Is a Radiant Barrier a Type of Insulation?

Insulation is an essential part of improving home performance. In a place that grows as hot as Arizona, you don’t want a poorly insulated home, since it will allow excess heat to seep inside and put extra pressure on your air conditioning system. (And your AC already gets enough work during the summer as it is!) Putting in the proper levels of insulation throughout a house is an essential part of maintaining comfort and energy efficiency.

A radiant barrier is different from other types of insulation in an important way

You may have heard about an option for keeping heat out of your home called a radiant barrier. It sounds like it’s a type of insulation. And it is, since it helps prevent heat from entering your house. A radiant barrier is installed into the roof of a home, where its reflective material deflects away the thermal radiation from the sun. This heat energy is what is responsible for raising the temperature within attics to blistering levels (130°F) during even moderately hot days, which will end up raising the temperature of the rest of the house.

What makes a radiant barrier different from other forms of insulation is that they only inhibit the transfer of heat by radiation. The other types of insulation, such as fiberglass batts and spray-in foam, inhibit the movement of heat by convection (movement through air) and conduction (movement through contact). A radiant barrier therefore fills in a gap in the insulation power of other forms or insulation, and vice versa.

A radiant barrier is a good addition to your home insulation

Homes in some parts of the country can find sufficient insulation for their attics by stopping heat entering through convection and conduction. A thermal barrier won’t make a significant difference. But in Arizona, where we’ve have plenty of sun pouring down on our roofs around the year, placing that extra protection against thermal radiation is one of the best ways to keep out the heat. After all, you can’t have too much defense against high temperatures when you live in a desert. (And your air conditioner will thank you for the relief!)

Call Magic Touch Mechanical for radiant barrier installation in Peoria, AZ.