Here is a question I’ve been getting a LOT lately: “How does AtticFoil® compare to a product called….”? The most common names I hear are eShield, Prodex, Green Energy Barrier, SolarGuard, Reflectix and the list goes on and on. Consumers get very confused about the differences between these products and want to know how they compare to AtticFoil® radiant barrier foil. They want to know if all these products are a SCAM or the real deal.
AtticFoil® is a pure RADIANT BARRIER ONLY. Other types of products take a sheet of aluminum foil (a radiant barrier) and attach it to a thin layer of insulation usually about ¼” thick. This insulation is typically fiberglass, foam or plastic bubble wrap material. The CLAIM is that when you COMBINE a radiant barrier with an insulating product (listed above) that has R-Value, the product MUST be better.
They come up with fancy names like “Attic Energy Barrier” or “Heat Shield” or “Attic Armor” and spend a lot of money on advertising, slick brochures and big sales commissions when in reality all these products are basically the same thing. A piece of aluminum foil attached to a thin sheet of fiberglass insulation, bubble wrap or foam.
Typically eshield™ and other similar products sell for 5-30 times the cost of AtticFoil®.
Are they really better and are they worth it?
First, let me say all these products are NOT BAD products. They are all GOOD products that are often being used for the WRONG purpose. These products work great in metal buildings and some commercial applications but have now found their way into residential attics.
In a residential attic application, they DO work. Why? Virtually ALL of the heat entering from a roof into an attic is RADIANT HEAT. So, here is the secret: It’s the FOIL (radiant barrier) doing all the work. The fiberglass, foam or bubbles are just along for the ride and offer virtually no additional benefit in reducing heat flow into a home. This is why AtticFoil® is the ONLY product needed for attic applications and for a fraction of the cost compared to other products.
I believe in giving good information and getting the best “Bang For The Buck” solutions to help consumers make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.
Here is the bottom line. You DON’T NEED R-VALUE (insulation) ON YOUR RAFERS IN A VENTILATED RESIDENTIAL ATTIC. You need R-Value on your attic floor and you need a radiant barrier either stapled to the bottom of your rafters or laid out over the attic insulation.
Let’s take a look at the ACTUAL R-Value of these other products mentioned above. Most are about a ¼” thick or less. Standard foam board by Dow Chemical or Owens Corning has a known R-value of about 3.5 per inch. An R-13 batt of fiberglass insulation is 3.5” thick. So, common sense tells you that the ACTUAL R-value of eShield and similar products about ¼” thick can be NO MORE THAN AN R-VALUE OF 1.
When you read about claims that these products have R-10 – R-20 values be sure to look at the fine print. These R-values are ONLY achieved in tightly sealed assembles like a wall and often require over 8” of “Dead” air space.
Since there is typically NO “Dead Air” in a ventilated attic, these products CANNOT achieve a higher R-value than the actual R-value of the ¼” layer of insulation product attached to the foil.
Often, products like eShield are stapled to the bottom of the rafters. This method works fine to stop the radiant heat, but why waste your money for a small amount of R-value (typically R-1) when you NEED the R-value on the ceiling and not your roofline. Plus, you can buy By R-19 of blown-in insulation material for about .25/per square ft.
Here is what I recommend.
AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil ALONE will accomplish the same benefit as ALL THESE PRODUCTS to stop radiant heat for less cost. Then, spend the money you save on these other products and put in additional attic insulation, if needed. You can easily install R-19 or about 6” or more of additional attic insulation and the total cost will be the SAME OR LESS and you will end up with a BETTER OVERALL REDUCTION IN HEAT GAIN/LOSS.
Remember, traditional attic insulation has R-value. This works to slow conductive heat. Radiant barriers reflect Radiant Heat. BOTH types of heat are trying to enter your home on a hot, summer day. The sun heats up the roof and then heat is transferred by radiant heat until it hits the attic insulation. Then, heat switches form to conductive heat to move through the attic insulation and into your home. This is why you need BOTH Types. Traditional attic insulation and radiant barrier work together and each do their part.
Radiant barrier is your first line of defense and attic insulation is the second line of defense against heat gain.
Keep things simple, spend your money wisely and be hesitant when you hear outrageous claims for energy savings products. Follow this advise, and you are on your way to making your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
I've written several other posts on this that you might be interested in. Check these posts below:
100 thoughts on “eShield™, SolarGuard, Reflectix, – Compared to AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil”
I am sorry..I just found your article:New Video=>How To Install Radiant Barrier Foil Into a Cathedral or Vaulted Ceiling and that answered my questions!
Just thought I’d let you know on eShield’s Energy Star claims. I’ve removed people’s last names to protect them privacy from web crawlers/spammers.
From: Blakeley S
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 4:15 PM
To: Paul T
Cc: Sxxxxxx.Karen@epamail.epa.gov; Daniel L; Monica R
Subject: RE: Report an inappropriate use of the ENERGY STAR logo.
Dear Mr. T,
My name is Blakeley S and I work at The Cadmus Group, in support of ENERGY STAR. Thank you for contacting the Logo Misuse e-mail address.
We have recently contacted eShield because they have labeled products as ENERGY STAR qualified, that do not qualify as ENERGY STAR. We are following up with them to make sure the language is removed from their Web site.
Please refer to the Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR page on the ENERGY STAR Web site for more information about ENERGY STAR and insulation products. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing. Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
The Cadmus Group, Inc., on behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
Please mr ed
What about instalation of radian barrier in a living space attic what is the details of instalation with foam board or other insulation
I show you how you can transform an attic roofline into an insulated ceiling for a livable space here: Cathedral Ceilings for Hot Climates.
I am about to have my home re-roofed, and I have learned so much from your website. What do you think of the solar reflective asphalt shingles?
If you have the option of putting on a new roof then new “reflective” shingles are definitely something to consider. I’d say “go for it”!
Ed, What do you make of below, from the EnergyStar website?
Question: Is there a tax credit for radiant barriers?
Answer: The IRS has not issued final guidance on this issue, but it does not appear that radiant barriers will be covered.
Radiant barriers are not defined in the 2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), which is a requirement of the tax credit, and they do not have an R value.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the definition of insulation to reference the 2009 IECC (new language is below in red):
“any insulation material or system which is specifically and primarily designed to reduce the heat loss or gain of a dwelling unit when installed in or on such dwelling unit, and meets the prescriptive criteria for such material or system established by the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code,as such Code (including supplements) is in effect on the date of the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009,”
This FAQ will be updated as soon as the IRS issues guidance on this issue.
