Check out the second half of the radio show interview from On the House where Ed shared his expertise on energy savings.
In the first part of the second half of the radio program, Ed covers using radiant barrier in a metal shed/barn (that is not being conditioned), painting a radiant barrier and using a radiant barrier with your existing insulation.
Ed finishes up his interview by explaining surface temperatures, roof temperatures and the importance of attic ventilation to get the best results and the most comfortable living space. He also explains why predicting savings is tricky since homes have different variables, and why partial coverage works with radiant barrier.
Did you miss the live broadcast of On the House where Ed was featured as the energy expert and radiant barrier guru of the hour? Catch up on the first segment below!
In the first segment Ed talks about how he got in to the radiant barrier business, where to get radiant barrier AtticFoil®, what it is and why it is different from regular kitchen foil. Ed also talks about how AtticFoil® is constructed and the simple science behind how and why radiant barrier works.
R-value is a term used by the building and construction industry to define the thermal resistance a material has. The higher the R-value, the more resistance the product offers against heat transfer. Traditional insulation can vary vastly in the R-values it offers. The US Department of Energy has recommended R-values for certain areas in the USA, based on the general climate of an specific area. When combined with traditional insulation, there really is nothing better than radiant barrier to reduce heat gain in to the home.
That being said, many companies are selling radiant barrier with some form of insulation attached and claiming R-values of R-11 or more. The problem with these claims is that they are misleading to consumers and oftentimes the products only achieve an R-value of around 1. Consumers are paying about double the cost, for virtually no additional benefit.
So how can they make claims that these type of products (fiberglass sandwiched with foil or bubble wrap with foil laminated to it) offer an R-11 value? How does AtticFoil® compare to products like eShield and Prodex? The answer is in the fine print.
The bottom line is that if something sounds too good to be true – it just might be. Trust your gut and make sure you read the fine print. When looking to install a radiant barrier, you’re probably better off buying a pure radiant barrier and spending what you save on bulking up your traditional insulation if necessary. Consider your situation, and decide what is best for your home.
In this video I am going to answer the question we get more than any other question at AtticFoil.com:
How does AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier compare to a product called ___(Insert product name here)_____?
It doesn’t matter what radiant barrier product you are talking about: Green Energy Barrier, EShield, Reflectix, etc. As the manufacturer and direct distributor of AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier, we guarantee our product is as good, or probably BETTER than any other product you will find. In fact, the product you are comparing might actually be AtticFoil® with a new label. How do you KNOW we are the manufacturer? Ask ANY of these companies if they produce a 60″ wide perforated foil – AtticFoil.com is the ONLY one.
AtticFoil® is the leading manufacturer of a national brand of radiant barrier foil and we have hundreds of customer reviews to prove it. Here are just a few words our customers have said about AtticFoil® radiant barrier:
Here are three recent reviews from happy customers:
“I originally went to Lowes to pick up some radiant barrier material (Reflectix) to get started before my AtticFoil® order arrived…after opening the box and trying to put a single piece up, decided it was absolute *#@#&!!; it tore easily, was extremely thin, and on a scale of 1-10, would give it a 0. I returned it half an hour after purchasing it and decided I would wait for my AtticFoil® order… I rarely write reviews on products, but felt compelled to put one up since the product [AtticFoil®] is of incredible quality and value…way to go guys…I will definitely be purchasing more in the future and have already recommended it to others interested in installing a radiant barrier.”
“I found the AtticFoil® incredibly strong and durable. I could not be happier with a product.”
“The radiant barrier by AtticFoil.com is very well made and very sturdy. It is better than several others I examined.”
There are hundreds more, but don’t just take their word for it – order a FREE RADIANT BARRIER SAMPLE of AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil Insulation and see for yourself why we are the number one manufacturer of radiant barrier foil. To get your free sample, simply fill out the form on this page: http://www.atticfoil.com/contact.htm Samples are mailed daily, Monday through Friday.
