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If you are looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to keep your home cool in Texas during the summer, a possible solution may be a professional radiant barrier installation. A radiant barrier is a highly reflective material that repels the heat that penetrates the attic instead of absorbing it. It acts as an additional layer for keeping heat from entering your home.
However, a radiant barrier is not the same as attic insulation. Therefore, it does not reduce heat conduction like thermal insulation materials. Instead, it acts as a supplement to the insulation you may already have in your attic. So, the question is whether it is worth it to install a radiant barrier and if it reduces your heating costs during the hot months.
Below, we take an in-depth look at how it works and s a Radiant Barrier Worth It?
During the summer, the sun’s UV rays and the heat they produce can penetrate your home’s roof. The heat travels from a warm area to a cool area (i.e., your home) via radiation, convection, and conduction.
The heat invades your home from the attic, walls, and even the flooring. When you install a radiant barrier, it keeps the heat from accumulating. In essence, it prevents heat buildup. When combined with insulation, a radiant barrier effectively reduces the amount of heat that enters your home.
When UV rays reach the roofing system, the sun’s radiant energy heats the roof. The heat travels through conduction. Once inside the attic, the heat builds up and converts the cool attic surface into a hot surface. When installed correctly, the radiant barrier can reduce or eliminate heat conduction, convection, and radiation simultaneously.
To be effective, the reflective surface of the radiant barrier needs to face an open air space. The surface must also be clean and dust-free. For this reason, professionals usually install a reflective barrier in an open space and position it so that there is little to no dust accumulation.
To get the most out of the radiant barrier, a licensed professional must install it properly. There are several factors to consider.
The average temperature in Texas during the summer is between 86 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit. When combined with low rainfall levels and low humidity, 90-degree temperatures can feel unbearable. As part of a whole-attic system, radiant barriers can improve the comfort of your home.
Humidity is not an issue in most areas in Texas. However, southern and eastern Texas does have higher levels of humidity than northern and western Texas. Thankfully, no matter where you live in Texas, radiant barriers are unaffected by humidity because they reflect heat and do not absorb it.
Whether you are healthy or suffer from health issues, you do not have to worry about radiant barriers contaminating your home. Barriers do not emit harmful particles that can harm your body. Unlike insulation, radiant barriers do not irritate your lungs, eyes, or skin. They are made of non-toxic materials that are safe to use in the home.
R-Value measures how much thermal energy passes through a surface. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulative properties of the material. The materials in a radiant barrier can reflect up to 97 percent of radiant heating, giving it a higher R-value than most types of attic or wall insulation. When combined with insulation, a radiant barrier creates a nearly impenetrable envelope around the house.
To be fair, radiant barriers alone only reduce between five to ten percent of your monthly cooling costs. When combined with insulation, however, barriers can potentially cut your cooling bill in half. Naturally, the results will vary depending on the size of your home and if it is well-insulated. However, every little bit helps. A radiant barrier may put $200 to $300 back in your pocket annually.
Although the primary use for radiant barriers is as a supplement to the attic or wall insulation, there are other ways that you can use them around the house. For instance, you can use barriers as insulators for water pipes, hot water tanks, and wrapping ducts. They are helpful because they reflect heat away from surfaces.
Summer is coming! Now is the time to protect your home from the sweltering heat. Contact Energy Attic today to learn more about the benefits of a radiant barrier.