A Radiant Barrier will work with mass insulation such as fiberglass and cellulose to increase your building’s overall resistance to heat transfer.
How well does EcoFoil radiant barrier or bubble foil insulation work compared to fiberglass?
Reflective insulation will stop 96% of radiant heat, which is often overlooked and misunderstood mainly because R-Values do not take it into account. However, radiant heat transfer is responsible for up to 75% of total building heat loss up through the roof, and 93% of heat that is gained from outdoors into the attic through the roof’s surface. Traditional insulation products such as fiberglass, cellulose and EPS foam board are effective in reducing convective and conductive heat transfer, but do very little to prevent radiant heat transfer. Radiant heat energy can either be absorbed or reflected.
Reflective insulation is very easy to work with. For most applications, the only tool requirements are scissors and a staple gun. All standard applications are easy Do-It-Yourself projects where you and one other person can complete the entire job in one weekend.
Traditional insulation products often require that you wear safety masks and gloves during insulation due to the actual fiberglass or off-gassing. Reflective insulation does have limited off-gassing, but at a much lower percentage and much safer level.
Does radiant barrier keep areas cool also?
Radiant barrier does not necessarily cool an area, but it keeps the area from getting hot. Our manufacturer conducted the following interesting experiment:
A bag of ice was placed inside each of three boxes. Each box contained a different form of insulation; fiberglass, foam and foil. The melting rate was recorded during the experiment. In the boxes insulated with fiberglass and foam, the bags of ice took 24 hours to melt whereas the bag of ice placed in the box lined with foil took four days to melt. This test clearly shows that the high R-Value does not necessarily equal a better insulator.
Will reflective insulation prevent condensation?
Reflective insulation is an excellent solution to condensation problems in basements or metal buildings. The thermal break provided by the air space prevents warm, moist air inside a building from interacting with cold air on the same surface. When installed correctly, with secure seams, condensation will not occur on the surface of the reflective insulation. Note that reflective foil should not be used in attic installations where air flow is crucial – in attics the correct choice for radiant heat barrier is perforated radiant barrier.
I already have fiberglass or blown in insulation in my attic. Do I need a Radiant Barrier?
Fiberglass and cellulose insulation work by slowing down heat transfer from one source to another. That's why the thicknesses of that insulation is crucial for performance. Also, fiberglass and cellulose only resist heat transfer; they don't block or reflect it so it eventually escapes through. Our perforated radiant barrier can be installed over top of existing attic insulation to form a reflective cover to enhance other mass forms of attic insulation.
My attic is already well ventilated. Do I still need a Radiant Barrier?
Radiant heat travels in the form of invisible waves until it is absorbed or reflected by a solid surface. Very little radiant heat is removed by the movement of air through your attic. Reflective insulation provides the extra element of protection against radiant heat that ventilation cannot provide.
How can radiant barrier help improve the energy efficiency of my HVAC system?
Installing radiant barrier in your home's attic is the best way to reduce the workload of your HVAC system by nearly eliminating the radiant heat transfer in your attic space. You can also use reflective foil insulation to wrap duct work and reduce energy loss as heated and cooled air is moved from your HVAC unit to your home's vents. We recommend easy installing EcoFoil R8 Duct Wrap Insulation to insulate exposed HVAC duct work.
How much tape will I need for my reflective foil installation?
As a general rule, we recommend one roll of tape for each roll of reflective insulation purchased. However it is important to allow for tape overlap, scrap, etc. Rolls of tape are all lengths of 150’ and available in 3” width. Rolls of tape are also available for different applications.
- Foil tape to seal the seams of foil faced insulation.
- White Poly tape to seal the white faced insulation.
- Double-sided tape to attach the first course of insulation to the roof edge.
How does reflective foil insulate if it is so thin?
It's a common misconception that all insulation must be thick to perform well. A mass insulation will always have a higher R-value than a thinner insulation due to density, but R-value does not measure all types of heat transfer. Mass has little effect on radiant heat transfer, it is only efficiently blocked through reflection. For this type of heat transfer a thinner reflective material can easily provide better thermal performance than a thicker non-reflective product with a higher R-value.
Does radiant barrier tear easily?
EcoFoil is produced with linear-low density polyethylene, with very high tensile strength and puncture resistance. When handled properly, it is very difficult to tear the material and it is impossible to tear with your bare hands. The many layers of polyethylene add to the strength of the product and will resist tearing at the screw holes.
Will the materials in reflective foil degrade or break down?
Reflective insulation is made from polyethylene and aluminum. Both of these materials are very environmentally stable and do not biodegrade quickly.
What is the warranty for EcoFoil?
EcoFoil carries a 10-year limited warranty against any material defects. Material defects include de-lamination, surface imperfection, foil corrosion and air retention. Any defect in material or workmanship is covered by the EcoFoil warranty.
Will dust affect the performance of the radiant barrier?
Layers of dust do have an effect on the material’s ability to reflect radiant energy. Scientific testing has determined that the actual reduction in reflectivity ranges from 7% to 18% reductions in reflectivity over 10 to 25 years.
Are foil radiant barriers the same as the standard household aluminum foil?
Standard aluminum foil (i.e. Reynolds Wrap) is not the same as a reflective foil radiant barrier. Standard household aluminum foil is a very thin sheet of aluminum mixed with other alloys that will oxidize over time and has virtually no tear-resistance. Radiant barrier foil has a multi-layer structure and is reinforced with a woven scrim that provides outstanding tear and tensile strength. Radiant barrier foil also contains a much higher aluminum content for greater reflectivity and is coated for durability and corrosion resistance.
Will the radiant barrier make my metal hotter than without?
The heat energy that the metal receives comes directly from the sun. No new energy is being created. Only existing energy which has already been absorbed by the metal and is reflected back toward the source.
The same is true for under rafter applications. The radiant barrier will not make your shingles hotter nor will it damage your shingles. A study performed by RIMA shows that only nominal appreciative heat gain was measured on a rooftop over the radiant barrier. Read the study.
What is the major benefit to adding reflective insulation to a metal building?
Insulation provides increased comfort, energy savings, condensation control, light reflectivity and noise reduction. In a building or warehouse that is not heated or air-conditioned: it is necessary to insulate in order to avoid heat gain in the summer as well as condensation problems inside the building. The fact that the warehouse is not air-conditioned is even more reason to install a radiant barrier.
Do you have questions not covered here? Please call one of our product experts today at 888-349-3645 and they will be happy to assist you.