Does Attic Radiant Barrier Work? Myths & Truths About Current Radiant Barrier Technology – Greenlife Energy Experts
Are you wondering “does attic radiant barrier work”? In this Radiant Barrier Guide, we have included the answers to this question and more.
This guide is meant to illustrate a variety of information about reflective insulation and the best radiant barrier products on the market.
This is also to help You (the consumer) understand the difference between all of the reflective radiant barrier products on the market, find out if/how they work, and which one will work for your desired application (Commercial or Residential).
Jump To Section
Use the links below to guide you to the section of this page you are interested in the most. PS: Your mind will be blown by the end of this post!
- Does attic radiant barrier work?
- How does radiant barrier work?
- Radiant Barrier VS TCM Cost Savings?
- Can we some radiant barrier reviews?
- What are some myths and truths about radiant barrier?
- Benefits Of TCM “Best Radiant Barrier”
- Is installing attic radiant barrier worth it?
Does Attic Radiant Barrier Work?
In short Yes, Attic Radiant Barrier Does Work!! We only say radiant barrier doesn’t work because we know of a product that works even better and can save you over twice as much as current radiant barrier technology. Now there is a newer-better radiant barrier product called “TCM” Thermal Control Membrane.
TCM Works Better Than Radiant Barrier!
Our Thermal Control Membrane (Best Radiant Barrier Reflective Insulation Product On The Market) actually puts traditional radiant barrier technology to shame! It’s actually surprising that someone else didn’t create this product already. It’s a very simple design that solves all of the common problems with current radiant barrier technology: Dust, Moisture and Not enough energy savings to put money back in your pocket.
What Is TCM & How Does It Compare To Radiant Barrier?
Not only did The University Of Australia prove that our radiant barrier product has the lowest emissivity rating in the world (emissivity rating of 0.2) but our radiant barrier alternative insulation never loses its emissivity to dust – The most common problem with current technology. We solved that problem years ago and are still investigating ways to make it even more effective.
Radiant Barrier Compared To TCM Cost Savings
- Savings With Current Radiant Barrier Technology: 10-15% savings on electricity
- Saving With Thermal Control Membrane: 20% savings on electricity
AND, that’s before we install the German Attic Fans that kick your savings up to 20-50%, almost 3 times higher than current attic radiant barrier insulation.
Radiant Barrier VS TCM Cost Savings Example
Receiving a $500 electric bill in Phoenix, Arizona is no shocker to most residents that live in the Valley. Let’s use $500 in a real world example of how much money you will save by installing current radiant barrier technology vs installing TCM (the best radiant barrier technology).
How Much Can I Save With Radiant Barrier Insulation
Radiant Barrier 10-15% Cost Savings = $50 – $75
How Much Can I Save With TCM (Thermal Control Membrane)
TCM W/ Attic Fan 20-50% Cost Savings = $100 – $250
How Does Radiant Barrier Work?
The Department of Energy says, “radiant barrier is a highly reflective material that reflects — or emits — radiant heat rather than absorbing it”. The problem with current technology is the fact that “radiant barrier loses reflectivity due to dust“.
“Most conventional insulation materials work by slowing the conductive heat flow and — to a lesser degree — convective heat flow. Reflective insulation systems and radiant barriers work by reducing that radiant heat gain.” Barrier Insulation
How Does TCM Work?
Don’t reinvent the wheel, just make the wheel better! TCM is basically a modified version of radiant barrier, but better! TCM eliminates the biggest problem with radiant barrier today – Dust!
TCM Works Great No Matter How Much Dust
Dust is a huge killer of radiant barrier and almost makes it completely ineffective in some cases. Sure you save a bunch of money at first but over the years, as the dust accumulates, your radiant barrier will stop working as good as it used to. This leaves you in the exact same situation as not having radiant barrier at all.
Why spend all that money and be left with nothing to show for it after several years? TCM keeps working no matter how much dust is present. Areas like Phoenix, Arizona receive a generous amount of dust every year, leaving home owners who install radiant barrier confused as to why they even got it installed in the first place. We believe in our product so much it comes with an unconditional money back guarantee if it doesn’t give you the kinds of savings we are clearly stating.
