The sun heats the Earth and all of its objects, including your home, through radiation. And if you live in an area where it’s warm most of the year, you are getting a lot of the sun’s heat. One way to reduce the amount of radiated heat from the sun is to protect your home with radiant barriers.
A radiant barrier is installed on the underside of a roof, usually in an attic. This will protect your attic and the rooms below it from the heat radiated from the sun. The radiant barrier acts as a reflector – the sun’s radiation hits the barrier and bounces off instead of absorbing into the attic floor and then onto other areas of your home. If you have cooling air ducts in your attic, radiant barriers can be especially helpful, because those ducts will avoid the heat from the sun, which means it will be transferring cooler air to the rest of your home. This cools your home faster, requires less energy, and lowers your electricity bills.
In warm climates, a home’s cooling costs can be reduced by as much as 10 percent just by installing a radiant barrier, according to the Department of Energy. Radiant barriers can also reduce the air conditioning requirements of your home by as much as half a ton, which means you don’t need as big of an air conditioning system. And since your home warms slower, this means the air conditioner will need to run less often, extending the life of your system.
The Department of Energy states that a radiant barrier’s effectiveness depends on proper installation, so it’s best to use a certified installer.