What is a Radiant Barrier?
Built Green Custom Homes knows that most people do not have extensive knowledge of all the possibilities available for building “green” homes. At BGCH we are Certified Green Professionals and we have a broad knowledge of all your options. Sharing this knowledge with you is one of the many ways we can help you build that dream home.
Radiant barriers are one of the many “green” ways you can save on energy costs in your newly built custom home and you can read more about radiant barriers in this article.
So What Is It?
A radiant barrier is a highly reflective material, like aluminum, that is generally placed on the attic ceiling or floor to reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed by the air conditioning ductwork and the attic floor. This, in turn, helps keep your home cooler, especially in hot summer months. It also may keep your air conditioner from having to work as hard to keep your home cool.
How Much Will a Radiant Barrier Save Me?
Radiant barriers can save you up to 10% on your heating/cooling costs. Your savings will depend on what area of the country you live in; warmer states will see the biggest savings and the exact structure of your home; if your air conditioning ductwork is not in the attic the savings may not be as significant.
Are There Limitations?
Yes. Radiant barriers obstruct heat transfer by thermal radiation only. Heat may still be transferred by conduction or convection. However, pairing a radiant barrier with traditional insulation can be an effective solution to blocking a significant amount of heat from entering your home. A radiant barrier will be the most effective if thought of as a part of the home insulation whole.
Condensation can also be a concern for radiant barriers that are installed over insulation on the attic floor. In colder climates and months this could lead to water freezing on the radiant barrier.
Can I Install a Radiant Barrier Myself?
While it is possible to install a radiant barrier yourself, using a certified installer is the safer way to go. Installing a radiant barrier correctly is crucial to seeing savings in your energy costs. BGCH can provide you with a list of certified installers that are easy to work with and provide quality workmanship.
When Should I Install a Radiant Barrier?
Radiant barriers are the most affordable and easiest to install during the construction of your custom home. Not only will the radiant barrier be more integrated with your home if installed during construction, but you will also start saving on energy costs from day one. One of the many benefits of being an owner builder with BGCH is that you can make these money-saving decisions now and get the most out of your green home.
Radiant barriers are just one option for cost-savings in your new home. There are many others that Built Green Custom Homes would love to help you navigate. We are always just a phone call away!