Example Of Radiant Barrier VS TCM’s E Rating
Low emitting Infrared surfaces are rated on something called an “E” Rating. Unlike the insulation in your home is likely thick batting which is rated with an R Value. E Rating measures surfaces that are able to keep their cool under heat. These surfaces are much better for “insulation” because they are simply deflecting or containing the radiant heat much like a thermos bottle does.
For example: If a surface of something had an “E” Rating of 0.00, that would mean that surface was so reflective that heat has no effect on that surface at all. Of course, very few things in this world can make the list of having the lowest “E” Rating. The Graph below shows surfaces that have an “E” Rating and where each product ranks according to how low their E rating is. This graph clearly shows that TCM has a lower E rating than any material on the planet, much less radiant barrier.
TCM Has The Lowest E Rating In The World
Radiant barrier isn’t even in the same ball park as TCM. You’re better off installing aluminum foil vs installing current radiant barrier insulation. As you can see in the E rating graph above, TCM has the lowest E rating of any material on the planet – meaning, it can reflect more heat than any other material or radiant barrier product in the world!
Lowest Radiant Barrier “E” Rating is .25 Thermal Emissivity
TCM’s “E” Rating is .02 Thermal Emissivity (Lowest In The World) far less than current radiant barrier technology.
Now that we all understand what an E rating is and why it matters, let’s try to lay these radiant barrier myths to bed once and for all so we can finally understand how this stuff is supposed to work.
What Consumer Reports Are Saying
Radiant Barrier Reviews
MYTHS & TRUTHS ABOUT RADIANT BARRIER
The myths and truths about the best radiant barrier products
MYTH: The best way to use a radiant barrier in a home in Arizona is to install some kind of foil-type reflective barrier stapled to the trusses in your attic.
TRUTH: While this method of installation is one of the only two approved methods of installation there are a few things not being factored in this question.
First of all, not all products are created equal, if you think so, then you might want to just staple some tin foil in your attic because that is actually better than some of the leading radiant barrier type products. Using a Thermal control membrane radiant barrier like this one LINK which has the lowest emissivity rating of any material, 0.02, rivaling only highly polished silver. Every other product has a rating of 0.25 or greater. See graph below to clarify.
Second, this staple method is only for existing homes, there are far superior reflective products that are made for new build applications.
Third, this is the most time consuming and most expensive way to install a radiant barrier, taking up to two weeks in some installations. It usually takes less than one day to install Thermal Control Membrane. Clearly you will spend more to have a group of installers at your home for 2 weeks in your attic multiplying the risk to your home and your wallet, versus a 1 day TCM install.
MYTH: The type of radiant barrier that is laid on an attic floor will lose reflectivity quickly in Arizona because of heavy dust over time.
TRUTH: There can only be one. Thermal control Membrane, the best radiant barrier product available, Is the only one in the industry that has a dust proof design. This myth is absolutely true, for all other Radiant Barrier products. However, The patented dual-mesh design of TCM allows you to simply lay out the barrier between the studs without using staples or glue The top layer acts as a sacrificial layer which will accumulate dust over time, however, just like a thermos bottle needs space, this material has a mesh layer and then a secondary layer of the same durable lightweight material. In this application with this patented design, this product is guaranteed performance forever with no affect by dust whatsoever.
MYTH: The material should be installed leaving a space at the ridge and at the eaves; that way the heat can flow out of ridge vents or gable vents in your roofing.
TRUTH: There is some truth to this myth. An attic does require some kind of venting solution when you install a radiant barrier. In more extreme climates like the desert, just having vents on your roof isn’t doing anything for the radiant heat trapped in your attic. Having a proper fan/vent solution is actually a very important part of radiant barrier installations that frequently gets overlooked.
