What is Radiant Barrier Foil?

Radiant Barrier Foil Houston is a reflective insulation that reflects radiant heat energy, helping to reduce cooling costs. It also helps to keep homes warmer in winter.

InsulationIt is commonly installed in new construction as a foil-backed sheathing over roofing joists. It can also be stapled to existing attics.

What is Radiant Barrier Foil?

Radiant Barrier Foil is a type of insulation that helps to reduce energy costs by reflecting radiant heat rather than absorbing it. In the summer, radiant barriers keep the sun’s heat from entering our homes, garages and pole barns, thus helping to lower cooling bills and making our living spaces more comfortable.

Radiant barriers can be made of either foil or Mylar, and they come in a variety of forms including rolls that can be draped across attic rafters; sheet goods such as a reflective insulation laminated to plywood or OSB sheathing; and spray-on materials. All of these products are intended to increase the performance of traditional attic insulation, reducing both energy bills and attic temperatures.

There are some things to consider when choosing the best radiant barrier for your home or structure, such as how well it reflects heat and how long it will last. Foil-based products are more durable than their Mylar counterparts, but both can lose some of their reflective properties over time.

Foil-based radiant barriers are also more susceptible to damage from condensation and moisture in the attic, but they tend to be less expensive than the other types of radiant barriers. They can also be more easily installed by homeowners, whereas the other types of radiant barriers require professional installation.

When choosing a radiant barrier, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s specifications carefully to understand how much heat the material will reflect and how long it will last. It’s also a good idea to speak with a professional before selecting the right product for your project.

Radiant barrier products are available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, offering different levels of durability, strength, water vapor permeability and flammability. A few of the most common types are plastic films, kraft paper, and plywood roof sheathing with a layer of aluminum laminated on top.

The most popular and effective radiant barriers are typically the rolled, foil-faced products. They are usually draped in attics over rafters and joists, creating an air space between the attic floor and the roof decking above. This approach helps to prevent dust from accumulating on the reflective surface, which can greatly decrease its effectiveness.

When used in new construction, the rolled radiant barriers are also often applied to joists and rafters prior to installing the roof sheathing, so that they are in place when the roof is being shingled. This can minimize the amount of dust that clings to the attic’s reflective surfaces.

Some people have also attempted to apply radiant barriers in older homes by stapling the foil to attic joists. However, this is generally not a good idea because the foil can trap moisture from the living spaces below, which will defeat the purpose of the radiant barrier. This type of application is also very difficult to do correctly in high-pitched attics, and should be left to professionals. It is also a good idea to install a vapor barrier and proper attic ventilation in addition to a radiant barrier.


Radiant barriers are usually installed in homes, primarily in attics, to reduce summer heat gain and cooling costs. They work by reflecting radiant heat rather than absorbing it. They do not reduce conduction or convection, however, which is why they are often supplemented with other types of thermal insulation materials.

Foil-based radiant barriers typically have a reflective surface that is made of aluminum foil, although some manufacturers offer products with different coatings. Some manufacturers also add micro-spheres or ceramic paint additives to increase the product’s efficiency. A radiant barrier may be applied as a paint or a sheet of material that is hung from the attic floor in the home.

This type of insulation is also frequently used in new construction. When building a house, contractors can install the foil-faced material right on top of the roof joists, replacing traditional plywood or oriented strand board. The installation method is designed to reduce labor costs by allowing the contractor to install the sheathing and radiant barrier at the same time.

Many homeowners also use radiant barriers in barns and outbuildings, where the reflective surfaces can help to keep the structures cooler. The material is especially effective in buildings with metal roofs, which tend to get very hot under the sun.

While radiant barriers seem to be very useful in reducing the cost of air conditioning, some experts caution against their overuse and suggest using them in combination with other forms of insulation in certain climates. Moreover, some states, such as Minnesota, have advised residents against their use because of aggressive marketing campaigns.

A radiant barrier should never be positioned so that it is facing ductwork in the attic, because it can trap heat inside the ducts and cause them to overheat. It is also important that the foil side of a radiant barrier is not touching the attic floor, because it can attract dust and other debris and interfere with the function of the attic floor insulation.

It is a good idea to have a professional install a radiant barrier, since the proper positioning and application can make or break its effectiveness. Some builders offer to install radiant barriers for their clients, and they can also be bought at most home improvement stores.

One of the most common questions people have about radiant barriers is which way they should face. The best answer is that they should be installed with the foil facing down, so that it will reflect heat away from the structure and prevent it from escaping into the attic space below.

Some radiant barrier products are sold as kits, with everything needed to install the insulation in a home, including instructions and safety precautions. They can be purchased from most home improvement stores or online. Some of these kits come with a foam or bubble wrap layer that is sandwiched between the reflective layers. These plastic products claim to have a high R-value, but they are not actually insulating the attic space because the air trapped in the foam or bubbles is doing all the work of preventing heat transfer.