When the sun shines on your home, the natural result is that the temperature inside your house will increase. This increase in temperature is called heat gain. One reliable way to reduce the effects of heat gain is to install radiant barriers that block or redirect heat that would otherwise end up in your living spaces.
When sunshine warms your roof, heat travels through the roofing materials and radiates into your attic, warming the attic floor and HVAC system ducts in the area. Heat then radiates through the attic floor and into your home, increasing the temperature. Radiant barriers reflect radiant heat so that it doesn’t enter your home.
Radiant barriers consist of a highly reflective material, such as aluminum, that reflects radiant heat instead of absorbing it. Radiant barriers can be found in the form of paper-backed aluminum foil sheets, reflective metal shingles, laminated roof sheathing and reflective chips.
The effectiveness of a radiant barrier is influenced by three main factors:
- Emissivity: Also called emittance, this is the ratio of radiant heat energy emitted by a surface compared to a black surface with the same temperature and physical area.
- Reflectivity: Also called reflectance, this term indicates how much radiant heat is reflected by the barrier.
- Angle: This is the angle at which the heat radiation strikes the surface of the barrier.
Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates than cool ones. They should be installed by a certified professional technician who understands radiant barrier performance.
For more than half a century, Amarillo Air Conditioning has been a professional source of air conditioning, heating and indoor air quality services. Contact us today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about radiant barriers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.