Here is the most current information regarding the meeting between the IRS and RIMA (Reflective Insulation Manufacturers Association)
Radiant Barrier Tax Credit Info
I believe radiant barriers work as advertised. The question that no one seems to want to discuss is: “Does reflecting the radiant energy back out the roof cause the seal-tab shingles or the tar paper under those shingles to degrade faster because of this reflected energy. In simple words would I have to replace my roof more often that my neighbor that does not have the radiant barrier product?
Dave, tests have that roof and shingle temperatures over a radiant barrier ONLY increase the shingle temperatures between 2º-10º degrees. Considering that roof temperatures can typically be between 130º-180º. Shingles are designed to handle temperatures well above these levels. Here is an article from last year. Am I Going To Bake My Shingles If I Install A Radiant Barrier?
What are your thoughts on the foam insulation? How does it compare with the Radiant Barrier?
Foam insulation is great for the right applications. I like it for new construction since you can get a good “SEAL”. Comparing foam insulation to radiant barrier is kind of like comparing an umbrella to a jacket. Foam is for conductive heat and radiant barrier is for radiant heat. Different type of heat flow requires different types of products to manage them.
Foam is similar to other types of insulation with a typical r-value of 3-4 per inch (open cell foam). This is similar to other insulation products regarding r-value but foam has an advantage in the ability to seal up cavities and prevent convective looping of air within the cavity.
I think that you misunderstand some aspects of thermodynamics. If you have a single layer radiant barrier, it will reflect some heat out, but will get hot as a result. It’s like leaving a mirror in the sun, it will reflect, but will still get hot! A multi-layer insulation, like eshield (with an R-value of 11.6), uses the middle insulation to prevent conduction of the heat on one side from conducting to the other side. This product is carried by Costco, counts for the tax credit, and it the most effective product for the money.
Additionally, the thickness of the insulation is irrelevant to the R-value. Have you ever seen compressed fiberglass sheets with R-values appraoching R-60? Do you think that they pull that number out of a hat? What about space suits? Are they 20 feet thick to accomplish the efficiency that they have? Engineers are careful to improve on technology in packaging to give the consumer a better product in a tighter package…
Thanks for the comments. First, you need to get some facts straight. NO product 1/4″ thick has an R-value of 11.6 If you read the facts, eShield Foil Insulation gets this number from John Manville who is the actual manufacturer of the product and available at any building supply company. They most commonly sell it under the name “SolarGuard”. US Patent # 6,797,356. It’s not a bad product and works very well for some applications. HERE is the flyer from a roll I bought. If you read the FINE PRINT in the information sheet, the R-11.6 is for a COMPLETE assembly composed of 2 x 4 wood stud cavity and 3/4″ plywood on each side. The reflective insulation was installed in the middle of the 2×4’s. The WHOLE assembly of 2 sheets of plywood and a 3 1/2 air space with the foil in the middle received an R-value in DOWNWARD heat flow of R-11.6. This was also an “in house” test. At the Johns Manville Technical Center NOT a 3rd party testing facility. Close Up of the details here.
As far as your statement that “the thickness of the insulation is irrelevant to the R-value” Where do you get this stuff? Wear a sweatshirt in a snowstorm and tell me that R-Value is irrelevant. R-60 Per inch – Currently does not exist. A 1 inch thick vacuum panel has an R-value of about 45 per inch and products like AeroGel reach R-10-30 per inch. These are the best as of now.
I too have heard that radiant barriers could possibly hurt the underside of your roof because the underside is not built to withstand the extra heat. Not sure if this is correct or not. Does anyone know? Also would a spray on radiant barrier make any difference to the underside?
Here is an article on this: Will Installing A Radiant Barrier Damage My Shingles and Roof?
I have had a radiant barrier (Parsec) in my home for about 13 years now and it has worked very well and I have achieved all the comfort and financials benefits they advertised. I installed this myself on the vertical walls (over the frame and foam board, under the brick) and in the attic (under the rafters) from the soffit vents up to the roof ridge vents. I recommend the thin foil radiant barrier and I am a very happy customer.
Last summer, here in Dallas, I stood in a newly constructed home’s attic where the outside temperature was above 100 degrees and the foam insulated attic (no other type of insulation was used, no blown in insulation, nothing on the attic floor but the gypsum board from the rooms below) was a steady 83 degrees. There is much debate over the R value and benefits of open cell and closed cell foam, but I was duly impressed. Foam also provides the added benefit of preventing uncomfortable room drafts and dust infiltration into the home.
• Do you have an opinion on the various types of foam insulation and their effectiveness?
• Is there a way to effectively combine the benefits of radiant barrier, foam insulation, blown in insulation, and/or a reflective roof shingle material or standing seam metal roofing in new construction or in existing homes?
• Also, it seems to me that the best practice is to prevent radiant and conductive heat gain in the initial design, preventing it from coming into the house in the first place, beginning with passive solar heat gain from tree shade and also with a reflective roofing surface at outset.
Thanks for the great question. Yes, I’m a HUGE fan of spray foam insulation and you are way ahead in your thinking. My next home will be full foam encapsulated with a sealed attic! The absolute best structure would be to build it like a giant refrigerator and wrap it in foil. This would provide radiant barrier as the first line of defense to reflect radiant heat and to keep the outer surface temperatures closer to ambient temperature. Then, the foam, or any type of insulation has less conductive heat to deal with since you have significantly reduced the temperature difference between the inner and outer surface. The larger or smaller this number dictates how much heat flows in or out in combination with the r-value of the actual insulation. Just a note, passive-solar design is great, but if the structure is shaded there is no big difference.
Sealed attics are great!! For new construction they are a no-brainer. Moving the ductwork inside the thermal envelope, reducing air infiltration and reducing AC tonnage more then pay for the upgrade cost over time. The only downside is the possibility of oversizing AC equipment and not getting enough dehumidification. I like running either an all inverter type AC system or running a regular split system with a supplemental mini-split that can run in “dry-mode” for extra moisture removal. I’m a little hesitant sealing up existing attics. First, you can’t easily do it with any combustible equipment in the attic and secondly, it’s pretty likely that your AC system will be significantly oversized by reducing the load so much. Then, you can have moisture problems (not enough dehumidification – the law of unintended consequences).
As for the foam type? I’d always go open-cell in a residence. It’s quieter and will allow moisture to pass through.
