I know, when you think of DIY projects, radiant barrier isn’t top on your list.  It doesn’t even sound fun.  You have a lot of options for improvements which may raise the value of your home while improving its comfort.  Many of those methods are well known, like repainting, landscaping, theater rooms and the like.  Other improvements are less glamorous and not visible to most visitors but offer significant return on investment.  One of those improvements is beefing up the level of insulation in your home’s attic.

Alright, so it doesn’t sound glamorous.  But attic insulation is critical to the overall comfort level of those which live within, to say nothing of the life of your HVAC system.  Yours is probably working too hard as it is, reducing its life span.  Consider consulting with your local electric cooperative or utility company to get specific ideas about improvements which could keep more money in your pocket and improve your home’s value.

Radiant barrier may be high on the list of “good things to do.”  As a supplement to traditional mass insulation, radiant barrier is sold on long rolls, very similar to how aluminum foil or plastic wrap is packaged, only on a larger scale.  Radiant barrier consists of a woven polyester scrim sandwiched between layers of 99% aluminum.  The lightweight product is easy to carry but surprisingly strong, which makes it easy to handle.  Cut with a scissor or box cutter, radiant barrier can be installed quickly between the joists in the attic (on the floor) and/or along the underside of the roof, on the rafters.  It may also be used effectively in outbuildings, like barns or coops.

Radiant barrier works well in agriculture environments because it blocks the flow of radiant energy – in this case, heat generated from the bodies of farm animals – outward into the atmosphere.  When placed inside between joists, radiant barrier reflects radiant energy back toward its point of origin.  In conjunction with standard heating techniques likely already in place, radiant barrier in a barn will keep the interior temperature more consistent, causing the heating unit to cycle on less frequently and thereby consuming less energy.

Because installation is really relatively quick (a Saturday afternoon is all you need), give some real thought to this DIY project before you pick up a paint brush.

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