands by the superiority of their products.

Pros:

  • Cuts easily with utility knife or scissors but does not tear.
  • The commercial grade industrialized barrier was specifically designed to hold up to heavy handling and heavy traffic with tearing or wrinkling.
  • Homeowners can expect up to 45% of cooling savings (depending on the climate) according to AES and the Department of Energy.

Cons:

  • Customers have noted that it is so heavy duty that it’s a little difficult to break off.
  • Hard to install alone because of how heavy duty it is: customers recommend a second set of hands for easier installation.

Available at: Amazon.com

5. 250sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Solid Platinum Non Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier

250sqft (4ft Wide) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Solid Platinum Non Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier

And yet another awesome product from AES: the Commercial Grade Solid Platinum Radiant Barrier. This barrier is made from non-perforated, no tear commercial grade and each roll gives you 250 square feet of breathable material. This double-sided 99.9% pure reinforced aluminum barrier blocks 97% of the radiant heat in summer. It can be used anywhere but seems to work its best magic on attics, sheds, warehouses and as a house wrap. The tear resistant nature of this barrier is because of the industrialized woven polyethylene strength. It’s virtually impossible to tear! The SuperShield reflective insulation reflects the heatwaves from the sun before it can even penetrate your house – it’s like a superhero!

Pros:

  • Results can be felt almost immediately as the product gets installed.
  • Customers have reported that it is more heavy duty and sturdy than any other barrier on the market.
  • It is puncture-resistant – customers have reported that they have used this product on outside-of-the-box things like tents and air mattresses.

Cons:

  • Some customers have noted installation issues using tape or air stapler not as effective as heavy duty silicone spread for keeping the material from peeling off.

Available at: Amazon.com

The Importance of a Radiant Barrier

Radiant heat will travel extremely fast until it is either reflected or absorbed. If you live in a hot climate, your roof can absorb heat from the sun – this causes your home to heat up to unbearable levels which will require you to use your air conditioning unit to expel this uncomfortable heat.

A radiant barrier will help to stop this radiant heat from entering the house.  It actually reflects the heat back out before it is absorbed by the insulation in your attic.  This can help you to save money with your energy bills as you do not have to pay to get rid of the heat because you have prevented it from entering the house altogether. Win-win, right?

So, how does it work in a colder climate or in the winter?  One of the basic principles of temperature is that heat is always transferred from warm to cold.  This means that when you are heating your home up in the winter, the heat is moving from the warm interior of your house to the cold outside.  The way houses are built is designed to reduce the amount of heat which is lost through the walls, but the attic can pose different problems altogether.  While most walls have an inner and outer layer of insulation, roofs usually only have that barrier on the inside.  This can prove to be ineffective because the air moves around inside the inner insulation and, therefore, you’re actually losing the heat that you’re attempting to generate in cooler temperatures.

Installing a radiant barrier can help to minimize these problems by reducing the amount of heat lost and by reducing the amount of air moving around in the inner insulation of your attic.  You can place the radiant barrier across the insulation you already have in your attic and it will work to keep the heat inside the house where it belongs.  This will help you to reduce the energy costs of heating your home.  A radiant barrier is similar to a wind breaker in that it stops the cold air from the attic from mixing with the warm air which is near the ceiling, thus reducing the loop of air which is continuously moving through the insulation.

One important point to note, however, when installing a radiant barrier in a cold climate is to make sure that you choose one that is perforated (breathable) in order to allow any and all moisture to escape.  If moisture cannot pass through the barrier, it could cause mould, bacteria and dampness – all are enemies to an attic or inside a wall.  A radiant barrier will help you to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer and will reduce your energy bills.

Attic Radiant Barrier

One of the most important aspects to think about when building a home is insulation. It provides a more comfortable setting and will help to prevent too much heat from leaving the house when it is cold outside and too much heat from entering the house when it is hot outside. The attic is the place where most of the heat can enter or leave the house. This is one area of the house which does not have insulation built in, as it does in the walls, for example. An attic radiant barrier can prevent your house from becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Not only can this make your home more comfortable, but it can also dramatically reduce the amount you need to spend on cooling and heating your home.

Having an attic radiant barrier can increase the amount of heat in the attic during cold weather and it can have the opposite effect in the summer. In some homes, there has been a reduction in energy costs due to an attic radiant barrier of up to 40 per cent; however, the average reductions would be more likely to be around 25 to 30 per cent, but it greatly depends on the size of the home. This is because, theoretically, you will not need to spend as much on heating your home as you will find that the heat is staying in the house where it belongs and is not escaping through the attic. In the summer, when it is hot outside, the attic radiant barrier will prevent excess heat from entering the home through the attic; therefore, you will not have to spend as much money on trying to cool your home down.