Under metal roofs? Sure, this is the ULTIMATE in heat defense and many builders and roofing companies are getting on board. If you have a roofing system that can provide and air space, then you can install a radiant barrier below the roof, but above the decking. Normally, this is done with a batten system or using furring strips. Coming from the top down here are the layers: roof, airspace, AtticFoil Brand Radiant Barrier, waterproofing membrane, deck, spray foam to bottom of deck and then the sealed attic. Here are some Pictures of Radiant Barrier Under Metal Roofs.
I am so confused, so I’ll keep this short. I have no insulation in the crawl space under 1 bedroom of the house,making this room very cold & unpleasant. What do I need to fix this? My only guess is, attach some regular (pink stuff) insulation on the bottom of floor, between the beams/joists/2×6’s/whatever they’re called (in the crawl space), then lay some attic foil across beams/joists/2×6’s? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU SIR!!!!!
Your proposed method will help, but if you REALLY want to do it right take a look at the links below. The most effective method on pier and beam homes is to “seal” the crawl space. This is done by putting a heavy liner on the ground and then using either spray foam or another sealing method to essentially “seal” off the crawl space. This creates a “semi-conditioned” space. By doing this, the air below the floor becomes a “buffer” to the outside cold air. The result is a warmer floor, virtually no moisture, and smells from the crawl space.
Here are a couple of sites I found on this. I’d look for a similar service in your area.
What are your thoughts on the foam insulation? How does it compare with the Radiant Barrier?
Comparing foam insulation to radiant barrier is similar to comparing a jacket to an umbrella. They really serve two different functions. Foam (or any other type) of insulation is to slow down conductive heat flow. A radiant barrier is specific to either reflect radiant heat or to produce a low emissivity surface that will reduce heat loss in it’s radiant form.
As far as foam insulation specifically? I love it for most applications when you need to also create a good air seal. I especially like it for new construction and I’m a big fan of doing sealed, or non-vented attics on new construction. The only challenge with foam is that it CAN be pretty tricky to install. And, I’ve seen foam jobs that were so bad (foam separating from wood) that the foam will actually perform worse then if they had used cheap fiberglass insulation.
Following up on your 11/22/10 post, my attic has cathedral ceilings with 2 x 6 joists running up the ceilings. Considering an unvented attic with open cell foam insulation to a depth of 4 inches against the underside of the ceilings, followed by air space of about 1.5 inches, and then the radiant barrier over that. In other words the foam insulation is the first line of defense against outside heat and the radiant barrier is the second line of defense. Will that work? I live in Houston.
I think this is the wrong approach – especially for Houston. Think of your home as a refrigerator sitting in the hot sun. Would you WRAP the refrigerator with Radiant Barrier or LINE the INSIDE with foil. Putting radiant barrier on the inside of a foam non-vented attic will have a minimal effect. It will help some, but probably not your best use of time/money. Try to get the foil to the outside.
I have a 20 x 30 x 12 workshop with a metal roof on top of wood rafters. I have no plans of putting an inside ceiling. Is there a specific way I should consider insulating the roof?
You say “insulate”?? Are you making it a conditioned space? Heated & Cooled? or are you just trying to “temper” it to make it more comfortable in the Summer?
If you want to heat and cool it, then you will need “R-Value” or regular type insulation (think of a refrigerator). If you just want to make it more comfortable (think shade) then install just like a regular Radiant Barrier Attic Installation – In addition, I would do the walls that catch direct sun too!
Does this help?
I’ve read radient barriers can cause mold and mildew problems in the attic because it causes condensation. Can this be prevented?
Radient barriers are effective in keeping heat out during the summer. Are they effective in keeping warm air in during the winter time?
Mold and mildew are not caused by radiant barrier. It’s caused by warm-moist air (water vapor) passing through the cold insulation and then condensing into a liquid. Wet insulation can create mold. The key to preventing ANY moisture problems is to SEAL, SEAL, SEAL holes in the ceiling under the foil. If you can prevent the water vapor from condensing then there is usually never an issue. Or to “play it safe” cut holes in the radiant barrier to allow extra drying potential (ability for water vapor to pass through).
Here is information on How Radiant Barrier Works In Cold Climates
Prodex – film / foam as an insulator below a bedroom over a crawl space. How effective would the Prodex foam layered with aluminum foil – be as a floor insulator over a crawl space? Replacing old plank subfloor (has gaps) with new 3/4″ plywood, and installing (over paper) 3/4 hardwood flooring (Hickory). Will the Prodex work as an effective insulator keeping floors from getting cold in the winter (we have some 40F weather) and hot in the summer? Thanks,Rick. Feb. 20, 2011.
If heat loss through your floor (above the crawlspace) is a concern/issue, then adding a radiant barrier would be helpful in that situation. Other than that goal, there is not really an additional benefit of adding AtticFoil radiant barrier below the home, since there is no radiant heat source (other than heat emitting from your home in the winter).
If you choose to use radiant barrier, you should use a combination of insulation (I’d recommend spray foam for this application) AND the AtticFoil radiant barrier. Also, just like ANY other installation, you need to make sure there is an air gap on at least one side of the foil, preferably the side facing the radiant heat source.
We are building a 2×6 home with a Spanish tile roof on top of two layers of peel & stick sandwiching 40 pound tar paper with a closed attic space. Also, there is an EFIS system (2 inch) outside of the 2×6 walls with triple glazed (argon/krpton gas) windows. The roof decking has the radiant barrier on the bottom which will be a waste as we are spraying 4 inches of closed cell foam (r-7 per inch) on it. We wish there was a way to preserve this radiant barrier and hang something below the decking to spray foam on but that becomes problematic.
Our thought was to attach the new radiant barrier to the bottom of the rafters before the drywall is installed.
Clearly, we are trying to get the most efficient results available and wanted some perspective. You mentioned something in a previous post that didn’t make sense (radiant barrier under roofing before foam) as there would not be .75 inch area for the emissivity.
Please explain and help us with the stage we are in as to what is the best solution for the highest R-Value/U-Value and Effective R since we don’t want to miss and opportunity for a highly efficient home. Since the tile roof is on and there in no way we can undo that, we are undecided what will be the best avenue for the most efficient home. The radiant barrier “engineers” all have different opinions and it get incredibly confusing. Many of them say a radiant barrier on the bottom of the rafters is fine etc… Others say there is no need for a radiant barrier as we are spraying foam etc…which is very strange as they work in different ways. I realize this is somewhat complex and would like an opportunity to speak with you to clarify.
I own one side of a duplex (condominium). I’m not sure if the demising wall carries into the attic space, or if the attic is all one space. If it is NOT divided, would there still be a benefit to installing a radiant barrier just on my side? And, if so, would ‘my’ heat be transferred over to the other side making the neighbors’ attic even hotter than usual?