Installing a proper venting solution for your home is an absolute must in hot climates and will be different for everyone because of the different types of homes. Most homes in Phoenix, Arizona have only a few types of roofs, making a proper venting solution much easier and more modular. You must have at least one or two attic fans that are on a temperature triggered automatic switch. The fans must be on a specific side of your home in order to maximize venting (pulling cool air from the north side means you have to put your fan blowing out the south side and have some good vent holes on the north side to pull from. After a fan venting system is installed properly, all other holes like whirly birds and other vents and soffit vents must be covered up in order to contain the air flow in the desired direction of travel.
MYTH: Radiant Barriers only work in Hot climates.
TRUTH: False claims again on this myth. When talking about cold climates and containing the heat in your homes there are not very many radiant barrier products in this market yet. This is because of the moisture in colder climates. Radiant barriers can trap moisture in your attic because they don’t have any way to regulate the moisture. However, there is a highly reflective perforated radiant barrier specifically designed and tested on cold climates. The perforations insure that moisture emitting from the house will not condense below the membrane.
Keep your heat in during the winter and out during the summer with this extremely innovative attic insulation product: This also eliminates ice dams! When you stop the heat from the house melting the snow on the roof ice dams cannot form. Simply roll this membrane out over your existing attic insulation to prevent ice dams, keep heat in and make every room in the house the same temperature. Oh, ya, and did I mention the manufacturer claims of dropping your heating bill by at least 30%. Don’t believe me? Check it out here.
MYTH: You can buy radiant barrier material and put it in yourself, but it is important to put it in properly to get the desired result. Having the right radiant barrier correctly installed is vital.
TRUTH: YES, of course. You can go to the hardware store and buy a reflective barrier off a roll and put it in yourself. You may want to consider having it installed by professionals and done properly. This is a product that could potentially cause house fires if installed incorrectly, especially if you have gas appliances or recessed “can lights” at home. Not all radiant barriers are created equal. Most claims by radiant barrier companies clock in at around 10% savings just on you’re A/C cost in summer time. That is not worth me getting out of bed in the morning to talk to one of these companies, sorry. That being said, there is a product that when installed correctly with a proper venting solution can reach entire power bill savings of more than 30% some up to 50%. Did that wake you up? I will get out of bed for those savings, especially living in Arizona where the homes are all grossly inefficient by design. This product is the longest standing radiant barrier product on the market touting more than a 25 year lifespan.
MYTH; a homeowner with a bunch of R-30 to R-38 insulation probably won’t get much more help from a radiant barrier. It is more cost effective to upgrade your insulation.
TRUTH: FALSE AND FALSE. This is a trick question right? You have insulation in your attic, why would you need a radiant barrier too? Why not more insulation?
I will tell you why. Have you seen your insulation in your walls and in your attic? It is a thick “cotton fluff” material. What does that matter? Well, If you live in a hot desert like Phoenix, AZ you may want to consider this question. What do you think would happen if you wore a thick sweater in the middle of summer? That is how your house is designed; it has a thick sweater on it that keeps the heat in the walls and ceiling long after the sun goes down.
“Since the early twentieth century, the system of building regulations in the United States has been based on model building codes developed by three regional model code groups. The codes developed by the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) were used on the East Coast” -Wikepedia
The building codes all come from the East coast where the homes are designed to keep the heat in. They just decided to throw a huge AC unit on the home now to keep it cooler. By a massive oversight this metal box gets connected to a 150 degrees metal elbow that goes directly on top of your roof that gets up to 200 degrees in summer. This air handling is now system struggling to distribute cold air through your 180 degree attic.
Do you see the inherent problems here?
THE BIG MYTH: The real question about radiant barriers, as with any insulation, is whether it warrants the cost. From a pure return on investment standpoint, radiant barriers are not the place to start saving on your cooling bill. Even though everyone agrees that it provides at least some savings on air-conditioning.
“The Department of Energy says in general that radiant barrier “can lower cooling costs between 5 to 10 percent when used in a warm, sunny climate.”
“Fi-Foil, a Florida manufacturer of barriers used in the Phoenix area, says that AC savings can be up to 10 to 12 percent.”
