Radiant barriers are utilized to reduce summer heat gain in attics and help to improve the efficiency of green building envelopes. A radiant barrier can lower heat transfer from attics to the building below, keep the attic space cooler and lower cooling costs by up to 17% in warmer climates. We take a look at how radiant barriers work, the different types of radiant barriers and some of the misconceptions surrounding them.
Radiant barriers have become somewhat shrouded in urban myth. They were not, for example, invented by NASA, but rather by the far less exciting German businessmen Schmidt and Dykerhoff in 1925.
Knowing what R-value and U-values mean is key to following energy issues and to selecting products that best suit the climate zone you are building in. R-value is essentially a product’s resistance to heat flow. Adversely, U-value measures the rate of heat transfer. This means that products with a lower U-value will be more energy efficient. It is tempting to think that these two values are direct opposites of each other, but there are some important differences to note.
Unventilated attics can help to mitigate energy loss through leaky ducts or ceiling fittings. The energy savings touted by unvented attics can be as high as 20%. However, if moisture is able to enter the unvented attic space, it may lead to roofing panel issues.
It secures a home’s energy envelope which means the homeowner saves money on energy bills and it makes for a more comfortable home. Proper installation of insulation is the key to success. It doesn’t matter what kind of insulation you choose, putting it in right will be the best way to ensure success.
All fasteners are critical. The ten “most important” fasteners in a roof panel are the ones in each corner and the six in the intermediate panel edge connections. Fasten your seat belts!
As much as 95% of US roofing starts with wood panel sheathing. This is because it’s easy to work with and provides a sturdy substrate for roofing materials. However, if the wood sheathing panels are not installed correctly, bucking may occur and this will telegraph through to the shingles causing a ‘wavy’ look. This can result in very expensive call backs for the construction company, so ensure that you follow these guidelines and the manufacturer’s instructions as well as your design professional’s outlines in order to avoid problems.