Once your sample arrives – test it out! Feel the difference, this is a heavyweight product that won’t tear, but it’s very easy to handle and cut. We’re confident you’ll be just as happy, if not happier, with the product we manufacture. For more information, please visit AtticFoil.com, your online source for radiant barrier foil.
People often ask us, “If I install a radiant barrier on my roof, won’t it overheat the roof and cause damage to my roof shingles?”
Watch the video below to find out what we discovered when we put it to the test.
For more information on Radiant Barrier’s effect on roofing shingles you can read this article:
For more information and commonly asked questions, visit AtticFoil.com, your online source for Radiant Barrier Foil.
Older homes can often offer challenges when trying to effectively cool the upper floors during the high heat of summer. Eben Bryant, owner of Lane Street Inn, a small bed and breakfast in Shelbyville, TN, says he began looking into Radiant Barrier when his wife and their cleaning staff began complaining about the hot rooms upstairs this past summer. You can read more about Eben’s story here:
(Review of AtticFoil.com from Eben Bryant)
The AtticFoil product I purchased and installed has proven beneficial. When researching radiant barrier, I came across AtticFoil.com and found all I needed to make an informed decision. Other user’s comments and photos encouraged me to perform the installation myself. Over two nights, my nephew and I installed over 4,000 square feet of AtticFoil in the attic of my 100 year old bed and breakfast.
I researched a number of radiant barrier dealers online and locally. I found a dearth of dealers in my area of Tennessee and only a handful of dealers online. Researching the prices, I found AtticFoil to be the most competitively priced on a per square foot basis. I also surmised that the AtticFoil product would be more durable than some of their competitor’s thinner products. I liked that the material is heavy and strong. You cannot tear it with your hands. Pulling it out along my rough attic floor was not a problem. You don’t have to handle this stuff carefully like you might with some thinner products.
I am a do-it-yourself type of guy and luckily my nephew that helped is young and strong. While there were some scuffed knees and bumped heads, the install went relatively easy. In old houses you have to find ways to improvise. To get around the fact that my attic has high ceilings and very little floored area, we built temporary scaffolds out of scrap 2x4s, unscrewing them and moving them as we went along. To get over the attic heat, we pulled up a couple of HVAC registers and had them blowing into the attic. (Learn more about this trick here) We also worked from about 9:00 pm to 4:00 am during the coolest part of the night.
RESULTS – Before we installed AtticFoil, the temperature in our attic would typically be 20 to 30 degrees higher than the outside air. After the install, the temperature now does not really go more than 10 degrees higher than the outside air. Before the install, the second-floor air conditioning would run constantly. The ducts are in the attic. Temperatures would not fall down to even 74 degrees until nearly 1:00 am. Now we can get all of the guest bedrooms upstairs to comfortable temperatures even before the sun goes down. And the A/C is not running continuously.
My wife and her cleaning staff had complained of the uncomfortable temperatures on the second floor all summer. Two days after we installed the barrier and the attic had a chance to cool off, the second floor was noticeably cooler. I was really glad when my wife said, “I think that radiant barrier you installed in the attic has helped tremendously.” Other than what I had read online about radiant barrier, I wasn’t too sure it would work. Well, it did and I am very glad.
Overall, the cost of my rather large installation, including paying my nephew and buying some staplers, was about $1,000. I expect with the savings on my utility bills that I should recoup this cost within one year.
(Note from Ed) after reading Eben’s note and checking out his pictures of his installation, I sent him the following reply from which some of you may benefit:
Eben, I want to thank you for writing the kind review and sending me these pictures.
From looking at your pictures, I wanted to offer offer some advice.
Radiant barrier is your first line of defense against radiant heat and “regular” insulation is your second line of defense against conductive heat.
Looking at your pictures, it looks like you only have a few inches of insulation in your attic.
I would look to getting this up to 12-15″ for maximum year round protection against heat loss in Winter and heat gain in Summer.