THE BIG TRUTH: This is False! Pretty much all radiant barrier products today are not being installed with proper attic venting and fan solution packages for one, which dramatically reduces the effects of radiant barrier. Imagine a highly reflective product just under your roof with no way to escape, that is called a solar oven. There are testimonies of people who experienced higher cooling cost after radiant barrier systems. Some folks experience temporary savings until the summer time or until the product collects too much dust to be effective. There is one that will save you anywhere from 20-50% on your power cost to run your home in extreme climates like Arizona. You can get a 3 year return on your investment, with an option to finance for no money down and you can get up to a 30% discount on the cost. You may have guessed it, but yes, once again, the best all-around reflective radiant barrier available today. It has been around the longest and it is of course the Thermal Control Membrane, “The best radiant barrier” Comes through yet again:
Benefits Of TCM “Best Radiant Barrier”
We say TCM is the Best Radiant Barrier for a reason, or a lot of them:
- Your A/C will use far less energy to cool the home and the home will stay cool longer
- Can be used to wrap A/C units to keep the entire home the same temperature
- Can be used for residential, commercial, industrial and new construction applications
- The Furnace will heat faster and keep your home or business warmer longer
- More comfortable living all year around
- Can be installed over your existing insulation, no need for insulation removal
- Up to 40% savings on utility bills (more with solar and proper venting system)
- Smaller Carbon Footprint
- All room of your home will be cooled and heated the same temperature
TCM was featured on ABC’s EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER, click on the link to watch the video.
UNIVERSITY Of Western Australia Confirms TEST: LOWEST EMISSIVITY (HEAT RETENTION) OF ANY MATERIAL IN THE WORLD. (0.02 E RATING) The same rating as highly polished silver.
The only product to have this kind of warranty; “TCM has an unconditional, money back guarantee.
If you pay cash and are not completely satisfied with this innovative energy conservation product, simply return it for a full refund. If you are shopping for a radiant barrier or reflective insulation product, ask for the validated testing, a performance warranty and if it works when covered in dust.
Thermal Control Membrane (TCM), is the only available dust proof thermal radiant barrier. TCM Radiant Barrier is an extremely effective way to increase comfort, reduce consumption and keep rising energy bills in check. TCM was chosen to be installed on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover for the Yazee family in Pinion Arizona. TCM has allowed multiple architects to win awards for the efficiency of their projects.
Additional Health Benefits of TCM Product Protect your electronics and family from EMFs:
Faraday Protection: All TCM products offer excellent Faraday protection which protects sensitive electronic and computer based equipment from EMP or unwanted electromagnetic fields.
Off Peak Load Shifting
By pre-cooling a home (in hot climates) and shutting off the a/c when expensive on peak hours start, significant reductions in energy costs can be obtained. Conventional insulation cannot stop the influx of heat during on peak hours and by 3pm the attic heat has reached the ceiling. TCM keeps the insulation much cooler which allows the a/c system to be turned off and “coast” until Off Peak times starts (typically 7pm or 8pm).
Major Demand Reduction
With the air conditioning off during On Peak hours (this is the only time demand is charged), and an inexpensive water heater timer to keep the 5kw hot water tank from running during On Peak times, the cost of an expensive load controller can be averted and in reality, have lower demands than with a home energy management load controller.
TCM is the most versatile thermal insulation product in the world. Designed for whatever application you see fit on your home.”
Is Attic Radiant Barrier Worth It?
We hate to be biased but if you are planning on going with any other radiant barrier in the world besides TCM, then no attic radiant barrier isn’t worth it! Let us prove to you below why TCM radiant barrier is worth it!
Why TCM Radiant Barrier Is Worth It
- Best working radiant barrier on the market
- E-Value: Completely block radiant heat transfer unlike other R-value systems
- Can be used for nearly all insulation applications
- Can save you up to 50% On Electricity when installed as a system
- Can be installed on top of your blown-in insulation
- Makes all the rooms in your home the same temperature
- Works during the winter time to keep home warmer longer
- The only radiant barrier that comes with a guarantee
- Makes your home for comfortable all year long