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Radiant Barriers

Reduce Attic Heat

What They Are & How They Work

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Radiant Barriers
What they are and How they Work

What is a Radiant Barrier?
When the sun heats a surface, it is primarily the sunís radiant energy that makes the surface hot. Traditional insulation materials, like fiberglass batt's and cellulose actually absorb radiant heat energy Radiant barriers reflect it. A single layer of reflective material, properly installed between the hotter roof deck and the attic floor, may reduce radiant heat transfer to the attic by about 95%.
(Radiant Barrier Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of Energy.)

A good example of a radiant barrier is aluminum cooking foil since it reflects heat into or away from food while cooking. Since the 1930s (which is about when aluminum foil was invented) radiant barrier materials have proven themselves to be a potentially effective method of keeping unwanted heat out of buildings too. They are predominantly beneficial for buildings in cooling dominated climates.

There are several types of radiant barriers offered.
Some types include aluminum foil laminated to wood, heavy kraft building paper, mylar, polyethylene, and foil "batts" 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 .
Figure 1 illustrates the locations in which a radiant barrier may be installed in an attic. Only locations 1 and 2 are recommended for sheet radiant barriers because dust will accumulate on the radiant barrier if it is installed at location 3 and decrease its efficiency.
radiant barrier placement in attics


Does a radiant barrier have an R-value?
Not Much! The R value is so small its hardly worth mentioning but remember that " R-value's" relate ONLY to a material's resistance to the flow, or transfer, of Conducted heat, they do nothing for Radiant energy, it takes a radiant or reflective barrier to deal with radiant heat which will drive in a straight line until it is either deflected, or absorbed.
This means that the sun's radiant energy will eventually pass through your insulation, if it is not blocked by a radiant barrier.

The Department of Energy has a report,
Effect of Radiant Barriers on Heating and Cooling Bills which states,

"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."

Now imagine the energy you would save with reduced heat gains like that!

Your Options: You can purchase one of the aluminum foil batt type materials, which do not provide a significant amount of thermal insulation, and staple it to the underside of the roof or, apply Hy-Tech's Exclusive Radiant Barrier Coat, An Aluminum Pigment, Ceramic fortified, Attic Radiant Barrier paint. Non-Toxic, Very Low odor, seamless installation, no voids or gaps, no thermal bridging through the trusses and at a cost per square foot that is much lower than the batt type materials.

Why our coating vs the "other guys" ? Hy-Tech is the leader in radiant barrier coatings, we produced our very first water base, non-toxic radiant barrier paint in 1999 based on the technology used in the thermal space blanket insulation material developed for use by NASA in the Apollo program. Hy-Tech's barrier coat #85 is the ONLY metallic aluminum, ceramic coating on the market with the ability to reduce BOTH Radiant Heat and Conductive Heat due to our insulating ceramic microspheres which are incorporated into the coating. Only Hy-Tech can boast a totally VOC ( volatile chemical) free pigment coating ensuring that you and your family are not subjected to harmful toxins.
Easy water clean up, extremely high reflectivity, low cost per sq ft. and easily installed on roof decking in attics, Between wood-frame studs, joists, and beams , Under floors & floor joists, Beneath carpet pads, Below radiant heated floors, In walls, wall studs & ceilings, In crawlspace's, on slabs, and on HVAC ductwork .


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