New Video=>Attic Insulation and Radiant Barrier Work Together in Cold Weather To Keep Homes Warm and Energy Efficient

WOW, it’s been cold lately.  Not surprisingly, I’ve received a bunch of calls and emails from people wanting more information on how installing a radiant barrier can help them in cold weather.

I put together a video to help illustrate how traditional attic insulation and radiant barrier WORK TOGETHER to make a home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Remember, traditional attic insulation – fiberglass or cellulose help to reduce Conductive Heat Loss.  A radiant barrier will help to reduce Radiant Heat Loss.  In cold weather, heat is lost in BOTH ways.

Combining good attic insulation and radiant barrier will give your home the best defense to stay warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.

I've written several other posts on this that you might be interested in. Check these posts below:

  • Do I need more ventilation to cool my attic?
  • Why I don’t recommend electric attic fans
  • How To Vent an Attic Without Soffit Vents
  • 6 Myths About Attic Ventilation
  • The #1 Attic Ventilation Problem
  • 7 thoughts on “New Video=>Attic Insulation and Radiant Barrier Work Together in Cold Weather To Keep Homes Warm and Energy Efficient

    1. Ed- Thanks for the video. I have installed the radiant barrier on my rafters, but would it also be helpful to install it on the floor of my attic. I seem to lose a lot of heat. I seem to have enough insulation in my attic, but with as much space as there is up there it seems like I’m heating my attic in the winter. Will a barrier on the floor create moisture in the summer? Is the barrier on the floor better for the winter and the rafters better for the summer? Thanks for your help.
      Kevin in Sugar Land (Houston)

    2. Kevin, with decent attic ventilation moisture in an attic in Houston is not a big concern. You can add a layer over the floor if you want. I’ve had many customers do both with excellent results. Just keep in mind the first layer provides the biggest bang for the buck. If you can do it yourself and only have the material cost then go for it. If you have to pay someone then the second layer is probably not worth it.

    3. Hi Ed. Great information, Thanks.

      I live in TN, fairly cold in winter and fairly hot in summer.

      In review of the comment you made to Kevin’s question, should my first task be to barrier the rafters or the mass insulation of the floor of the attic.

      If or when I do both should I use the penetrating barrier for both?

      If doing both should I use double sided reflective or white on the inside(attic space)?

      If doing only one should it be double reflective?

      I have some floored attic space should I try to do something with this area?

      Thanks in advance.

      1. Greg,

        If your going to do both, I’d staple up and then lay out over the insulation. It’s REALLY difficult to staple up once the foil is layed out unless you are working over decking. As for the product, ALWAYS use perforated. No additional benefit using solid. Why trap moisture intentionally? Use double sided. It’s about the same cost and you will get the foil working off BOTH the reflectivity quality and the emissivity quality of AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier.

        Best install method? It depends on several things. Read What Is The Best Radiant Barrier Install Method?

        As for installing over attic flooring? Just lay over the flooring if you are not using it for storage. If you “sandwich” the foil between a box and the floor you will loose the radiant barrier effect in that small area. AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil is Tough!! It can easily handle “normal” foot traffic.

    4. Hello, I have two questions (and please use easy language as I’m British and have NO idea about any of this! Firstly, how do you install this product on the rafters? Do you have a video for this please? Secondly, once this product is installed on the floor of the attic, is there any way this space can still be used for storage? Cn boards be laid over the top of the atticfoil product, or will this defeat the object?
      Kind regards,
      F Doyle

      1. There are two common ways to install AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil. Either to staple up to the bottom of the rafters (shown on this page) OR lay out on top of the existing attic insulation. The Open-Ridge Method (or staple-up method) is the standard method is used for many roofs. Basically, the foil is stapled on the bottom of the rafters and run almost to the top of the rafters leaving a space or gap for air to enter behind the foil and escape at the top of the attic. You can watch a video and see pictures of this method on the AtticFoil Radiant Barrier website.

        About the installation method where you lay the foil over the insulation, should you decide to store anything directly on top of the foil, you are effectively eliminating the airspace and will lose the performance of the foil in those particular places – overall if it’s not many places, then you shouldn’t see a drastic decrease in performance. If it is in a lot of places, then you can do one of two things: use a table to store the items on (the legs of a table would be less surface area than boxes)/build a sort of platform to place the boxes on (again, one that touches the foil less overall) OR you can utilize a mixed installation method for the radiant barrier and staple it to the rafters in those areas where you have a lot of storage items. The latter option is probably the easiest choice and ensures your air gap will not be compromised. For more information on these install methods, check out this link for pictures, videos and tips:

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