Reflective Foil Insulation And Radiant Barriers
Radiant energy is a significant portion of thermal energy that contributes to transfer of air due to radiation. A barrier that reduces this heat transfer will significantly help in reducing our heating and cooling costs. Reflective foil insulation acts as radiant barrier and blocks/reduces radiation from reaching our homes.
The most commonly used foil insulation is made of aluminum. The thin foil reflects the light and heat /cold thus keeping the temperature of the home cool in day time and warm at night. The radiant barriers can be foil, foil laminates, foil-backed bubble packs, foil-faced polyurethane, foil-faced polystyrene, reflective paints and metal roofing.
The reflective foil insulation is either single or multiple layer of aluminum foil that is attached to some backing material. The backing material can be foam or plastic bubble, which prevent heat transfer through convection. Aluminum foil reflects almost 97 percent of the radiant heat. They are most effective in ceilings, roofs and attics in hot climates.
There are several benefits to having reflective insulation for homes in hotter climate zones. It reduces the radiant heat significantly and keeps homes cool. They can significantly reduce the air-conditioning costs for homes. The reflective foil insulation remains effective for a long time and does not lose its effectiveness over time. They can act as vapor barriers and as moisture is not retained there is no problem of mold or mildew. They take very little space and are perfectly safe as they are toxin free and carcinogen free. Take care not to let naked wires or electrical wiring to come into contact with the foil as it good conductor of electricity.
When used in addition to blown in insulation for attics or rigid foam board insulation for wall the energy loss from the home is minimized to a great extent. Building codes require that homes have basic insulation to reduce the energy usage. State and federal government offer tax cuts and grants for homeowners to make their home more energy efficient.
There are several brands in multi-foil reflective insulation available. A few are of them are:
ASTRO-FOIL - This is double layer reflective aluminum foil insulation. It has two layers of pure aluminum foil with polyethylene bubble film in between.
RadiantGUARD - Energy star qualified radiant energy barrier. Is used in many countries of the world. Offers several and do it yourself insulation for homeowners too.
Euroform Gen-X multi foil insulation - It has 7 layers with insulation, thermal insulation, vapor barrier and air seal in one product.
ArmaFoil - The strong foil is tear resistant, is efficient and EERGY STAR certified.
TLX Gold - An effective multi-foil insulation this is great space saver, is flexible and laying it out is easy and quick. It acts as an effective vapor barrier too. Other products include TLX Silver Multi-Foil, TLX Silverô U-values, TLX RafterFit for different purposes.
Installers will fix the reflective foil insulation in less than a day. No special rigs or equipment are needed to install it. If you do not want to lay foil insulation you can instead use radiant barrier sprays or paints. These reflective paints work the same way as foil by reflecting the radiant heat energy from the sun. It's not as effective as foil and roofs will need to be painted often for effectiveness.