Asked on May 5, 2017

Is using a radiant barrier in the attic a cost saving feature?

SharonWilliamJody Ross MacDonald


4 answers
  • Jewellmartin
    on May 6, 2017

    Our air conditioning expert said a radiant barrier may help, but it needs to be as efficient as the best attic or wall insulation you can afford. And make sure you are buying it from an established company, not a door-to-door salesman. Otherwise, you may as well attach heavy duty aluminum foil for all the good the barrier may do.
    • Marilyn Zaruba
      on May 8, 2017

      Back in the 80s we were getting ready to build a new house so we took an energy efficiency course for builders at a local university. They were certain a radiant barrier would cut down on energy costs. At that time we had a dickens of a time finding something that would work and finally found a Kraft paper on one side with aluminum foil on the other. We hired some men to hang that paper off the rafters with the foil down. Since it was a new build and we built all the energy efficiency into that house we could find, we don't know if the radiant barrier actually helped or not, but our electric bill was quite low for that big of a house here in hot Texas.

      My husband's thinking was if you put adequate insulation in the attic in the first place, why would a radiant barrier help? Recently we went to a *commercial* presentation featuring radiant barriers. They have really gotten fancy with today's radiant barriers and they are VERY expensive with outrageous installation charges. Our current house does not have a radiant barrier and we were the only ones there who didn't make an appointment.

      Check out this link...

      I personally don't think you can ever recover the outrageous cost of today's barriers.
  • Jody Ross MacDonald
    on May 6, 2017

    Thanks, I am renovating a bedroom and had stripped the room to the studs. I want to make the room warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • William
    on May 6, 2017

    Insulate the walls and ceiling with fiberglass insulation. Install at least 6 Mil clear plastic over the insulation as a vapor barrier. Then drywall. Radiant barrier would not do anything in your situation.

    Here are specs on radiant barrier, installation, and usage.

  • Sharon
    on May 8, 2017

    Make sure you tape all the seams of the plastic with the red tape to get a good seal, and get the insulation for the outlets too.
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