Most people are familiar with heat transfer by way of conduction and convection but radiation is a big factor. When you step outside and feel the heat of the South Florida sun, you are experiencing heat transfer by means of radiation and the same effect is happening on homes. The largest source of heat gain in your home is solar energy that arrives in the form of radiation.. It is only then that conduction comes into play heat travels through the roof and downwards.
How They Work
Radiant barriers are very effective at reducing the South Florida heat that we all know too well. The barriers are made up of a material that helps in the reflection of heat instead of absorption. If a home’s duct system flows through the attic, the radiant barriers will help to prevent heat from transferring into the air ducts. With radiant barriers installed, the cost of keeping your home air conditioned can be reduced because there will be less heat radiating from the roof to other areas. When a radiant barrier is placed directly underneath the roof rafters incorporating an air gap, much of the heat radiated from the hot roof is reflected back and very little radiant heat is emitted downwards reducing the attic temperature up to 30 ° F.
There are many different types of radiant barriers but we use a tarp like material with aluminum foil attached to both sides to create an effective radiant barrier. The material is perforated to ensure moisture is able to pass through so the buildup of condensation is avoided.
The installation of radiant barriers is important because faulty insulation can compromise the effectiveness of the system. Click here to learn more about radiant barriers. The barriers can be installed in brand new houses and into older homes by being placed over the existing insulation. Don’t take a chance trying to install radiant barriers yourself, contact us for professional installation of radiant barriers in your South Florida home.
Signs You Need a Radiant Barrier
If you live in a home that doesn’t hold energy well, and you constantly struggle to heat and cool the home, a radiant barrier is an easy and cost-effective way to solve these issues. There are many reasons you might choose to install a radiant barrier in your home:
- To help reduce the amount of heat coming into the home via the roof and attic
- To stabilize the temperature inside the home by stopping the amount of heated air coming in
- To reduce utility use and the accompanying bills that can spiral out of control
In a hot climate like ours, a radiant barrier can make a significant difference in how cool the home stays. Homes in Miami get an unusually high amount of sun exposure, and the roof is the main target. If your roof is a dark color, and your attic is uninsulated, you can be sure that a significant amount of heat is coming through this area and into the home. If you live in an older home that does not keep cool air in well, reducing the amount of warm air coming in through a major point like the roof can be an effective solution to problems with keeping the home cool.
Planning to Install a Radiant Barrier
Another option is to have a radiant barrier installed in a home that you are currently building in the Florida area. Installing a radiant barrier while the home is being built ensures that the barrier will be ideally placed to be as effective as possible for you. If you know that you want your future home to be eco-friendly, including a radiant barrier is a good way to ensure that you use as little energy as possible to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When used in conjunction with other eco-friendly systems, like solar panels can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. As an added bonus, you can expect to low power bills for as long as you live in the home.
Why You Should Call an Expert to Install a Radiant Barrier
Amateur installation of a radiant barrier can create several issues within the home. The first issue is of course lack of effectiveness in the radiant barrier. When the system is not put in place properly, it can not reflect the heat properly. Use of a certified installer is the best way to ensure that your radiant barrier will be effective in keeping heat out of your home and reducing the cost of cooling the entire home. Some estimates place the amount that utility bills can be cut at nearly 20 percent.
Proper Installation Stops Dust Accumulation
One of the main issues that can hamper the effectiveness of the radiant barrier is dust accumulation. In order to work properly, a radiant shield has to be kept as dust free as possible. This ensures that the barrier can effectively reflect the heat. If installed improperly, a radiant barrier can become a dust magnet as it slips out of ideal position. By installing the radiant barrier properly and ensuring that it will stay in place, we also ensure the effective use of the unit for many years to come.
DIY Radiant Barrier Installation Risks
Amateur installation of a radiant barrier also carries the risk of being unsafe electrically. Wiring has to be kept away from the radiant barrier to ensure it doesn’t conduct electricity and cause a fire hazard. This can cause harm to the amateur installer, and cause a potential hazard in the future for the family. If this electricity gets carried all the way to the structure of the home, and the flammable materials within, you could have a serious problem. Fixing this issue after the fact can end up costing more than installation from a professional would have cost you in the first place.
If you’d like to have a radiant barrier installed in your attic or want to plan to include one in your new home, A Best Insulation can help. Our team of experienced, qualified installers can perform a fast and effective installation of radiant barriers in your existing home or new construction. Click here to contact us and find out more.