Georgia summers can be unforgiving — both hot and oppressive. Because of the sweltering heat, you can’t help but turn the air conditioner up to feel a little relief. As you turn the AC up, however, your electric bills go up as well.
Sometimes, you end up needing to choose one — heat relief or lower bills. Thanks to radiant barriers, you won’t ever need to choose between cool air and manageable electric bills again.
What Is a Radiant Barrier?
A radiant barrier is used to reduce the heat felt inside a home and reduce cooling costs. Most radiant barriers are installed in attics since most of the heat comes from the roof. They consist of reflective material such as aluminum foil.
How Does It Work?
Radiant barriers block UV rays and radiant heat from being absorbed by objects and heating them. It will reflect 96% of the radiant heat back to the horizon. Due to this, it will decrease your home’s temperature thanks to the improved attic insulation. Not enough to cool it down, especially in the summer, but enough that you can use the AC less. This will give you lots of energy savings!
How To Install Radiant Barrier
There are two standard methods of installing radiant barriers: the Staple Up Method and the Over Insulation Method. Let’s explore these two methods.
Staple Up Method
This method is typically used for homes in hot/warm climates. With this method, the radiant barrier is stapled onto the bottom of the rafters. Here’s how you do it:
Measure your rafters. Count the rafters on one side of the roof with a measuring tape or mental math. Once done, add one foot to the final count for allowance.
Cut the pieces. The radiant barrier pieces should be cut in a big space such as the driveway for easy cutting. Use a utility knife rather than scissors — scissors get dull easily.
Start from the bottom. Once you have your pieces cut, you can start installing the radiant barrier with a staple gun. Remember to leave a small gap at the bottom for good attic ventilation.
Obstacles aren’t that of a big deal. For obstacles such as bracings, you can just go over them or cut a hole around them.
Over Insulation Method
This is the method for homes in cooler climates. The radiant barrier is laid out on top of the insulation on the attic floor. Measuring and cutting the radiant barrier is the same as the first method. Here are some additional instructions:
Check for air duct leakage. This can reduce the radiant barriers’ effectiveness. The best step to prevent this is to air seal your attic.
Start from the corner. Roll out the pieces from the far corner.
Keep it secure. Overlap an inch or two of the pieces and keep them together with foil tape.
Don’t press the radiant barrier into the insulation. It’s better to leave a small gap between the barrier and insulation.
Dangers of DIY
While it might seem more cost-efficient, it’s better to let professionals handle the whole installation process. Doing the installation by yourself can be dangerous, as you don’t have the proper training and equipment. This way, you’ll also be assured that your radiant barriers are installed properly. A DIY installation can cost you a lot in the long run. If it needs a redo or your home needs a whole new radiant barrier, you’ll need to spend more money than you have to.
Radiant barriers are helpful for energy savings and keeping you cool every summer. If you want a radiant barrier for your home, we at South Atlanta Insulation Experts can help you. We offer free home consultation to determine what type of radiant barrier system works best for your property. Give us a call today at (404) 882-9403.
Insulating your attic should be on top of your to-do list as a homeowner. When you insulate your attic, you can prevent air produced by your HVAC from escaping and stop outside air from entering your home. This can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%.
Moreover, insulating your attic can prevent gradual damage to your property, often caused by excessive moisture and heat. An insulated attic prevents water vapor from eroding and seeping into your walls and slows down any heat build-up.
You’ll have different options to insulate your attic, namely:
Enhance Existing Insulation
If you feel like the insulation in your attic no longer serves its purpose, update it with another layer right away. You can do this by laying unfaced mineral insulation or fiberglass in your current insulation. Don’t forget to run the material perpendicular to the joints, so they stay in place.
Depending on your preferences, you can also top off your existing insulation with loose-fill cellulose or fiberglass. Mineral wool batts are also great options as they’re easier to install and leave a more polished appearance.
Leave Room for Air
One of homeowners’ biggest mistakes when insulating their attics is stuffing too much insulation in tight spaces. This prevents air from circulating in your attic and reduces the value of your insulation.
Air is an effective and natural insulator, which is why you should ensure that your attic still has room for air.
When insulating your attic, you should avoid squeezing the insulation too much as this will force out the air. Instead, make sure that the insulation is cut to fit snuggly to ensure that there is still proper air circulation in your attic.
Seal Ceiling Holes
Your efforts to add insulation to your attic will be useless if there are holes in your ceiling. Regardless of the size and location, holes can become the reason your energy bills will skyrocket.
Another way to insulate your attic is to seal any holes, cracks, and openings that may be present. Seal any pathways for cuts, pipes, wires, and cables, as well, as these reduce the optimum energy efficiency of your insulation.
You can use high-quality caulk or expanding foam insulation to seal holes and cracks. Don’t forget to check your local building codes with authorities to determine the requirements when using fireproof caulk to plug ceiling penetration.
Hire Professionals To Handle the Job
You can insulate your attic on your own, but this doesn’t guarantee efficient, long-term results. This is especially true if you don’t have the right tools or experience to accomplish the task.
Save yourself from the stress of trying out various DIY hacks to insulate attics by hiring professionals who can take over the job. Our South Atlanta insulation experts team is your best option as we have been in the industry for years. We offer free home inspection services to determine the best way to insulate your attic.
What exactly is the best insulation method? We believe that radiant barriers are your best bet. Radiant barriers function as insulating blankets, so heat will reflect from your attic instead of dissipating it outside. Our radiant barrier system is designed to reflect as much as 97% of heat out during summer and inside during winter, improving your energy savings.
You can enjoy countless benefits when you insulate your attic, which is why this project is cost-effective. If you don’t have the skills and tools to accomplish this task on your own, opt to hire professionals. Paying for their services is a cost-effective investment long-term!
