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Does Radiant Barrier Insulation Really Work?

The industry standard has been fiberglass insulation for more than 50 years. Until recently, there were almost no other options available. Now, however, people are turning to radiant barrier insulation, or foil insulation, as a way to monitor heat gain and loss within their homes and buildings.

The main hesitation associated with radiant barrier insulation is doubts about its effectiveness. It’s easy for them to use the traditional methods because they can comprehend how it protects the home. Radient barrier insulation is a newer method and people don’t yet grasp the way it works.

In reality, it’s a very basic process. The radiant barrier insulation acts as just that: a barrier. The purpose is to reflect the heat, rather than absorbing it, the way traditional insulation does. The beauty of barrier insulation is that it can be used in combination with traditional methods, allowing builders to add it to their homes, rather than use it as a replacement.

The greatest downfall of conventional insulation is that it poorly protects against radiant heat transfer, which accounts for 70% of total heat transfer. Traditional fiberglass insulation simply slows heat transfer, as opposed to radiant barrier insulation, which reflects it away from the building. Because of these benefits, it’s clear that barrier insulation is truly superior to using traditional forms alone.

Moreover, there are additional benefits to using radiant barrier insulation. It is lightweight and much easier to install, and after installation, there is less cleanup because there is little risk of tearing or spilling as in traditional fiberglass insulation. Another important factor to consider is the safety of each product.  When using conventional fiberglass insulation, a person should wear protective gear because it poses such a danger to skin, lungs and eyes. Barrier insulation, on the other hand, can be touched freely and requires no special clothing for protection.

People are beginning to use foil insulation for a variety of reasons. Some prefer the economic benefits and others are more interested in the safety and ease of installation and maintenance. All users, however, can agree that the use of radiant barrier insulation does a better job of preventing heat gain or loss, depending on the season, and thus will save the consumer money.