Can you provide more information on this space? What state/city are you located in? Is there ductwork or an A/C unit up in the attic space? What type of ventilation is up there? These can all play a factor in how the foil should be installed and how it will perform to relieve the heat load. Generally speaking, the foil wouldn’t necessarily cause all of your heat load to go to the neighbors side (i.e. doubling their heat load) but lack of good ventilation could contribute to some comfort issues. Please send more info.
I have a random question about insulation, not for a house, but for a small project. I’m building a cover for the radiator in my studio apartment, which occupies a corner of the room and kills a small but significant chunk of useful floorspace. I want to build a radiator cover and insulate its top surface thoroughly, so that I can place a tall bookshelf on top of it and not worry about the heat causing any damage — however gradual — to the bookshelf or its contents. What kind of insulation would be best suited to this application? Should I build any airspace into the top of the radiator cover, and if so, how much?
I was looking at Prodex Total, a foil-coated bubble-wrap type product, and I thought perhaps I could use two layers of PT with an inch or two of airspace (or a layer of rigid foam?) between them.
But I couldn’t tell for sure whether this would be overkill — or indeed, whether I’m even approaching this in the right way at all, from an insulating point of view. I assume that the heat transfer I’m trying to control here has both radiant and conductive aspects, but I’m not exactly sure why I think that.
Secondarily, I would also like to attach a reflective material to the walls directly behind the radiator, in order to reflect heat back out into the room. Not sure whether I should use the same product, or whether a simple radiant-barrier foil (without bubble-wrap or similar conductive-heat insulation) would do for the walls.
In general, I guess I’d rather overshoot the mark slightly, and not risk damaging a brand-new bookshelf (even if it is only from IKEA). But obviously, overshooting has it limits — I don’t want to spend a fortune on some NASA-worthy insulation, if something far cheaper will give me the same results. It IS just a radiator cover, after all.
I’d keep it simple. You want to get something between the radiator that will reflect the radiant heat and not have any fire risks. You want layers: First, I’d use regular kitchen foil. You don’t want to use any products with plastic/foam/bubbles etc. Then apply the foil to a rigid board type material that is essentially fire proof. Something like fiber tile backing board. THEN you could put a layer of regular foam board – just regular styrofoam. Putting in airspaces after the foil will help and you want air to be able to flow around the whole assembly. This system will provide a reflective layer as the first line of defense and then the second & third layers will provide protection against fire and to slow conductive heat flow.
I am trying to insulate the attic in my rental property in Concord California. Any idea where I can buy radiant barrier. Home depot sells the 8 by 10 sheets on Styrophomafor 8 bucks a sheet. Id rather install just the foil with a staple gun.
You can purchase online at http://www.AtticFoil.com or call 800-595-8772 Weekdays. AtticFoil® is a direct-to-consumer product. We do not sell through distributors or retailers. By selling direct, we can eliminate the “middleman” and provide a better quality product to our customers for an excellent price. Did you read the over 500 positive customer reviews here: AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Reviews
I have a duplex that had the cellulose insulation at about 4″ deep over most of the ceilings. The duplex could become unbearably hot for my renters even in the morning hours. Being unemployed with more time than $$$, I consulted a local supply/contacting firm about my old insulation. They offered to work up an estimate to add more insulation over my old stuff, saying there was nothing wrong with it-just some greying of color.
Being handy, but also having bought a fixer-upper I was not yet ready to $$$ rewire, I decided to push all the old cellulose insulation into the edges of the attic that were virtually impossible to reach anyhow – after ensuring that the attic vents would not get blocked. I then put my new 6″ batts in those areas that easier access. I also used ‘bubbled foil’ on the garage-side attic walls and the attic ‘dormer’ walls. I would like to know what you think of this solution. It seems I may have about 8″ of (unpacked) insulation in some areas at the attic edges and future access to the rest.
I was looking to solve the problem of increasing the effect of insulating without putting so much padding up there it would become a pain to work around when it came time to upgrade the electrical, when I heard about another radiant barrier product. I was glad to discover your site today, because it may save me more $$$. I now have some of my answers, but what do you think about me skipping the lower first 24″ of the rafters with my radiant barrier application onto the rafters? I suppose mostly done is better than not done? Any suggestions? I have a ridge vent, so I will leave a gap there as well. By the way, a contractor may think me nuts, but as I relocated the old insulation (while wearing my long sleeves, face mask and goggles), I sealed any gaps in the ceiling or wall top plates I could find with fire-proofing caulking. Am I off the mark?
You are correct with your “mostly done is better than not done” philosophy. Radiant barrier has a cumulative effect – meaning the more the better, but some is better than none. Just like parking your car under part of the shade helps keep it cooler in the summer, AtticFoil is the same. Have you seen the most recent video on the YouTube channel: Does Partial Coverage Work? It goes into more detail about “partial coverage” and applies to your situation. My advice would be to cover as much as you can get to and make sure you have decent ventilation. Both of those things go a long way in improving the comfort AND efficiency of the home.
Good job in air-sealing the leaks – leaking ductwork is probably the most overlooked area on most homes. In older homes the leaks can be up to 50%! Now that you’ve taken care of that – you should be set up nicely to install a radiant barrier and reduce the heat load of the home. Good luck!
I just had a presentation of eShield products yesterday and the presentation had the eStar logo and the salesman made a point to state it was qualified eStar.
My home is a one story in So. Calif. At one end of the attic is over the garage and the other end over hangs the out side patio. Neither end has any insulation. The rest of the attic has blown in insulation.
Would it be beneficial to have insulation blown in over the garage and patio areas?
On a non-conditioned structure there is really nothing BETTER than Radiant Barrier to keep it cool. Basically, you are looking for shade from the HEAT. I know of many, many people who have done garages, barns, sheds, airplane hangers, warehouses etc. with great results in comfort.
Help!! My double wide mobile home was hit by a severe hail storm in March. We are having to replace the roof and vinyl siding. I don’t understand half the stuff I am researching in order to make sure I get better insulation on the house. Here is what we planned until I started trying to research all of this to make sure we are getting the best products available.
1. On the roof we were just going to place a 26 gauge galvalume with 1×4 lads on top of the existing shingles. Will this even be effective in trying to cut down on energy costs?
2. My contractor suggested putting SolarGuard insulation around the walls of the house before putting on standard vinyl siding. I was told this would be more cost effective and provide better insulation than using the insulated vinyl siding. What do you think?
I am completely confused with all the different options that are out there.
Thanks for any help that you can give.
