Is a Radiant Barrier Insulation Worth the Money?

radiant barrier used in a house

Consumers in Florida are always looking for ways to improve their HVAC efficiency. Fortunately, something known as a radiant barrier insulation can be a huge help. These represent the best technology for reducing heat in your house, and the long-term benefits often make up for the cost of the initial investment.

What Is Radiant Barrier Insulation?

A radiant barrier is a reflective and insulated coating that is applied to homes, usually in attics, with the sole purpose of reducing the amount of heat that is able to enter into the home. It does this by limiting something known as radiant heat gain, or the process by which a solid object absorbs heat. Thus, such a barrier applied to your attic can not only cut down on your HVAC costs, but can also make an attic space a livable one rather than just a storage area. You can finish your attic once the radiant barrier has been installed and maintain perfect comfort all year long.

How Is Radiant Barrier Insulation Applied?

A radiant heat barrier is typically installed by a roofing or a contracting company rather than your HVAC specialist. It can be a do-it-yourself undertaking, but unless you are familiar with the product and how it works, it is best to let a professional handle it to avoid mold and possible electrical issues. Generally, it is applied during the construction of a home or during the process of reroofing. However, if your attic space is unfinished, or even if the rafters are open, it is possible to install it to the underside of the roofing.

Home Much Does Radiant Barrier Insulation Cost?

Figuring out how much a radiant barrier will cost as opposed to how much it will save depends on several different factors which include your location, the size of your attic, the type of insulation in your attic, and whether or not ductwork is present. As an example, Tampa is in ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) zone 2. For 2025 feet of attic floor space, insulation rated at greater than R-30 according to Florida code, and well-insulated ducts, you’ll save an average of an additionl $1220 over the course of several years.

Is It Worth the Money?

This is a very controversial question. If you live in a single-story home in the Tampa Bay area and your attic is well-insulated, then the cost of installing a radiant barrier take several years to recoup through energy savings. But most attics are not well insulated, so adding the radiant barrier can often improve your energy bill by quite a bit. Also, sometimes more importantly, it may very well improve your overall comfort level. Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to make the decision.

A radiant barrier is a newer technology but one that can certainly help you cut down on the costs associated with cooling your home during the summer months. Thinking and planning now can help you determine whether or not you’d like to install such a barrier before the warm season returns again.