You may be thinking ahead to spring already.  With spring comes fresh new Honey-Do lists.  Is getting a jump on the heat of summer top on your list?  You can ward off blistering rays with radiant barrier.

Also called foil insulation or reflective foil, or even reflective insulation, this product is comprised of a woven polyester scrim surrounded by 99% aluminum coating.  While easily cut with scissors or box cutters, it’s virtually impossible to tear – a characteristic which makes it easy to handle.  Sold by the roll in several lengths, radiant barrier works in conjunction with existing insulation to block the flow of radiant heat from one area into another.  While it may resemble aluminum foil, it’s definitely not a cooking product.

Radiant barrier should be installed in your attic when temps are mildest in your area.  Not only does that help ensure that you don’t get overheated or that your fingers are warm enough to work properly, it means you’ll be getting the project done before the worst of the season arrives.  In that way, radiant barrier can start saving you money immediately.

While it’s not critical to have another set of hands helping during the installation process, things can go more smoothly when someone else can unroll and cut the product, leaving you to staple and smooth along the rafters.  It will also make the installation process move a little more quickly, a definite perk to any DIY project.  Estimate one weekend afternoon to get the project completed.

If you’re interested in understanding just how well the product works, be sure to keep copies of your energy bills and make year-over-year comparisons of pre-installation and post-installation.  Make note of any significant changes like the addition of another refrigerator or freezer, anything that might counterbalance a reduction in energy consumption provided by the radiant barrier.

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