I would put foil down below the 1×4’s to create a radiant barrier. From the top down you will have: 1) Galvalume roof 2) Air space made up by the 1 x 4’s 3) AtticFoil® Radiant Barrier Foil 4) Some type of waterproofing layer – Felt/Membrane etc. 5) Existing Shingles or tear them off if needed.
Siding: You can use any type of foil product assuming you have a siding that has some type of air space behind it. Normally, there is about a 60-80% open space behind most vinyl siding profiles. You can use SolarGuard and it will work fine. I would consider using AtticFoil® since it is typically about 1/4 the cost compared to SolarGuard. The SolarGuard does have 1/4″ of fiberglass which will provide an additional R-value of about 1 if it is snug with the exterior sheathing on one side. Compared to insulated sidings, it really depends on the cost.
I was coparing the specs of Reflectix RB48125 to Atticfoil and the specs seem very similar with the Reflectix being 6 mils and Atticfoil being 5 mils. I know as the owner of Atticfoil that it is in your best interest to recommend your product, but I was wondering the differences between Atticfoil and the Reflectix RB48125.
On another note, I have an attic that rather spacious. I have blown in fiberglass insulation on the flooring of the attic some of which is covered with .75″ plywood. Does it make sense to put fiber batting insulation between the rafters and then a radient barrier on top of that?
It would seem that the batting wouuld absorb some of the heat passing through from the roof and then the radient barrier would reflect back the rest, right?
I have seen the RB48125 in stores. I think the mil thickness is a little thicker because it uses individual threads (which tear easily) compared to an internal woven tarp-like product we use in AtticFoil. They must be taking the measurement directly on top of the threads. Take a look at the total weight of the roll. I think a 500 sq. ft roll of their product weighs about 6-9 lbs and AtticFoil weighs about 14 lbs for a 500 ft. roll. The products don’t really even compare as far as strength and durability.
I can assure you that nothing in a store can compare to AtticFoil. They would have to sell it for significantly more to cover all the overhead associated with retail rent, distribution etc.
Please compare products: Get a Free Radiant Barrier Sample Here
No, there is NO need to put batts between the rafters in a ventilated attic. This is like holding a jacket over your head and using it for an umbrella. Just use an umbrella. You want Radiant Barrier at the roof and insulation against your “thermal envelope” which is the box you live in and want to keep hot/cold air inside. So, put R-value on the floor of the attic.
This video should help explain How A Radiant Barrier Works
Thanks for the reply. As an FYI, I could not find the refletix in stores near me so I could directly compare. Therefore, I puchased based upon specs alone. My mistake.
Performance wise, it works great. I am now a firm believer in radiant barriers. Durability wise, it was no where close to the attic foil sample you sent me. I will finish off using the one roll that I had opened, but the other 2 will be going back and I will order attic foil to complete the job.
Only benefit of buying the reflectix was that I could get free shipping to our local home improvement store. But after seeing the difference, I am convinced the attic foil will be easier to work with given how plyable it is compared to the reflectix stuff.
For those that are not sure how well radiant barriers work, I can confirm that it is amazing the difference.
I have a detached garage and that served as my test case. Temps in the attic space of my garage (in Austin TX) before radiant barrier was running 18 degrees higher than outside air temp as measured in the shade. Temps in Attic space after applying radiant barrier to 2 sides of roof (east facing and south facing sides) that get sun all morning and all day, temps dropped to within 2 degrees of outside air temp. Once sun moves to west facing roof, attic temps get to about 7 degrees above outside air temp. This was measured in 100+ degree outside air temps.
So, this stuff works great. Will be installing attic foil in my home’s attic space next.
I have a question – I’m trying to figure out the best way to approach my garage door in a seperate 500sqft garage I’m finishing out with hopes of heating/cooling. I live in Arkansas, so cooling is probably more a concern than heating. I already have good ventilation (fully perforated eaves on both ends and solar exhaust fans nearly at top), and I already plan on fully insulating (r13 batts for walls, r49 blow-in attic). That leaves the one glaring weak point being the garage door.
I know from reading through your site that a radiant barrier will help, but if I’m reading properly it still won’t cover the task of insulating. I thought it might make sense to do a layer of r6.7 “pink stuff” inside the door cavities, then cover the cavities with a radiant barrier (basically mounted to tops and bottoms of the door cavities, stretched across the gaps, also functioning to “hold in” the insulation.
However, I note in your installation instructions that you point out the radiant barrier should always be on the ‘unconditioned’ side of the insulation.
Alternatively, I could place the radiant barrier on the inside of the panels, against the door’s metal, then fill the gap with the “pink stuff”, but that again has an issue, since there’s no ‘air gap’.
Finally, it occured to me – the door is a steel door, so could it potentially function as a radiant barrier itself (probably not as efficient, but still)? In which case what I really would need is just pink stuff and call it a day…
So in short, what’s really the best option for the garage door –
1) radiant barrier against the door panels and pink stuff inside the door gaps (radiant barrier outside the insulation, but no air gap),
2) pink stuff inside the door, radiant barrier sealing up the door cavities (radiant barrier has an air gap, but it’s inside the insulation), or
3) radiant barrier is already in the right place in the form of the door itself, just insulate it.
Of your three options, here are my thoughts:
1) radiant barrier against the door panels and pink stuff inside the door gaps (radiant barrier outside the insulation, but no air gap),
If you have no air gap then you don’t have radiant heat, so then a radiant barrier is futile.
2) pink stuff inside the door, radiant barrier sealing up the door cavities (radiant barrier has an air gap, but it’s inside the insulation),
This method could work, but it can get tricky getting “pink stuff” up there and then relying on the foil to hold it in. You have to use adhesives, etc. and it can be messy. Also, if the air gap is between the foil and the radiant heat source (not in this case) then the aluminum can work off of its reflectivity property to reflect the heat.
3) radiant barrier is already in the right place in the form of the door itself, just insulate it.
If your door is aluminum, then it is safe to say it can act as a radiant barrier. Steel and aluminum are not the same thing, so make sure you know for certain before you assume.
I think one of the best ways to accomplish this task is to get foil-faced foam board at your local hardware store and cut it so that it’s just slightly taller than the cavities. Then, “pop” it in the cavity in such a way as to make minimal contact just on the upper and lower edges but you’ll have a space in the middle (your air space). This install is easy, quick and effective.
radiant barrier is already in the right place in the form of the door itself, just insulate it.
If your door is aluminum, then it is safe to say it can act as a radiant barrier. Steel and aluminum are not the same thing, so make sure you know for certain before you assume. – QUESTION: The reason I bought atticfoil is for my garage door in FLorida. WHat would happen if the door is steel? I am not very smart about these things, and maybe I do not even need the foil.