I would also get a can of foam and foam around all the ceiling air conditioner registers to the sheetrock. This will reduce air infiltration.
AtticFoil.com is part of www.ShopperApproved.com to get real unbiased opinions from customers on their real life experience using AtticFoil Radiant Barrier and feedback regarding their order experience, and results they have seen in their homes.
We asked our customers to spend a couple of minutes to help us promote AtticFoil.com to other potential customers. The response was pretty amazing. Over 100 customers replied and the phrase “Amazing” seems to be a common comment when describing the results.
Update: We now have over 1,000 unique reviews from our customers. Thanks for the feedback. Read more here www.ReviewAtticFoil.com. (01/21/2013)
Below is a comment form a customer in Hawaii.
Comment: Location: Kapolei, Hawaii (Oahu). Average temps 84 deg F. 50% humidity. Direct sun year round.
Shipping: Foil shipped by UPS as promised and on time. Expensive rates to Hawaii but well worth it.
My Attic: 30 x 70 footprint with a 5/12 pitch. Asphalt shingles. Cathedral ceiling with limited vertical crawl on the outboard slope. R-19 BATT insulation on gypsum fire rated 5/8″ drywall. I have a 5 ton central A/C system. All handler and ducting is in the attic. Ducting is combination of rigid/flex with foil barrier rated at R-6. There are about 300 2″ soffit holes around the house and a electric forced air 1600 cu ft/min gable exhaust fan set for 105 deg F. Average attic temp in the afternoon is 120+ deg F. Inside roof temp can get 130+ deg F. Gable fan runs about 4 hours in the afternoon.
My House: 1600 Sq ft inside insulated R-19 ceiling and R-13 walls. 12 foot cathedral ceiling. Single story. My A/C prior to installation ran about 4-5 hours per day. I keep the temp at 80 deg F. With no A/C the house internal temp will rise to 90+ deg F.
Installation: I did it myself over a course of about three weeks. I could only work in my attic during the early morning (about 4 hours). I installed 2500 sq ft foil in sheets of 8 – 12 feet lengths. An electric staple gun was a must. I used a Craftsman easy staple with 3/8″ staples. Used about 1600 staples. I did a hybrid install because of the cathedral ceiling.
I stapled high and laid on top of BATTS at the low points. Installation was challenging at times but not unmanageable by myself. Ed’s online Blog and instructional videos concise and clear.
The results: AMAZING!! After installation my attic space average afternoon temp is now less then 105 deg F. My gable fan has not run once since the complete install. My A/C runs about an hour per day and the inside temp will not rise above 84 deg F. I have front guest bedroom that receives the direct afternoon sun and was unbearable to be in. It now stays as cool as the rest of the house. My wife and I are amazed that this $500 investment has seen this kind of result.
I have been investigating ways to cool down the house for years but decided to get serious before the tax credit expired. Glad I did. You wont go wrong dealing with Ed Fritz and his company.
Think of your home as one big refrigerator – would you put it in the shade or in the sun? Of course you would put it in the shade. Why? Heat coming directly from the sun is radiant heat and radiant heat causes things to heat up. This means the outside surface temperature of your refrigerator could easily be 130º in the sun. So, the refrigerator “thinks” it’s actually 130º outside even though it is not.
Your roof acts the same way. It can easily reach 150º or hotter on a sunny day. This heat will then be re-radiated through the attic and will be absorbed by your attic insulation causing high energy bills and comfort issues.
This video illustrates how a radiant barrier works – plain and simple. Rather than absorbing the radiant heat from the roof, let’s bounce it back and keep the attic insulation cooler. If you keep the insulation cooler, then less heat enters the home and you save money and stay more comfortable.
Think of it this way: Radiant barrier is your 1st line of defense against radiant heat and your attic insulation is your 2nd line of defense against conductive heat. They will actually work TOGETHER for maximum efficiency and comfort.
Looking for more videos on this topic? Check out my posts below.
