We’ve been installing quite a bit of Radiant Barriers lately. Our customers are usually looking for ways to reduce the temperature in the house during the warmer months of the year. Since summer is right around the corner radiant barrier installations have been ramping up. The homeowners for whom we’ve installed the radiant barriers say there is a noticeable difference in the comfortability within the house due to the drop in temperature. So I thought I should share the knowledge I’ve gained from reputable sources about radiant barriers.
Firstly, we need to understand how heat affects our homes here in sunny Southern California. The sun transfers heat to our homes in the form of radiant heat. After the roof is heated up by the sun, your hot roof will begin to radiate heat also. This heat will soon raise the temperature of the normal insulation in your attic since it’s made to absorb the heat. The heat will eventually find its way into your home since traditional attic insulation will only slow down this process. A radiant barriers job is to disrupt the transfer of heat into the attic by reflecting radiant heat back towards the roof. Thus keeping your traditional insulation cooler and, in turn, your home cool as well.
Or, in the words of the U.S. Department of Energy:
When the sun heats a roof, it’s primarily the sun’s radiant energy that makes the roof hot. A large portion of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.
Us Californians love our sun, but sometimes we all enjoy a cool Lemonade in the summer.