Frequently Asked Questions
What is radiant barrier?
EcoFoil Radiant Barrier uses reflective material to increase the energy efficiency and comfort level of your home. Our radiant barrier is made of a thin layer of woven polyethylene, sandwiched between two layers of highly reflective metalized coating. With the polyethylene core, our product is tear resistant. EcoFoil radiant barrier blocks 96% of radiant heat transfer to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It will also act as a vapor barrier when the seams are taped, keeping moisture from passing through it!
How can a reflective foil radiant barrier help save energy?
A radiant barrier can effectively re-direct heat back towards its source. Therefore, in the summer, you want the heat re-directed away from your home, but in the winter, you want the heat residing in your home to remain there. This provides for a more efficient system year round.
During hot summer months, EcoFoil Radiant Barriers block 96% of the sun's radiant heat from being transferred into your structure. Radiant heat accounts for 93% of downward heat transfer into the home.
During cold winter months, EcoFoil Radiant Barriers keep heat from escaping your home or business by reflecting 96% of the radiant heat back inside, which requires less work from your furnace. Radiant heat accounts for 50-75% of upward heat transfer from your home to the outdoors.
An EcoFoil Radiant Barrier will work with mass insulation, such as fiberglass and cellulose to increase your building's overall resistance to heat transfer.
Where is EcoFoil radiant barrier made?
Our radiant barrier and reflective bubble insulation is manufactured in North America and shipped from our warehouse in Urbana, Iowa.
What is the difference between Solid and Perforated Radiant Barrier?
Both solid radiant barrier and perforated radiant barrier are constructed the same way. They are the same thickness and both have a polyethylene core making them tear resistant. The only difference between the two is that EcoFoil Perforated Radiant Barrier has tiny pin holes punched every 1/4" throughout the roll. This is done to allow moisture, at a molecular level, to pass through it. This is the only EcoFoil product to be used in attic applications.
In a summer application or warm climate area, the best method of installation is stapling the product directly to the bottom of the rafters or trusses. In a winter application or cold climate area, the best method of installation is laying it directly on top of the attic floor. For dual climates and maximum efficiency, the best method of insulation is stapling it to the rafters and laying it on the floor. With EcoFoil Perforated Radiant Barrier, it is important to not use any tape as doing so could cause the moisture to build up instead of passing through like it is intended to.
How well does EcoFoil Radiant Barrier and EcoFoil Bubble Insulation work compared to fiberglass or BAT insulation?
EcoFoil reflective insulation will stop 96% of radiant heat, which is often overlooked and misunderstood, largely due to the fact that R-Values do not take it into account. However, radiant heat transfer is responsible for up to 75% of total building heat loss 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 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.
Are your products easy to install?
EcoFoil products are very easy to work with. For most applications, the only tool requirements are a pair of scissors and a staple gun. All standard applications are easy Do-It-Yourself projects where you and one other person can complete an entire job in a short amount of time.Traditional insulation products often require the use of safety masks and gloves during installation due to the actual fiberglass or off-gassing. Reflective insulation does have a limited amount of off-gassing, but at a much lower percentage and a much safer level.
Does it matter which side of the radiant barrier faces up?
There is no top, bottom, front, or back. Radiant barrier can be installed any which way and you'll get the same performance. If you chose a white/foil finish on bubble foil, you may want the white side to face you as you install it, purely for aesthetics. The material works equally well on both sides.
Does EcoFoil Radiant Barrier keep areas cool as well?
EcoFoil Radiant Barriers do not necessarily cool an area, but it keeps the area from getting hot. Our manufacturer conducted the interesting experiment below:
"A bag of ice was placed inside each of three boxes. Each box contained a different form of insulation; fiberglass, foam and reflective 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 reflective foil took four days to melt. This test clearly shows that the high R-Value does not necessarily equal a better insulator."
Will EcoFoil 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 properly, with taped seams, condensation will not occur on the surface of the reflective insulation. Please remember to use EcoFoil Perforated Radiant Barrier in attic installations where air flow is crucial.
I already have fiberglass or blown-in insulation in my attic. Do I need EcoFoil Perforated Radiant Barrier?
Fiberglass and cellulose insulation work by slowing down heat transfer from one source to another. That's why the thickness of that insulation is crucial for performance. Also, fiberglass and cellulose only resist heat transfer; they don't block or reflect it so eventually, heat escapes through. EcoFoil Perforated Radiant Barrier can be installed on top of existing attic insulation to form a reflective cover which will enhance other mass forms of attic insulation.
How can using EcoFoil help improve the energy efficiency of my HVAC system?
Installing EcoFoil 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 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 our easy to install R-8 HVAC Duct Wrap Insulation to insulate exposed HVAC duct work.
How much tape will I need for my EcoFoil 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 available for different applications.
- Foil Tape is recommended to seal the seams of foil faced insulation.
- White Poly Tape is recommended to seal the seams of white faced insulation.
- Double Sided Tape is recommended to attach the first course of insulation to the roof edge.
- Premium High Tack HVAC Tape is a reflective foil duct tape made for HVAC duct insulation.
- Conductive Aluminum SCIF Tape is designed to be used with Ultra NT Radiant Barrier for SCIFs. With this tape, it is important to tape over every seam. We recommend two rolls of SCIF tape for every 500 sq. ft. roll of SCIF product purchased.
How does EcoFoil insulate well if it is so thin?
It is 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. Be sure to check out our How Does A Radiant Barrier Work page for more information.
Does EcoFoil Radiant Barrier degrade or break down?
EcoFoil 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 EcoFoil 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 EcoFoil Radiant Barriers the same as 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. EcoFoil radiant barrier foil has a multi-layer structure and is reinforced with a woven scrim that provides outstanding tear and tensile strength. EcoFoil radiant barrier foil also contains a much higher aluminum content for greater reflectivity and is coated for durability and corrosion resistance.
Will EcoFoil Radiant Barrier increase the amount of heat to my metal roof or shingles?
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.
What is the benefit to adding EcoFoil reflective insulation to a metal building?
Insulation provides increased comfort, energy savings, condensation control and light reflectivity. 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 prevent condensation problems inside the building. The fact that the warehouse is not air-conditioned is even more reason to install a radiant barrier.
Billing & Shipping FAQ
Why do I see multiple charges on my credit card?
We charge when product ships. This means if an order is split into multiple shipments, your credit card will be charged each time a shipment is sent.
How do I become tax exempt?
Tax exempt forms can be obtained from your state's Department of Revenue office. Please upload your certificate/documentation here. Submitted tax exempt forms must be signed and dated and submitted prior to your purchase with EcoFoil. Forms will typically be validated within 24 hours from the time they were received.
Where does my order ship from?
Most items ship from our warehouse in Urbana, Iowa. Orders placed before 2:00 PM Central Time Monday through Friday will ship out the door the same day. Draftcaps ship from Massachusetts and Vent Covers ship from New York. Both of these usually ship the next business day.
Does EcoFoil offer free shipping?
Yes. All EcoFoil products ship FREE to all 48 contiguous states. All web orders ship via FedEx Ground.
Does EcoFoil ship to Alaska/Hawaii?
Yes. Call (888) 349-3645 and our service team will work with you to get the products you need, where and when you need them.
Does EcoFoil offer expedited shipping?
Yes. Expedited shipping and other special orders can be set up over the phone, over chat, or via email.
For more information about shipping and returns, see our Shipping & Returns page.