The hottest trend is construction is converting an attic space into a living space. Unfortunately the term “hot” usually describes the room once it is complete. One of the common challenges is to get a decent amount of insulation between the sheetrock and the roof deck. Typically roof rafters are 2”x6” and allow only about an R-19 level of batt fiberglass insulation. With only R-19 insulation it can be difficult to keep the new room comfortable when the roof is a dark color and can easily exceed 170 degrees.
Adding more insulation space between the roof deck and the sheetrock can be expensive, labor intensive and will reduce the ceiling height in the new room.
One option is to ventilate the roof deck and install a radiant barrier BEFORE you install insulation and sheetrock. This method helps keep the heat absorbed by the roof AWAY from the insulation by creating a THERMAL BREAK to reduce heat flow by conduction. This method also forces the energy absorbed by the roof to be converted into radiant energy. Radiant energy then can easily be reflected away with a radiant barrier.
Think of this method as a ONE-TWO Punch against heat gain. The radiant barrier is the 1st line of defense against radiant heat gain and regular type “R-Value” insulation is the 2nd layer of defense. This video shows a fast and effective way to install a radiant barrier into your roof assembly to maximize comfort and efficiency for your new attic room.
Looking for more videos on this topic? Check out my posts below.
Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel. In the home comfort business this occasionally happens. If you have a hot, uncomfortable room there is only so much you can do. As I discussed in Part 1, you can try to keep the heat out by adding radiant barrier, insulation, attic ventilation or sealing open chaseways. Or, pull more heat out by adding more airflow usually with larger ducts or additional air conditioning returns.
Sometimes you can do all this plus more and STILL have comfort issues. It may never get comfortable or it’s freezing one minute and then too hot a few minutes later.
If you have given up and are ready to throw in the towel, then take another approach. You may benefit from a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner. What’s a Mini-Split? The best description is a window air conditioner WITHOUT the window. If you have ever traveled to the Caribbean or the Orient you see them EVERWHERE. The most common brands are Mitsubishi Mr. Slim, Sanyo, Daikin, LG, and Fujitsu just to name a few.
Ductwork is a very western idea. By using a ductless mini-split, you can easily bring more air conditioning (heat removal) to either an interior space or an exterior room without a noisy window unit.
An air conditioner basically has three parts: 1) Compressor 2) Fan 3) Coil. A window air conditioning unit has all three together. In a ductless air conditioner, the compressor is OUTSIDE and the fan and coil are INSIDE usually connected by a ¼” or 3/8” copper tubing. The beauty it that the inside unit can be as far as 100 feet from the outside condenser.
Installation is pretty simple since there is usually NO electrical requirements for the inside fan coil. Power to the inside unit is brought from the outside unit along with the refrigerant lines. This means that basically you can drill a hole in a wall, run a 3” bundle of copper tubing, hang the indoor air handler on the wall, connect condensation tubing, set the outdoor unit, connect power and just like magic supply additional cooling and heating to any problem area.
Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Units
WARNING: Mini-split air conditioners all look very similar but operate very differently. Traditional air conditioner units act like light switches – they are EITHER ON OR OFF. They turn on, run for a while and turn off. A mini-split with inverter technology acts like a DIMMER switch that automatically adjusts based on the required “load”.
Inverter air conditioner units have several advantages. First of all being comfort. You will not have a big “swing” between feeling too cool and too hot. Second is dehumidification. By running longer at a lower level the inverter will pull more moisture out of the air resulting in better air quality and a “crisp” feel to the air. Another advantage is energy efficiency. Inverter air conditioners operate at a lower amperage and do not cause spikes in demand charge or light flicker when starting up. Finally, the best feature of installing a mini-split air conditioner is CONTROL. Whether it’s a bedroom, office or media room, you will be able to keep it cool and comfortable without having to cool the entire house.
Mini-split air conditioners are the fastest growing segment in the air conditioning industry. Ease of install, efficiency, improved comfort and better dehumidification are just a few reasons never to throw in the towel on keeping comfortable.