Are you familiar with a product called reflective insulation? It is also known as reflective foil or radiant barrier to some people. Have you wondered how this product works? It’s actually not new to the market, although not yet widely adopted by homebuilding companies across the nation. It’s primarily concentrated in hotter parts of the country like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

Reflective insulation isn’t only for new homes. It’s actually one of the easiest home improvement or retrofit projects that can be done to an existing home. A bonus is that installing reflective insulation in an existing home will cause little or no disruption to the family living within the home at the time.

For many other improvement projects, the family living in the home might experience a disruption in their everyday lives were they to retrofit any area of their home. In some cases, improvement projects even open up other unexpected issues when it comes to code and new standards. Fortunately, reflective insulation isn’t affected by any of that.

Your home may already have traditional or mass insulation up in the attic. Typically known as “the pink stuff,” much of the mass insulation in homes today is made from fiberglass and exists in long sheets of batting or perhaps loose fill. When placed between the joists in your attic’s floor, mass insulation slows down the transfer of heat from your home’s interior up through the attic and into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, slowing down this process does not limit it all together. Once mass insulation absorbs all it can, it emits the excess heat. In this manner, your HVAC system may be constantly working to make up the difference lost through the roof.

Reflective insulation is a thin, lightweight product made of 99% aluminum and a polyester scrim inner core. While very easily cut, the product is difficult to tear, which makes it easy to handle and install with a simple box cutting knife.

Reflective insulation may be laid on top of traditional insulation across the floor joists. Spaces between the layers are fine, and in fact may be necessary to prevent excessive condensation from building up. When placed on the roof rafters, reflective insulation also works in the summer to keep the sun’s hot rays from penetrating into the home through the attic. Your HVAC works less and the temperatures of your home stay more consistent.

Overall, the effect should greatly lessen the amount of radiant heat lost into the atmosphere through your attic. Your HVAC system will work less hard, saving you money and wear and tear on an expensive home appliance.

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