What Are Radiant Barriers?

September 9th, 2019

As insulation specialists in Orange County, we are highly qualified to offer sound advice to homeowners seeking to improve or replace their current heating and cooling systems. While there are dozens of types and brands of home insulation, the concept of radiant barriers is an important component of the energy efficiency conversation.

Radiant barriers are one option for insulation that is increasingly popular in the Southern California area due to the high temperatures and unrelenting summer heat. Read on to learn more about this insulation choice – and be sure to contact Home Comfort USA for a no-nonsense weatherization consultation.

The Science Behind Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriersRadiant barriers do their best work in attics or other areas of the home prone to increased collection of heat. The barrier is covered in a reflective material like aluminum foil. The barrier itself is typically made out of a material like a plastic film, cardboard or even kraft paper.

In order to keep a home comfortable and cool, radiant barriers work very simply by reflecting heat away and diverting warm air in another direction. Known technically as reducing “radiant heat gain,” a radiant barrier can reduce energy costs in warm climates (like Orange County) by as much as ten percent. What’s more, the presence of radiant barriers may actually help to reduce the required size of the home’s air conditioning unit, thereby further reducing energy costs.

To work most effectively, a radiant barrier should be placed perpendicular to the energy source in question (e.g., direct sunlight). Further, the effectiveness of a radiant barrier increases in correlation to the temperature inside the home – the lower the inside temperature, the more heat the radiant barrier will deflect.

Installation Procedures

Installing a radiant barrier is far from a DIY weekend project, and the professionals of Home Comfort USA can ensure all home insulation needs are met. Radiant barriers can be installed during the construction of a new home or as part of the upkeep of an existing home. Either way, this type of installation is almost always installed in the attic so as to deflect the greatest amount of heat as it hits the rooftop.

In either a brand new or existing home, radiant barriers are secured on the home’s interior at least one inch beneath the shingles. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that a material like aluminum can actually conduct electricity, so this undertaking should not occur adjacent to any live wires or major electrical repair.

Contact an Orange County HVAC Company that Knows the Business

Installation of components like radiant barriers, insulation and general HVAC appliances requires knowledge and experience. In Orange County, Home Comfort USA is a renowned name when it comes to honest and prompt service. Further, our technicians fully understand the HVAC industry and can offer thorough advice on virtually any insulation inquiry.