Adding double-faced foil radiant heat barrier material to your attic will bounce heat back to where you want it to be. Radiant barriers block the heat from coming in during the summer and bounce it back indoors when it tries to escape in the winter.
Radiant barriers are materials that block and reflect radiant heat. Generally, they are made using aluminum foil. They block 95-97% of radiant heat. Radiant barriers work two ways. They reflect heat radiation away from the structure that they are protecting. They also limit the amount of heat energy that they emit on their cooler side.
In the summer, heat is reflected away from the interior of the home. This reduces the heat load that air conditioning equipment must remove to keep the living areas comfortable. This saves on the electric bill.
In the winter, the radiant barrier stops heat from escaping by bouncing it back toward the living areas of the house. This reduces the amount of energy need to replace heat that does escape to the cold outdoors. Less energy is need for heat and the furnace fan will run less.
The insulation and the radiant barriers work together. The insulation slows conductive heat transfer and the radiant barrier sends radiant heat back to where it belongs. It is a money saving one two punch for the homeowner. Radiant barrier material that is used in attics must be perforated with small holes to let water vapor pass though it. This prevents water damage to the structure,
Adding radiant heat barrier material in an attic can be a do-it-yourself job. A staple gun and a razor knife are all the tools you need. Do not put your foot down through the ceiling. You may want a couple of pieces of heavy plywood that you can move around to stand on.
The most effective and easiest method is to lay the radiant barrier material down over top of the insulation in the attic. Cut and trim it around structure, pipes or ducts that are in the way. It is OK to piece it around obstacles. Just overlap each piece to get complete coverage of every square inch that you can. Use a few staples to the joists just to keep it from shifting as you work. Overlap seams by 3 or 4 inches to insure good coverage. That is it. Do not tape the seams.
Bottom line, folks always want to know what savings the can expect. I can not give a firm number due to the many variables like your weather and type of construction. I would not be surprised if you told me you got a 13 to 17% reduction in the heating and air conditioning part of your energy bill after adding a radiant barrier to just your attic.
Here are three good sources to order Radiant Barrier foil materials for your home.
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