Posts Tagged ‘reflective insulation’

Everyone is looking for a way to save money and one of the best ways to cut costs is on your energy bill. By installing new insulation, you can enjoy savings of up to 30% on your monthly utility bill.

If you’re looking for a way to drastically cut your energy costs, consider insulating your attic loft. Most people don’t realize the significant amount of heat that’s lost through an un-insulated attic – this number can be as high as 30% of your heating bill.

Think about that. If your bill is $180 per month in the winter, you’re literally throwing away $54 each month. Over the course of a year, you will be out almost $650. For most of us, $650 is nothing to sneeze at. By installing new insulation in your attic, you could effectively save three and half months’ worth of utility bills.

Imagine not paying your utility bill for three and a half months! If this sounds good to you, you’ll be happy to know that the process of installing new insulation is quite easy. In fact, you can do it yourself without hiring a contractor. All you have to invest is a little bit of research time, your upfront yearly energy savings and a weekend of easy labor. Yes, the upfront cost can be a little off-putting, but the good news is that this is a cost that’s also deductible on your yearly taxes. It’s a win-win!

Now that you’ve made the decision, you must think about what material you will use to insulate your space. Most people choose to use fiberglass or cellulose in their attic. Either is an acceptable choice, as it will accomplish the goal of keeping heat inside your home. However, you might also consider reflective foil, or radiant barrier as it is sometimes called. Radiant barrier is used in conjunction with regular insulation to keep unwanted air out and heated and cooled air inside.

Once the job is complete, you will begin enjoying savings immediately. Within a short period of time, you will have made up the cost of installing the insulation and everything from there will be money in your pocket.

Sledding is just about one of my kids favorite pastimes.  They live for the chance to go farther or faster than one of their siblings.  Over the years, we’ve bought a number of really nice sleds and boards all claiming to be the best ride.  Sometimes these pieces of equipment have been costly.  Other times, they’ve just led to disappointment when the claims didn’t hold true, or the quality was so poor the item fell apart after a couple good-sized hills.

Being a thrifty and practical kind of person, I’ve found ways to duct tape some of them back together.  I’ve used heavy coats of wax to make the bottoms more slick.  I even went so far as to use a light piece of board and some screws to hold a couple of pieces which wanted to split together, just to eek a little more life out of the sled.

Inspiration came one day when I heard about my youngest using the wax paper from his sandwich to grease his way down the slide at the playground.  My mind immediately turned to the reflective insulation I’d used to make our home more efficient by reducing the loss and gain of radiant heat through the attic.  Turns out I still had some scraps of the reflective insulation in the garage, so I began cutting strips off for each of the kids to use.

A few weeks later, we got another good snowfall.  It was time to test our theory that reflective insulation was so smooth and slick that it would make the best sled around.  With a good sprint and a leap, my kids went sailing down the hill on their reflective insulation sled.  Fun times!  And a good way to make good use from leftover material.

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.