A radiant barrier keeps your house cooler by keeping radiant heat out of your attic. A major source of household heat infiltration is often the overheated attic just the other side of your ceiling.
Temperatures inside an enclosed attic increase on a sunny summer day as solar heat penetrates the roof and heats air trapped in the attic. Attic temperatures can soar as high as 150 degrees. This reservoir of heat radiates through the ceiling into cooler living spaces. The influence of attic heat can raise temperatures in rooms directly below by as much as 10 degrees. This, in turn, causes your air conditioner to run longer cycles to maintain thermostat settings, increasing your monthly cooling costs.
Attic insulation helps impede attic heat passing through the ceiling. However, insulation can’t prevent radiant heat from over-heating the attic in the first place. A radiant barrier is a foil-coated material typically stapled to roof joists within a few inches of the underside of the roof. Alternatively, the material may be draped across the joists in the floor of the attic, atop existing insulation. Radiant energy entering through the roof is reflected back into the roof sheathing and then re-radiates to the exterior. This helps moderate attic temperatures.
In addition to reducing the attic heat load, a radiant barrier benefits your household comfort and efficiency in two other ways:
- Insulation performs more effectively when it is kept cooler. Utilizing a radiation barrier to reduce the air temperature inside the attic helps your existing attic insulation do a better job of reducing heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Moderating attic temperatures by blocking radiant energy infiltration also reduces condensation produced when an overheated attic cools at night. Condensation soaking attic insulation substantially reduces its insulating value, allowing more heat to infiltrate living spaces through the ceiling.
Contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Air for more about the benefits of a radiant barrier to keep your attic cooler and reduce household heat gain.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.
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