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Reflective Insulation Tips

Heating and HVAC
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Installing reflective insulation is a great step to take when on a quest to make a home as energy efficient as possible. Once all other insulation options are exhausted, take home insulation to the next level by installing reflective installation.

Reflective insulation works a bit differently then more typical wall, floor, and ceiling insulations such as fiberglass, loose-fill, and spray-in foams. These types of insulation work by trapping heat that moves through a home by convection (the phenomena of hot air rising) and conduction (the natural movement of heat to a colder area) within their dense fibers. However, heat also enters a home by means of radiation, and that’s where reflective insulation comes in.

During the summertime, a house is attacked by heat from all sides. Not only is heat attacking a home from below (convection), and from leak and cracks, nooks and crannies, and open doors and windows (conduction), but also from the top when sunshine bombards the roof of a home. This type of heat is radiant heat, and is best combated with reflective insulation.

Regular attic insulation is effective against radiant heat that seeps into the attic of a home, but adding reflective insulation enables this protective barrier to be even more effective. That’s because reflective insulation is a first-line defense against the radiant heat of the sun. It prevents radiant heat from getting a foothold in the attic in the first place. It does this by reflecting the heat from downward heat-flow away from attic spaces.

Here are some tips to get the most from reflective insulation:

  • Reflective insulation must be installed with the reflective surface facing out into air space.
  • Reflective insulation is best installed between roof rafters; if installed on the floor it may become dusty which could have an effect on its efficiency.
  • If reflective insulation is installed on the floor of an attic, a perforated type must be used to minimize condensation.
  • Reflective insulation is a good conductor of electricity, so avoid contact with wires and electrical outlets.
  • Reflective insulation should be installed by a certified technician in order to be most effective.

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