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What is a radiant barrier?
Radiant barriers are materials of a highly reflective material, usually aluminum, that are installed in buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss, and hence to reduce building heating and cooling energy usage. The benefit of attic radiant barriers is primarily in reducing air-conditioning cooling loads in warm or hot climates.

How do radiant barriers work?
All materials used in building construction brick, stone, asphalt, paper, and so on ,regardless of their color, absorb and then emit, (give off), thermal heat. On a sunny summer day, solar energy is absorbed by the roofing materials and roof sheathing, temperatures can reach as high as 160 - 160 °F. This absorbed heat radiates downward toward the attic floor. When a radiant barrier is placed on the underside of the roof sheathing, much of the heat radiated from the hot roof is reflected back outside. This makes the attic insulation cooler and thus reduces the amount of heat that moves through the insulation into the rooms below the ceiling.

How does a radiant barrier differ from conventional attic insulation?
Radiant barriers reduce the amount of heat that is radiated into the attic which lowers attic temperatures, conventional insulation traps the heat that is already in the attic and slows down, ( doesn't stop it, simply slows it down) the heat transfer into the house.

All radiant barriers have a highly reflective (or low emissivity) surface, usually aluminum.
"Reflectivity" (also called the "reflectance"), is a measure of how much radiant heat is reflected by a material, it is given as a percentage between 0 and 100%.
"Emissivity" (also called the "emittance"), is a materials ability to give off, or emit, heat energy by thermal radiation. The emissivity is a number between zero (0) and one (1). The higher the emissivity, the greater the amount of heat that is given off or "emitted".

A radiant barrier used in the attic floor application must allow water vapor to pass through it. This is necessary because, during the winter, water vapor from the living space may condense and even freeze on the underside of a radiant barrier lying on the attic floor. The ability to allow water vapor to pass through radiant barrier materials is not needed when radiant barriers are applied to the underside of the roof.

How much can you save with a radiant barrier?
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have performed tests for a number of years using attic test sections and full-size houses. The tests to date have shown that in attics with R-19 insulation, radiant barriers can reduce summer ceiling heat gains by about 16 to 42 percent compared to an attic with the same insulation level and no radiant barrier. These figures are for the average reduction in heat flow through the insulation path. They do not include effects of heat flow through the framing members.

1.) Radiant barriers are materials that are installed in buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss, and hence to reduce building heating and cooling expense,
2.) Types include aluminum foil laminated to wood, heavy kraft building paper, mylar, polyethylene, and foil "house wraps" which are stapled or taped to the underside of the roof, and there are small chips or bubbles that are blown into the attic over the existing insulation . Application on the floor over the existing fiberglass is not recommended because dust will accumulate on the radiant barrier and decrease its efficiency.
3.)The Hy-Tech Solution...
#85 Radiant Barrier Paint. A non-toxic, water base, aluminum and insulating ceramic, pre-mixed coating that can be applied by brush, roller or spray which provides a continuous, void free, radiant heat barrier.
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