The Department of Energy describes a radiant barrier as a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. It is installed in homes, usually attics, to reduce summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs.
Sounds great, especially for the Arizona summer, at least in theory. Before you’re sold on the idea, let’s look at whether or not a radiant barrier is worth the cost.
- The easiest homes to install radiant barriers are new builds. In an existing home, it is best to install in an open attic.
- As with A/C units, the efficiency is dependent on the installation. While you can install yourself, we recommend hiring a RIMA International certified installer who understands which type of barrier is best for your home and the proper place for installation.
- Choose the type of barrier that is most appropriate for your climate and home. Radiant barriers are available in reflective foil, reflective laminated roof sheathing, and metal roof shingles. In Arizona, it is recommended that you use reflective foil.
- Location of the barrier is as important as the type of barrier you select. Simply laying a foil barrier on the attic floor will not be effective as it will gather dust, dirt, and other contaminants quickly.
- Other factors to consider are the cost of hiring a contractor for installation, the size of your house, and how accessible the attic is.
As with any home improvement project, it is important to ask a lot of questions of professionals as well as from your neighbors and friends. You also want to research the options yourself so you’re an informed consumer.
For questions about radiant barriers and other ways to make your home more efficient, contact the team at John’s Refrigeration and download our e-book today!