Aluminum by itself is not a radiant barrier. Only a highly polished thin layer of aluminum is a a “radiant barrier”. It does not matter if the door is steel or aluminum, it will get very hot and emit heat. Yes, if the sun hits the door you want to get a radiant barrier on the inside.
I have s steel framed house. Rafters, floors, walls are welded galvanized steel. What is the best way to attach AtticFoil to the rafters? Obviously a staple gun isn’t going to work and I would worry about the heat softening adhesives and the material falling down.
This can be tricky. Since you don’t have to support AtticFoil® at every rafter (it’s VERY strong), you could attach some wood strips every 10-20 ft and staple into them. The foil might sag a little bit, but it is still effective. One customer used the wood method AND went to eBay and bought a few hundred little magnets to support the center areas. The foil is pretty thin, and a magnet will easily hold it up. It’s kinda like using a magnet to hold a business card on your refrigerator.
Finally, I’ve had a couple of customers use adhesive. There are some adhesives specially designed for high temperature applications which seem to work fine.
Thinking about installing radiant barrier in our new purchased home, it was built in the 50’s, and recently remodeled. I would like to install the foil underneath the rafters instead of laying it on top of the insulation because of the ducts in the attic space, and to keep it more functional space. Unfortunately, when they installed the new roof, no ridge vent was put in. Is this something I should definitely put in before putting in attic foil? Thanks very much for your input
Ridge vent is not required for radiant barrier. However, you should have SOME exhaust vents for your attic ventilation. It could be wind turbines, fans, or static vents. Basically you want to install the AtticFoil® radiant barrier in a method that does NOT change/alter your existing attic ventilation. Air should flow through the attic as though the foil is not even there. Here are the easy rules: 1) Leave gaps in the foil at all tops and bottoms to allow air to flow freely. 2) If there is a hole in the roof, then cut a corresponding hole in the foil below it.
I would like to create a mechanical room in my attic to enclose the air handler and most of the main trunk and ducts are located. Transporting 2x4s or 4×8 sheets of building material up to the attic will be difficult. Could I build a vertical dividing wall of attic foil, stapled to rafters and joists? And create a “foil box” of attic foil top and sides of the mechanical room? The air handler serves a closed loop geothermal system that does not appear to need intake air at that location. The rest of attic is vented with ridge vents, soffit vents and one gable fan (which I believe we should close off due to conflict with ridge vents) joists are covered with 12″ blown insulation. House in SE Virginia and with summer heat over 100 and winter cold in the teens. Thanks so much.
Yes, you could do this – it would just be a variance of the hybrid install method listed here: http://www.atticfoil.com/foilgraphics.htm (look at the last graphic). Keeping that unit and subsequent duct work cooler under a covering of radiant barrier foil will go a long way in making the unit more efficient overall.
I live in Central Texas and I have a 2,500 sq ft. 2 story house with standard blown in attic insulation. I measured the temp. in my attic on a 98 degree day in August last year and it was right at 130 degrees (this was a constant 130 between 4pm – 7pm as I checked it a few times an hour between 4pm – 9pm that day).
I did have an attic fan installed at the time.
I rolled the dice and had eShield foil radiant barrier installed in my entire attic and on the next 98 degree day I measured my attic temps in the same exact way and between 4pm – 7pm was registering 89 degrees constantly, a major difference!
That being said, I do believe the attic fan and barrier work in conjunction and I do plan to add a little more insulation as I think that will further help on my energy bills…but I can say, energy star or not, the eShield product does work, at least it does for me.
Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you are getting results. Just to clarify, I NEVER said that eShield does not work. It works fine, just like any other foil product like AtticFoil®. Or, you could have used regular kitchen foil if you can get it to stay up. My whole point is that bubble/foil or insulation/foil products cost a LOT more and they are no better as a radiant barrier than http://www.AtticFoil.com radiant barrier.
I had foam insulation (“Insoylate”) installed in my attic ceiling several years back based on the “hot roof theory”. That turned out to be a bust (moisture) and I had to re-open my gable vents and wind turbines. Anyway, 4 inches of Insoylate are still between the rafters of my attic ceiling, and I was wondering if applying some type of radiant barrier (AtticFoil, etc.) on top of the Insoylate would be an appropriate way to reduce the amount of heat transfer through my roof and into my attic. Thanx much.
As long as you can achieve the REQUIRED air gap for a radiant barrier, this could work. Ideally you want the foil closest to the outside (the source of radiant heat) but in some cases that is not possible so this would work too.
I just built a 36×72 shop that’s wood frame that I’ll be installing a metal roof to…I am looking to find out what the best barrier/insulation would be to attach to the roof before I install the metal roof…I am of course looking to decrease the heat but the condensation would be my main concern…the ceilings will have plywood so I don’t want any water dripping down into my ceiling…I would also like to know how long this insulation is rated to last in years ?I live in Mississippi…Thanks for any and all advice…have a good one!!!
Keep in mind that a radiant barrier doesn’t cause moisture, moisture causes moisture. Ideally you’d want some sort of ventilation around the install so moisture can flow freely and evaporate; the basic overall idea is to install the foil in such as if it’s not even there (in terms of airflow). Click here for more information on installing radiant barrier foil with proper gaps for airflow.
In your case you want the foil closest to the outermost layer (the metal roof), so you should install it last, right below the battens. Have you seen this video on installing AtticFoil radiant barrier under a metal roof?
The limited warranty on the foil is 25 years, but in reality you could expect the product to last much longer than that.
For starters this site is great. I am currently about to start a remodel of my upstairs bedroom (1950’s cape). I am taking it down to the studs so I will have great access to insulate the right way. Being in MD, the sun really leans on the house. The house has gable vents on each side and a newly installed ridge vent. So after looking to attic foil, eshield, spray foam this is my plan. Please tell me if I am on the right track.
1. Attic Foil on the roof, leaving the gable vents and ridge vents open.
2. Add two solar attic fans which i will not cover with foil 🙂
3. Blow in extra insulation to the attic floor
4. Insulate the walls and sealing with (whatever recommended R Value) with fiberglass insulation.
You thoughts or anyone else’s are very welcome.
