A Radiant Barrier Can Cool You Down This Summer

A Radiant Barrier Can Cool You Down This Summer

Apr 25, 2013

Are you anticipating the upcoming humid summer months? They are quickly approaching. As a Florida resident, it’s in your best interest to learn about radiant barriers and how they can cool you down this summer.

How do radiant barriers work?

When the sun beats down on the roof, radiant heat warms the roof’s underside. The heat passes through the roofing material and into the attic, heating up cooler surfaces there, including the attic floor. A hot attic floor means a hotter ceiling in your home, which radiates heat into the living space. A radiant barrier reduces the amount of heat transfer from the roofing material to the rest of the attic, effectively keeping the attic, and therefore the rest of your home, much cooler.

When is the right time to install a radiant barrier?

Spring is the best time to get a radiant barrier installed because then it can work all summer long to your advantage. The installation process is also easier before the temperatures climb to unbearable heights in the attic.

What types of radiant barriers are available?

All radiant barriers are made of a highly reflective material to reflect heat out of the attic instead of absorbing it. The most popular radiant material is aluminum foil. This is applied to the front and/or back of another material, such as a plastic film, cardboard, oriented strand board, kraft paper or an air infiltration barrier material. Fiber-reinforced options are more durable and easier to handle during installation as well.

Where are radiant barriers installed?

Radiant barriers are most commonly installed between attic rafters for the purpose of reducing heat gain. Hire a professional installer to complete the job for the best results. It’s also easier to install a radiant barrier in a new home, but retrofits are possible. This addition is most advantageous for homes in hot climates, such as Florida.

Remember that even with a radiant barrier in place, you still need standard insulation materials to slow conductive heat flow. To learn more, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in Orlando today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Radiant Barriers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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