Florida is the Sunshine State, and a radiant barrier is one way to protect your home from the effects of it. In this climate, outdoor heat infiltrates your house in several ways. It is conducted through the walls. It streams in through windows as infrared energy in sunlight. And it invades your attic as radiant heat from solar energy striking the roof. In summer, this energy accumulates in the attic, driving temperatures above 150 degrees. Heat conducts through the ceiling into living spaces, raising utility costs. Conventional insulation retards conduction of heat but has little effect on radiant energy penetrating the roof. A properly installed radiant barrier is the key to keeping heat energy out of your attic and attic temperatures out of your home.
How it works
Radiant barriers are thin cardboard or plastic material with a shiny, reflective aluminum coating. A barrier is installed in the attic just beneath the roof deck, usually stapled to the roof rafters. Radiation permeating the roof strikes the reflective material and is reflected back into the roof. This prevents superheating of attic air.
Where HVAC ducts are routed through the attic, these barriers are also useful. Radiant energy infiltrating through the roof is readily absorbed by uninsulated metal ductwork. This causes thermal loss in summer and makes your A/C less efficient.
How well it works
Installation of a barrier will reflect about 90 percent of radiant energy entering your attic through the roof. This can reduce heat transfer into your home by anywhere from 15 to 40 percent. Reduction of heat transfer depends upon additional factors like insulation and attic ventilation, air tightness of the home, color of the roof and HVAC efficiency. In warm climates like Orlando, a savings of 8 to 12 percent on annual A/C costs is a reasonable expectation after barrier installation.
Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning has a 42-year track record serving the homeowners of central Florida. Contact us for today for more information about the energy-saving benefits of installing a radiant barrier.
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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