Sounds like a great plan! The only potential problem I foresee is having both passive (gable and ridge vents) in conjunction with active (solar fans) ventilation. This is almost always a bad idea. I say choose one or the other; many people opt for a passive ventilation system which is just a combination of working (ie. clean, unobstructed) soffit vents and either a ridge vent or a pair of gable vents; oftentimes nothing more is necessary. Once a radiant barrier is installed, your attic air temperature should be within 10 degrees of outside air temperature. If it’s not, then more ventilation is probably necessary. Take a look at this article about some basic ventilation tips – they might be useful to you: https://www.radiantbarrierguru.com/attic-ventilation-basic-tips/
Other than that, everything else lines up!
Another insulation question. I have an old steel horse trailer that used to have plain white foam board for insulation. In a repair project all the insulation was removed. Being steel, the trailer is intolerably hot in Mississippi summers. I would have gone back with 1″ foil coated foam board, but I cannot seem to find it.
I’m not sure I can find a spray foam insulation contractor in this area or what the coat would be. And I’d definitely want a radiant barrier next to the metal, wouldn’t I?
Can you give advice on this?
You would want a radiant barrier as your first line of defense for that steel roof, but the main concern is going to be getting an air gap between the metal and the foil. So long as you can achieve that, you can make your own foil covered foam board and then put it to work that way. It’s not really the intended use of a product like AtticFoil, but we have lots of people use it that way.
The upper cabinets in my motorhome on the side facing the sun become very warmn and this heat transfers into the living area. Is the radiant barrier foil the solution to this problem or is the “sandwich” barrier the way to go?
The best solution would be to get a radiant barrier under that section of the roof, but since that is probably not practical you might be better off just bulking up on traditional insulation to slow the heat gain.
We live in a manufactured home. Is there a radiant barrier paint designed to be applied to the ceilings of the home?
I would look to applying a reflective coating to the roof instead of trying anything inside. Look up “elastomeric coatings”. Or, if you don’t mind the look, we have had many customers use AtticFoil on the outside of manufactured homes, work trailers, containers, etc. It not the exact intended use, but you should easily get a several years of benefit. We are not exactly sure how long AtticFoil will last outside, but we have two application going on 4 years with NO degradation with the product.
I have read all of the above and associated links. I have a house built in the 40’s in south carolina with no insulation at all. I have had a company quote me installing the Green Energy Barrier (which may be the same as atticfoil, was perforated, practically untearable and no fiberglass insulation) for $3950 on an 1800 sq.ft single story home with soffit and ridge vents. I found another company I’m going to get a quote from as well to see if that is reasonable. Your attic foil doesn’t seem that expensive per sq ft, so it must be labor intensive to install or the quote is high. I need to replace the roof soon and will likely go metal with wood strips for the air gap. Should I just put foil under the metal? Or in the attic? Or both? The a/c and associated plumbing is in the attic as well. The installers said my attic would be within a few degrees of the house, not the outside as you said. Maybe with the flat top installation this would be the case? There doesn’t seem to be any venting at the ridge vent in that method. I’m a little confused, sorry to be long winded! 🙂
Yes, if you installing a metal roof with wood battens, then under the roof is the way to go. Look at for more info. I would disagree as to the attic temperature. If it is vented, then the BEST you can hope for is outside air temperature since it is outside air being drawn into the attic. There is no way for the air to get “cooler”. For the you need to cut some holes/slits/etc. in the FLAT part of the foil. You will want air to flow either between the foil and the roof deck, or through the attic and out the holes to the top vents.
What is the difference between temper guard and attic foil
As far as comparing companies, it doesn’t matter what radiant barrier product you are talking about I guarantee our product is as good, or probably BETTER than any other product you will find. Order your free sample of radiant barrier foil, if you haven’t already done so and test it out and compare it against other samples – this is the best way to determine any differences.
I had the attic foil installed last week and I can definitely notice a difference. So far, my a/c comes on about half as often as it used to. They went with nailing it to the rafters open at the ridge. My concern, is this seems like the best method for those 100+ degree summer days, however, our winters often drop into the teens or lower. Would the flat top method (even with slits) hold the heat in the attic better in the winter to make the foil more effective in the winter season than being open at the top without sacrificing summer performance? Being open at the ridge seems like it would allow the heat to rise and escape the attic easily pulling cold air through the soffit vents and detrimentally the floor (crawlspace not a slab).
Your attic is not designed to “hold heat” in the winter. Your roof (or attic) is just a cover to protect the box below it. Your “Thermal Envelope” is your ceiling and the insulation on it. Once the heat gets past it, it is pretty much gone. SOME radiant heat WILL be reflected by the foil stapled to the roof. If you are looking to maximize the winter benefit, you would want to lay AtticFoil OVER your existing insulation. Doing this will do two things: 1) reduce radiant heat loss due to the reflectivity and emissivity of the foil and 2) reduce CONVECTIVE LOOPING within the insulation. This is the concept that the warm air against the sheetrock is light and rise and cold air is heavy and dense and will fall. This causes air movement within the insulation or a “pumping” action that will reduce the effectiveness of the insulation. Just like a wall (or a jacket), you want an air barrier on BOTH SIDES of the insulation. Here is complete information and a video explaining How Radiant Barrier Helps In Cold Weather.
I am very glad I found your web page. I have learned a lot and have had many questions answered. I would still like to ask you what you think would be the best option to provide insulation/radiant barrier to a 1950’s 1 story flat roof home in Florida. I have been looking at radiant barriers and am on the verge of having some installed but would like to know if they should be used in combination with something else. The house has barely any attic space, it is too small to try to crawl into therefore as I restore the house and remove the ceiling I will be introducing the “heat defense” mechanism.
Dan, working from the bottom you can install radiant barrier and then insulate the ceiling. Visit http://www.AtticFoil.com and send us your question along with some pictures – use the “contact us” page. I might be able to offer some other suggestions.
What are your thoughts about radiation coatings such as LO/MIT-II MAX (emissivity = .15) applied to the roof sheathing and rafters vs radiant barrier foil (emissivity = .03)? I know that the reflectivity is higher for foil, 97% vs 85%, but the total cost is lower due to more intensive labor to apply the foil. Thanks.
Basically here are my thoughts about The Difference Between Radiant Barrier Paint (Reflective Coatings) and Radiant Barrier Foil (click on the title for a link to an article and a video I did explaining the physics of how these two work to block radiant heat). I think it’s pretty self explanatory, but let me know if you have additional questions.
I am considering doing an attic barrier installation in the attic space of our Cape Cod home. Since we have knee walls, should I use the barrier on the rafters or on the floor joist? We have blown in insulation in the attic area now. Should I also use the foil on the rafters in the knee wall space or on the backside of the knee wall?