There are different types of attic radiant barriers available. You should know the various types and the difference between them before deciding which one is best to install in your own attic. Attic radiant barrier may be called anything from reflective foil insulation, attic heat barrier, aluminium foil insulation, reflective foil or radiant barriers. There are three main types available: two sided perforated, two sided non perforated and one sided with bubble wrap. It is always better to purchase a perforated (breathable) attic radiant barrier so that you can let any excess moisture pass through. A build-up of moisture under the radiant barrier could cause damp patches and mould in your attic – a problem you really want to avoid.

By installing an attic radiant barrier, you will be reducing your costs and making sure your home is that bit more comfortable.

Radiant Barrier Blankets

In the winter, there is nothing nicer than getting into a warm bed which has been heated up. But the costs of using electric blankets and heated mattresses are inefficient to say in the least. With the trend for reducing energy costs being so prominent now, is there any other cheaper alternative? You may not have heard of them but radiant barrier blankets are a great way to keep heat in without using any energy.

Made from similar technology as attic radiant barriers and radiant barrier curtains, these reflective blankets are a great way to make your bed cozier and more comfortable without the need for an electric blanket or heated mattress. You may have seen emergency blankets before which are used to keep accident victims warm or for those suffering from hypothermia. Well, radiant barrier blankets are similar. They are made from polyethylene which is a soft material that is perfect for your bed as it is comfortable, warm and cozy. These blankets are available in a variety of sizes to suit any size bed. You can even wash them in the washing machine making them a perfect way to keep your bed warm in the winter.

The aluminized side should be placed facing downwards on top of your top sheet as it reflects 95 per cent of your body heat back towards you. The fact that radiant barrier blankets do not use any electricity means that you can keep warm all night long. Many people are reluctant to keep their electric blankets on while they sleep as they are afraid that it could be dangerous and, because of this, some people can wake up feeling cold during the middle of the night. With a radiant barrier blanket, this problem is avoided. They are marvellous at keeping the heat in all night long using your own body heat.

So, for an energy efficient way to keep you warm all winter long, a radiant barrier blanket is an excellent choice. They are made with breathable fabric which will keep you warm and cozy the whole night through. You will not only be more comfortable all night long, but you will be increasing your energy efficiency (and lowering your energy costs) as you will be able to turn the temperature of the house down too.

Radiant Barrier Curtains

With energy costs rising all the time, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their energy bills.  Heat can escape through a house if it is not insulated properly, but it can also escape through windows which are not double-glazed or which have loose or cracked old frames.  Some homes have older style windows and in the winter they can let in draughts of cold air.  This can be felt as you move closer to the window.  Naturally, this reduces the amount of heat in a room and may require you to increase the heating to try and warm up the room. This could then end up costing you more money by increasing the amount of energy you are using.  The ideal solution would be to replace the windows, but what if this is too expensive for you?  There is something else you can do that is much more cost-effective and still provides you with the same solution: buy some radiant barrier curtains.

You might be surprised to realise how much heat is actually lost through windows which are not properly fitted or which are cracked.  If you have your heating on and your home feels warm, then you should feel around the windows to see if you can feel any cold air.  If you can, then you know there is a leak somewhere.  There are many different types of radiant barrier curtains available which can help you to prevent heat from leaving your house through the windows in the winter and prevent heat from entering your home in the summer.

The fabric used for these radiant barrier curtains is not bulky as you would expect but is thin and lightweight and ends up doing a remarkable job at reducing your energy use.  Radiant barrier curtains can block the heat on both sides, plus they can provide shade from the sun.  They can be made to look aesthetically pleasing with a light coloured fabric on one side and the radiant barrier fabric on the other side.  You can also buy this fabric to line your existing curtains which will give you the same benefit while you still keep the curtains that you love.

The difference between radiant barrier curtains and blackout curtains is that blackout curtains block the light and absorb heat making them less energy efficient.  Radiant barrier curtains will block the heat while still allowing light to pass through.  Another benefit to these curtains is that they are breathable too which will prevent your room from becoming stuffy.  If you want to increase your energy efficiency but cannot afford new, expensive windows, then try some radiant barrier curtains and see the difference.

