Radiant Barriers -- Your Answer To Attic Heat And Humidity

With home cooling costs likely to be higher than ever this summer, you should be happy to know that there's a way to reduce your energy usage and keep your house cooler at the same time. Radiant barriers can be installed in your home to reduce energy costs by as much as 10 percent.

One of the ways heat is conducted into your house is through radiation. The sun's energy travels in a straight line, heating any cooler surface it passes. If the cooler surface is your roof, the heat energy is then conducted from the exterior surface of the roof into the interior of the attic. It radiates down into the house, forcing your air conditioning system to use more energy to cool your home.

Radiant barriers are coated in a reflective material that reflects heat away from the interior of the house. It comes in several different types. One type, a spray paint, has metal flecks that act as reflectors. Other types include reflective shingles, roof sheathing, foil and chips. Of these types, the shingles are the most expensive and usually only used if a new roof is needed. The reflective foil is more common both in new construction and in older homes where radiant barriers are added.

Placement of radiant barriers is a major factor in how effectively they can reduce your energy usage. Because of this, it's usually recommended that they be installed by trained professionals.

Radiant barriers are intended to work in concert with attic insulation. A radiant barrier won't take the place of insulation, which works to resist thermal transfer either into your home, or to the outside in the winter. However, a radiant barrier will make your insulation more effective, especially during hot weather. Although a radiant barrier can be installed on top of attic insulation, this can sometimes lead to moisture problems and should be avoided if at all possible.

For more information on installing radiant barriers or other HVAC matters in the Mid-Ohio area, please contact Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about radiant barriers and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. 

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