What is Radiant Barrier foil? Radiant Barrier foil is a highly reflective material that can save you up to 30% on your energy bills. If installed correctly this energy saving material will reflect 97% of the radiant heat away from your home instead of absorbing the heat.
The best thing about Radiant Barrier is you can install it yourself with just a few tools. Here are the tools you need to do-it-yourself installation and a few safety tips to remember.
Always think safety and use common sense when working on ladders or in attic spaces. Drywall is not strong enough to hold your weight, so be careful. You also might consider unrolling the Radiant Barrier and cutting it into shorter lengths on solid ground. The smaller, lighter pieces are easier to manage in a tight attic space.
In most cases the radiant barrier will be installed perpendicular to the rafters. Staple the foil from rafter to rafter with an air pocket of at least a few inches between your roof and the reflective material. The purpose of the air space is to prevent conductive heat transfer, which absorbs heat. With the air space between the roof and the foil you get the optimal reflective properties of the Radiant Barrier. Working from top to the bottom, overlap the radiant barrier by 2-3 inches. You can leave a gap of about twelve inches from the bottom and another gap at the very top of the roof. Both gaps are for the small percentage of radiant heat that does get through, giving it a way to escape back outside.
DO NOT PUT RADIANT BARRIER ACROSS ATTIC VENTS. When air conditioning duct work is suspended from the rafters, you may work around the fasteners or carefully remove the strap, install the radiant barrier, then replace the strap as it was originally hung. Radiant barrier foil is unaffected by humidity and will continue to perform at a consistent level no matter how humid it may be.
Remember: It gets hot up there in the attic, so keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and take plenty of breaks.
Wen working around electrical lines and power cords be extra careful, the reflective material may conduct electricity. Keep your eyes open for exposed wiring or exposed electrical boxes. Be sure to remove any electrical lines attached to rafters. Remove the wires carefully, staple up the barrier, and then reattach the wires. Also, most people are familiar with traditional insulating materials such as fiberglass, cellulose, Styrofoam, and rock wool that may be in their attic. Please have minimal skin contact with fiberglass insulation(use gloves and wear long sleeves to prevent prolonged contact). If you do come in contact with fiberglass, do not rub your eyes (wash hands first). After you’re finished installing your Radiant Barrier you’ll have years and years of comfort and energy savings.