Installing a radiant barrier in your home can really help reduce the radiation hitting the home from the sun for a relatively smaller amount of money vs. other more invasive energy efficiency projects, such as adding or installing more insulation.
As we learn in BPI energy auditor training and with thermodynamics as far as our homes are concerned, there are three types of heat transfer we want to control:
- 1) Conduction – heat transfer by physical contact.
- 2) Convection – heat transfer through liquids and gases, such as through the air.
- 3) Radiant Heat – this is what radiant barriers help with. Radiant heat travels in a straight line through the atmosphere, and must have a clear line of sight onto the material its heating.
Radiant barriers help diminish the third one – radiant heat. Any time the sun is out, it beams radiation onto our homes. This is mainly onto the roof and into our attic. The heat penetrates all the roof material, heating up the home like an oven.
To better control this, we can install radiant barriers, which is thin reflective material to send the radiation back out of the home, allowing us to keep (mainly the attic) cooler.
We wanted to build a calculator that can easily outline what a radiant barrier project would look like in terms of material, labor, and cost. We built it so you can enter bids from contractors or if you’re DIY’ing yourself.
So give it a try! If you have questions or comments please leave them below.