Facts about Reflective Insulation & Radiant Barriers

Facts about Reflective Insulation & Radiant Barriers

AUBURNDALE, FL (October __,2002) --- Reflective insulation and radiant barrier
products are primarily made of aluminum foil materials. Several types are available
including:
• One or more layers of aluminum foil and one or two layers of industrial grade
plastic air-filled bubbles.
• Several layers of aluminum foil and kraft paper and/or metalized plastic film.
The difference between reflective insulation and radiant barriers
In Florida, reflective insulation and radiant barrier products are typically installed in
masonry walls or in attics in residential homes and buildings. Like standard insulation,
the masonry wall products work by trapping air and are available in various R-Values,
used to rate thermal performance. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulating
performance.
Attic radiant barriers, however, are not designed to trap air. Instead, they reduce the
transfer of radiant heat, which can significantly reduce the heat load in a home,
improving comfort and saving energy. Attic radiant barriers perform based on how much
heat they emit and are rated by Emittance Values or E-values, which range from 0 to 1.
The lower the value, the better the product performs. For a product to be termed a radiant
barrier the E-value must be 0.10 or less. Radiant barriers work much like a tree next to a
home; it shades the home from the sun and keeps it cooler.
How they work to reduce energy costs
Reflective insulation and radiant barriers are designed to reduce the transfer of heat
across air spaces in homes or buildings. Reflective insulation reduces heat transfer and
also traps air, like standard insulation. Radiant barriers allow free ventilation but
significantly reduce radiant heat transfer, which is the dominant form of heat transfer in
an attic space.
Unlike mass insulation (such as fiberglass insulation), which slows the transfer of heat by
absorbing and holding the heat, the aluminum foil materials work by actually reflecting
heat away, keeping it from penetrating the walls or ceilings. The results are lower energy
costs and inside temperatures that are more comfortable year-round.
The benefits: significant energy savings and improved comfort
There are many benefits to using reflective insulation and radiant barriers in today’s
homes and commercial buildings. The biggest advantage is their energy-saving
capabilities, which is why more and more home builders are choosing to offer Fi-Foil’s
products as standard features or options in their new homes throughout the country.
Because reflective insulation and radiant barriers are made with aluminum foil materials,
95-97 percent of the radiant heat that strikes a home or building’s surface is reflected
away, while only three-five percent of the heat is emitted inside.
When an attic radiant barrier is used during the summer, the heat that radiates through the
roof is reflected back out instead of being absorbed and stored inside the home or
building. The results are cooler temperatures inside and significant energy savings as
well. In the winter, reflective insulation and/or radiant barriers do just the opposite; they
keep the inside temperatures warm and the cold out.
Studies have proven that homeowners who have Fi-Foil’s attic radiant barriers installed
in their homes can save up to 12 percent in annual energy costs. And a radiant barrier
provides additional benefits as well by improving year-round comfort in areas like
garages or lanais that are usually not air conditioned or heated. In addition, all reflective
insulation and radiant barrier products are easy to install and are fiber free.

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