What is a radiant barrier?

Radiant barriers are installed in homes—most commonly in attics—to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss, which helps lower heating and cooling costs. The barriers consist of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. They don’t, however, reduce heat conduction like thermal insulation materials.

Reflective Insulation vs. Mass Insulation

Foam cups “insulate” a cup of coffee as mass insulation does and attains an actual R-value.  The reflective surface of a thermos jug lining, keeps liquid hot or cold. For example, if you take hot coffee, the heat within a thermos is reflected back inside while the cold outside is reflected away.  A radiant barrier reflects and separates “heat” from -60 degrees to a scorching +180 degrees without an R-value. Would you rather drink coffee from a thermos jug, or foam cup hours later?

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First of all, reflective foil is a TRUE radiant barrier. It reflects 97% of the radiant heat that hits it. RADIANT PAINT is by definition NOT a radiant barrier at all. It is defined as a radiant coating because at best it blocks 75%. A true radiant barrier MUST reflect 90% or higher to meet both RIMA and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s standards. See the chart below. Now, more on radiant barriers:

The Many Benefits of Radiant Barrier

• Reflects 96% of radiant energy
• Does not compress, collapse or disintegrate
• Class A / Class 1 Fire Rating
• Durable and lightweight
• Fiber-free
• Controls condensation
• Environmentally safe
• Does not promote nesting of insects or rodents
• Lowers heating and cooling costs year-round
• Prevents mold and mildew
• Vapor and radon retarder
• Not affected by moisture or humidity
• Permanent and maintenance free

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