The sooner you insulate your attic, the more money you can save from your energy bills!
Not everyone is familiar with what a radiant barrier is. What many homeowners do know, though, is that summer comes with higher energy bills. At this time of the year, the sun’s radiant heat warms our homes so much that our air conditioners must do extra work to keep the house cool.
Radiant barriers are created with energy savings in mind. Read more on how this system can help.
What Is a Radiant Barrier?
Radiant barrier systems are usually installed in attics to reduce summer heat. Reduced heat means less energy is required to run the AC. A radiant barrier is made of a highly reflective material that works by reflecting sunlight. Put simply. A radiant barrier prevents your home from becoming too hot.
Radiant barriers are made of highly reflective materials such as aluminum foil, spread over one or both sides of the substrate material. There are also radiant barrier products that are fiber-reinforced to enhance ease of handling and durability.
How Does a Radiant Barrier Work?
Heat is the flow of energy that is caused by a temperature difference. It travels from the object of higher temperature to the cooler one. Heat is transferred via different mechanisms, including convection, conduction, and radiation.
Convection is the flow of energy involved in gases or liquids. For example, when bringing water to a boil, the heat from the stove warms the water at the bottom of the kettle. As it gets warmer, the water rises and pushes cooler water down until all water is heated, and it boils.
Conduction happens when heat is transferred within the hotter area of material towards the cooler ones. Like when a spoon becomes hot when you place it in coffee.
Radiation is a transfer of energy from a source through space. Radiant heat from the sun, for example, travels through space and the atmosphere and heats anything solid that can absorb energy.
Insulation materials in your home minimize heat by reducing heat transfer via conduction, and sometimes, convection. However, radiant barriers reduce heat transfer by reducing radiant heat. The reflective surface is installed to face air space to work effectively. It’s also installed so that dust cannot easily accumulate on the surface. Dust accumulation can lessen its reflective capacity.
As sunlight strikes your roof, it heats the roof because of the sun’s radiant energy. This warmth travels from the roof to the attic primarily due to conduction as the roof is heated. The heated roofing material will then radiate the gained heat energy onto the cooler part of the attic. A radiant barrier minimizes the radiant heat transfer and prevents heat transfer into the attic, working as attic insulation.
How Are They Installed?
For maximum effectiveness, radiant barriers should be properly installed. So, it’s best to let professionals do this.
It’s simpler to install radiant barriers into newly constructed homes, but it can also be done on existing homes with an open attic. The installer usually drapes a radiant barrier with the foil side down between the roof rafters in new homes. This way, dust accumulation isn’t that likely.
Reflective foil conducts electricity, so note that contact with bare electrical wires should be avoided. Professional installers should know the best way to install radiant barriers in your home.
Contact a Professional Installer
Here at South Atlanta Insulation Experts, we can help you with radiant barrier installation for your home. Feel free to contact us for more information about how radiant barrier works and if it’s right for you. If you live in a place with hot summers like Atlanta, a radiant barrier can help with energy savings.
When was the last time you checked on your attic insulation? Atlanta is home to humid summers and mild winters. Most of the year, you may be able to get away with your aged attic insulation. However, when the summers and winters come, problems with your attic’s insulation may start to surface.
Attic insulation in this part of Georgia is critical to your home’s thermoregulation. It can mean the difference between having energy savings and paying through the nose for your gas and energy bills.
While attic insulation can last for years, it will not last forever. When you start to notice leaks and unusually hot or cold spells in your home, it’s a sign. More specifically, it’s a sign that your insulation needs replacement or repair.
However, how long does attic insulation really last in South Atlanta? Read on to learn more!
Average Lifespan of Attic Insulation
Indeed, the insulation of your attic can last for decades. Attic insulation, regardless of material, should be able to provide you with at least 40 years of insulation. Under optimal conditions, you can stretch this number to about 80 years.
Nonetheless, wear-and-tear does occur. Hardly are South Atlanta’s summers and winters beneficial for attic insulation. If you live in this part of Georgia, you need to have a smaller number in mind in regards to attic insulation longevity.
To be on the safe side, you may want to consider inspecting your attic insulation after it reaches the 10-year mark. If you see no damage after ten years, check again after five years.
If you’ve just moved into a property, the best person to get this information from would be your realtor.
Why Does Attic Insulation Sustain Damage?
The layer of your attic with insulation material can be damaged for several reasons. The most common ones are:
Animals like rodents
Damage from roof repairs or any related construction work
Hail damage that has penetrated the roof (in some cases)
When your insulation has been up for years, it can sustain damage owing to any of the above-mentioned factors. Usually, the damage is the result of chronic exposure to the above factors.
A Radiant Barrier System: The Solution to Damaged Attic Insulation
A radiant barrier system is a layer of added insulation to your attic. It is made from high-quality aluminum and other reflective components. The aluminum and reflective materials can improve your attic insulation in two ways.
During the summer, heat and UV light from the sun is reflected because of the reflective surfaces. This prevents heat and sunlight from causing damage to your attic insulation or overheating your house.
A radiant barrier’s protection does not stop during the summer. Ice buildup is another common cause of damaged attic insulation. With a radiant barrier, no ice will collect and build up. As a result, your attic insulation remains intact.
Overall, a radiant barrier system adds years to your insulation. And, of course, with proper insulation, you will not need to turn up your thermostat too high, nor will you have to turn up your AC or use a lot of electricity in the hotter months.
Energy Savings Are Guaranteed With a Radiant Barrier System!
Attic insulation can last for a long time — even in South Atlanta. However, it will not last forever. To add more years to it is to add more towards your energy savings.
With our radiant barrier system, you can achieve this.