I’m assuming you live in a predominately cold climate. If so, I would look to laying the foil over the insulation on the floor. As far as the knee walls, I would probably install 3/4″ foam board on the attic side of the walls first and then apply radiant barrier. The foam board will help with air sealing of the walls, make the existing insulation more effective and reduce “thermal bypass” which is heat coming through the walls via the studs. Here is an article regarding how to make rooms more comfortable.
I am finishing a room in my attic and plan on using your atticfoil. the attic now gets hot in the summer, i live in the southeast, and im hoping that with an R-13 insulation in the rooms ceiling and walls, and the atticfoil, that the room will be much cooler. now you can feel the temperature change as you walk up the stairs into the attic. im also going to surround the staircase walls and everything that i can in order to lower the temps in the room. im also hoping this will hold in some heat in the winter. any thoughts?
This is a good approach. Get the foil on all sides of the room (excluding the floor) for maximum results. Radiant barrier will help the room stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter & will work with the insulation you have to maximize the effect. See this article on adding radiant barrier to knee walls and this one on installing radiant barrier in a cathedral ceiling to cover all your bases. Send me some photos of the job in progress – I’d love to see that!
My husband and I just signed a contract to have our roof replaced. We have enough insulation in the “floor” of the attic so that won’t be changed, but the company we went with, recommended that we install Solar Eclipse e-shield in/on our rafters. (I think I have the name of the product correct). Basically, they said it’s a new technology, guaranteed to keep our house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. My question is, if the barrier is on the rafters, how will this keep my actual house warmer? Won’t it just keep the warm air in the attic? I have no clue about these things but it’s just something that is on my mind. It is expensive, so I’m willing to look like a ditz to get my questions answered! Thank you!
Stapling any Radiant Barrier Product to the bottom of the rafters will have the biggest impact on reducing summer heat gain. There is SOME benefit for reducing winter heat loss. If you are looking to maximize the winter benefit, I would look here and read more about the Radiant Barrier Over-insulation Method it will tell you more about how to Reduce Heat Loss With Radiant Barrier. Don’t fall for the “new technology” sales pitch. Radiant barrier has been around for over 50 years. If you really want to install radiant barrier cheaply, you can either do it yourself, or hire a couple of guys to install it for you.
my house was built about ten years ago. it has wood trusses 16″ on center with 2×4 lath 24″ centers. that being said it has a metal roof screwed directly to wood. i am getting screws popping in my sheet rock ceiling. also some water spots. it has blown in insulation that looks pretty deep. the metal roof has ridge vent
from one end to other. also 2 gable vents. i think there may be some sweat going on, but i have never been up there to see. i have been told to remove metal and install solar guard and then screw metal back to wood. problems would stop. what would you suggest. thanks
Well I can’t say for sure until I know what’s going on up there. I definitely agree that you need to get up there and see – whether you choose to do that from the inside of the home or the outside is up to you. Also, do you have insulation up there? If so, what kind? There are too many variables to make any definite conclusions at this stage.
I frequently talk to radiant barrier salesmen that push the spray painted version of radiant barrier. Several years ago I read an article stating that the spray stuff was more expensive and gave inconsistent results. Is this still true or has the product improved to the point that it’s actually a respectable choice?
I love your website by the way.
It’s still not a worthwhile investment in my opinion.
My son uses a Quonset hut style building as a garage to work on old cars. He has a double 55-gallon barrel wood-burning stove as the only source of heat. But it just keeps the chill off; without insulation, the building is still frigid. I was looking at Prodex to retain the heat in winter and cool it in summer. It’s not a simple half-pipe style building; it has a peaked roof and ribs that taper from 17″ at the bottom to about 1.5″ at the peak. They are recommending Prodex Total 48″ for my application, but I don’t know whether this product will work for this style building. I can’t find anything on the Web other than their cheer-leading their own product, so I don’t know whether to take a (very expensive) chance on it.
The general rule is that if you want this type of structure to be warm, then you’re going to have to SEAL it up (meaning make it air tight) and then insulate it. You can use AtticFoil radiant barrier toward the inside of the building to immediately reflect the heat form the stove and then have some insulation behind the foil (between the exterior sheathing and the foil) to help slow the conductive heat loss. Otherwise, without sealing it up, it’s still going to get pretty cold since this is a shelter-like space, not a living space. If you want it warmer like a home, then you need to seal it up and insulate it like a home. That being said, there is no reason Prodex would do any better of a job at this than AtticFoil would – you simply need a foil barrier to block the heat loss from the stove and then some regular insulation to further slow this heat loss. Do that and seal it up and you’ll have a more “livable” space for him.
Thanks for finally talking about > eShield™, Solarguard & Reflectix compared
to AtticFoil® | The Radiant Barrier Guru < Liked it!
Does anyone know who manufactures the Energy Shieldz product for Energy Solutions of America?
This product is no different from many foil/foam/bubble/fiberglass type products. You end up paying a lot of money for the fiberglass which has an R-value of less than 1. You are better off adding more insulation and then adding AtticFoil Radiant Barrier on top. You will spend the same or less and get a much better benefit. Here is How To Install Radiant Barrier On Top Of Existing Attic Insulation
I need some advice. I am insulating my very old cottage cathedral ceiling which is made of 2×4 rafters (not trusses). It is ventilated at both soffit and ridge vent. Collar ties present about 2/3rds of the way up. I am not able to add to the rafters to increase depth, so I am looking for options using the 2×4 space only. It is a 3 season cottage in Canada, so main problem is keeping cool in the summer, however, keeping heat from woodstove in early Spring/fall is desired as well. Walls are insulated with 2″ of spayfoam. Back to the ceiling problem – I had planned on installing using atticfoil (or bubblefoil) midway up the depth of my rafter, then airgap, then additional bubblefoil layer, then 3/4 in strapping followed by T&G ceiling. Essentially, Roof deck then 1.5in ventilated airgap before foil, then 2 inch airgap (probably unventilated) before 2nd foil layer, then 3/4 in airgap, then T&G wood. Reflectix website claims 2 layer approach in crawl space like this is similar to R21 (fine for my application). Or should a switch 1 of my laters with 1.5 inch rigid foam panel between rafters – results in roof deck, 1 inc ventilated airgap, foil, 1 inch air gap, 1.5 inch rigid foam, 3/4 in airgap, T&G. Do I need the 3/4 in gap between the rigid foam and T&G? Should rigid foam have foil exterior or doesn’t matter? Looking for best solution without using sprayfoam and without extending 2×4 rafters.
You can definitely use rigid foam board in the application since your space is limited. This page shows the best way to install insulation in a cathedral ceiling for year round results. In place of the traditional fiberglass, you could use foam board as you planned.