Radiant Barrier Foil

One of the most popular ways to save money on your heating bills is to install a radiant barrier in your home.  Radiant barrier foil is one of the leading materials which are used for this.  A radiant barrier can reduce the heat which enters your home from outside in the summer, and it can also reduce the amount of heat which leaves your home in the winter.  It can be placed directly on top of the traditional insulation to give even more effective insulation in your home.

Fibreglass is a material that is highly reflective and can be used to insulate attics, but its uses can be limited, especially in areas where moisture is prevalent.  Radiant barrier foil is available now and it can work in much the same way as fibreglass; however, where fibreglass fails, radiant barrier foil succeeds.  It can slow down the transfer of heat from warm to cool areas by absorbing the heat before it escapes and reflecting it back the way it came.

There are three main types of radiant barrier foil which you can choose from.  These are: two-sided non-perforated, two-sided micro perforated and two-sided with bubble wrap.  One of the best types to choose is radiant barrier foil which is perforated (breathable) in order to let any moisture escape.  This can reduce any damp or mould which could result if any moisture were to build up.

Radiant barrier foil usually comes on a roll and it can be laid out over the existing insulation or stapled onto the bottom of the rafters.  To make sure that you are not trapping moisture if you place the foil directly on top of the existing insulation, the perforated radiant barrier foil works best.  Unless you are an experienced DIY’er, then it is advisable to get it installed by a professional due to the dangers which could occur.

If you want to do your bit for the environment and help to increase your energy efficiency, then a radiant barrier can be the answer.  Radiant barrier foil will help you to reduce the amount you spend on heating in the winter and will reduce the amount you need to spend cooling down your house in the summer.  It will make you feel more comfortable as it will keep the temperature of your home at the optimum temperature all year round, regardless of the season.

Radiant Barrier Insulation

To effectively reduce your energy bills, you may want to consider installing radiant barrier insulation in your attic.  Radiant barrier insulation has become a popular choice of insulation in new build homes and it is used there in the walls and under the concrete to increase the energy efficiency of the house.  But for existing homes, radiant barrier insulation can be bought and installed in areas such as the attic to help decrease the amount of heat which is lost; therefore, you’re reducing the amount you need to spend on heating your home.  It will also help to reduce the amount of heat that the house absorbs from the sun in the summer, which will reduce the amount you need to spend on air conditioning or electric fans.  It has been said that some homes can reduce their energy bills by between 25 and 35 per cent by using radiant barrier insulation.

One of the most popular materials for radiant barrier insulation is aluminium.  This material is much more effective at reflecting heat than traditional forms of insulation such as Styrofoam, fibreglass or cellulose.  It can help you to keep the heat in during the winter by reflecting the heat generated in the house back inside before it has a chance to escape out into the cold.  In the summer when you want it to be cooler, it can reflect heat from the sun back out on to the roof before it has the chance to enter the house.  This will help you to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home throughout the year.

If you decide to install radiant barrier insulation in your attic, then it would be advisable to place it directly on top of your existing insulation.  The material will either be one or two sided, but it is important that the reflective side of the radiant barrier insulation is facing into the open air.

Installing radiant barrier insulation yourself can be a tricky job, so make sure you have a complete set of instructions to follow and, ideally, another set of hands to assist you.  It is not necessary to staple the insulation sheets down but rather lay the edges of each sheet over the last.  You should make sure that the radiant barrier insulation is not touching the old insulation.  There should be a clear space between each one in order to make sure you have a dead space of air between them.  Otherwise, this could have the reverse effect to what you desire.  You could find that heat is absorbed into the house in the summer and absorbed from the house in the winter, something you do not want.

Overall, if you install radiant barriers correctly, you should see immediate results and a long-term reduction on your overall energy bills.

1 Response

  1. William F. Goetz says:

    Which is more effective in warm climate (Southern Florida): Icynene blown-in insulation between the rafters, or a radiant heat barrier? Is there any benefit to using both? If yes, how would you apply both? Icynene first in between the rafters and flush against the roof side of the attic, and then the radiant barrier draped between the rafters on the attic side, leaving some airspace between the Icynene and the radiant barrier? Intuitively, I’d say it’s better to put the radiant barrier first, against the underside of the roof, leaving some airspace between the roof and the barrier. Then apply the Icynene. But how could you then leave a space between the barrier and the Icynene? Given that the Icynene is open cell, can a radiant barrier be applied flush to the Icynene?

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