Radiant Barrier Buyers Guide
- Our radiant barriers and reflective insulation products are available for purchase online by homeowners, retail store operators, resellers, installers, distributors and all other consumer types.
- This Buyers Guide is intended for potential consumers trying to decide which product to choose for their intended installation application and consumers currently comparison shopping for their ideal product.
Useful Definitions for Understanding Radiant Barrier and Reflective Foil Insulation Products
- Emissivity: The ratio of the radiant heat emitted by a surface. ALL materials have emissivity's ranging from 0% to 100%. The lower the emittance percentage of a material, the lower the amount of radiant heat radiated from its surface. The naturally low emissivity property of aluminum facing an air space results in very low emittance of heat from itself; it does not radiate much of its own heat from itself. This naturally low emissivity property makes aluminum ideal for use in radiant barriers.
- Flame Spread: Indicates the relative rate at which flame will spread over the surface of a material, as compared with flame spread on asbestos-cement board (rated 0) and on red oak (rated 100).
- Radiant Barrier: Per the Department of Energy (DOE), a product classified as a "radiant barrier" must have a high reflectance of 90% or more and a low emittance of 10% or less. If it doesn't reflect at least 90% of the radiant heat, it cannot be called a "radiant barrier."
- Reflectivity: The reflectivity property of reflective surface facing a heat source across an air space allowing the aluminum to Reflect radiant heat back to the direction from which it came. Represented as a percentage.
- Smoke Development: A measurement of the obscuration of light by the combustion product stream.
- Tensile Strength: The stress at which a material breaks or permanently deforms.
- Wall Plate: Sometimes known as the top plate or ceiling plate, the wall plate is typically a 2 X 4 that is nailed along the top of the wall studs forming a wall.
- Radiant barrier foil insulation is a reflective insulation system that offers a permanent way to reduce energy costs. Radiant barrier foil insulation systems BLOCK radiant heat energy instead of absorbing it like fiberglass insulation.
- Radiant barrier reflective foil insulation is unaffected by humidity and will continue to perform at a consistent level no matter how humid it may be. A radiant barrier foil insulation system is a layer of foil facing an airspace and is installed in the envelope of a building.
In order to fully understand how radiant barriers work and how they can benefit you, the following information has been comprised to provide a foundation for your new radiant barrier knowledge and understanding.
How Heat is Transferred: Heat is transferred from one source to another via three methods of transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conductive: The transfer of heat flowing through a substance (molecular motion) or to another touching substance. If you touch a pot on the stove, the heat is transferred from the pot to your hand via conductive heat transfer.