Radiant Barriers

Written by Courtney Salinas
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In the summer months, especially in the South, sometimes it seems a roof, walls, and insulation just aren't enough to protect homeowners from the heat. Radiant barriers, though, can prove very effective at blocking heat from coming into the home. Radiant barriers can even help keep a home warm on a winter night.

Reflecting Heat

Radiant barriers are thin, reflective foil sheets that can block radiant heat transfers by reflecting heat. Radiant heat is heat which transfers from one object to another. Hot air transfers heat to your roof and insulation, which absorb heat. Usually radiant barriers are installed in the attic of a home, somewhere above the insulation. When heat comes through the roof, the radiant barriers reflect most of the heat leaving the rest to be absorbed by the insulation.

While radiant barriers can help cool a home with inefficient or poorly installed insulation, the barriers really work their best when accompanied by good insulation. Radiant Barriers also work in reverse, keeping your warm air inside in the winter. Whatever heat escapes your insulation will be reflected off the radiant barriers and sent back into your home.

Radiant Barrier Technology

The same principles that are used to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter with radiant barriers is also used to insulate pipes and air ducts and even protect aircraft from the elements. A radiant barrier might also be useful in insulating your hot water heater. Wrapping a radiant barrier around it will keep the heat from the water in the water heater, saving you energy.

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