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Radiant Barrier on walls


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By Alan in Spring, TX on 9/27/2006


Hi All,

New here. I'm about to build a new house and am thinking of having the westward facing walls (innards) constructed with some radiant barrier material (similar to roof decking). Does anybody think this is a good/bad idea?

 

Thanks,

Alan

 


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By Nori in Houston, TX on 10/9/2006


From what I've gathered, the radiant barrier system works well in a skin vented home. The radiant barrier only works where the sun hits the building directly and must face an air space of a minimum of 3/4". You can see some wall cross section details in the web for this type of construction. I have the same situation with the house I'm planning to build in Austin. The lakeview is on the west side, so this is what  I plan to do.

Tom Tynan, a radio home talk show host in Houston has a website that addresses this topic too. He claims his utility bills are really low.

 


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By Verl in Bedford, TX on 3/24/2007


Don't know if you are still interested in information on using radiant barrier panels as shields on exterior walls. There are several builders in the Tarrant Co area of Dallas Fort Worth area who are doing this construction. One of them has gone to using it on all exterior walls as selling point to differentiate himself from other builders in price range. These homes usually have fiberglass batt insulation and composition roofs.

From what I read in news articles, homeowners believe they have lower energy costs.

Some builders think it is not cost effective, but that could just be reluctance to admit to new technology--something most of them seem to hang on to.


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MARK 's Forum Posts: 5

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By MARK in NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX on 5/5/2007


I just finished my house and put a new type of wrap (Tyvek-type) that is a radiant barrier as well as a moisture barrier. I'm looking forward to seeing how my electric bills fare this summer. From everything I have studied it should make a difference.
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Jeff's Forum Posts: 28
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By Jeff in San Antonio, TX on 5/5/2007


Can you list the name and where you purchased it?
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By MARK in NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX on 5/5/2007


I purchased it direct from Innovative Insulation Inc. radiantbarrier.com

The product cost me $430 to cover 2,800 sq ft total U/R. They gave me a free hot water heater jacket with the first purchase.

$.10 per sq ft to install.

I had such a great experience building, and the home turned out so well; I have two people under contract to build homes for them.


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By Gray in Dallas, TX on 6/7/2007


I installed radiant barrier foil in my attic. Purchased the product here: AtticFoil.com. Best prices around, and I was able to pick up to save on shipping charges. Very helpful with installation pics and tips on attic ventilation also.
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Michael Penn's Forum Posts: 81
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By Michael Penn in Dripping Springs, TX on 8/10/2007


That radiant barrier "tyvek substitute" looks like a really good idea for controlling heat transfer, and reasonably priced compared to Tyvek.  I wonder how its moisture dealing characteristics compare with Tyvek.

Recently, I went thru a little minicrisis when it came time to order my roof decking material.  It got me into a flurry of calls to talk to insulation contractors to get their opinions as to whether foilback OSB or plywood was worth it since I'm going to spray foam up against it.  Several said no it wasn't if there's no air space on the foil side, but a couple said there might still be a benefit.

It was going to cost a thousand or so more, so I decided against it.  But did end up upgrading to plywood over OSB.


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By Donnie in Kennedale, TX on 8/11/2007


Alan, any RBS (radiant barrier system) in walls (only West and South for a limited budget) and all of the roof are definitely worth the incremental cost increase.  Here's another take on your scenario.  It's merely an investment opportunity.  If you took the same amount of incremental cost and invested in any interest-bearing account, energy efficiency will "almost always" outperform any CD, stock, etc.  I've been in the energy efficiency business for 20+ years and I can tell you that energy efficiency projects (the one you are talking about as well) will easily reap 10%+ IRR (internal rate of return) with zero risk.  If you need sources about different construction techniques, let me know and I can load you up (most of which you probably have already researched).  Thanks, Donnie.


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By Jeff in San Antonio, TX on 8/11/2007


I would love some reading and education on different construction techniques to save energy. Please post some.
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By Rick in Frisco, TX on 11/10/2008


Go to thermacotesystems.com. Plenty of info.
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By DCG in Lago Vista, TX on 11/10/2008


Remember that the radiant barrier requires an air space to function properly. 

I just saw a higher-end home done here in Austin.  They installed a metal roof with a radiant barrier, and then shot foam right on top of the radiant barrier... I wouldn't trust most contractors to know the answer to the "will it work" question.

 

On our home, we're not using a radiant barrier on the roof, but we are shooting foam.  Same deal with the walls - even the east/west sides. Radiant barriers are not being considered due to a lack of adequate air pocket to move the heated air.


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By Eric in Rosholt, SD on 5/29/2009


I searched quite a while before I decided to go with an ALV product from Buyreflectiveinsulation.com. The reason I chose this product was that it had a 2" adhesive strip on the edge of the product which really made it easy to install. Overall, I am happy I installed a barrier in my attic. I will be using this or a similar product on any future projects I may have. The picture I included was taken of the product I purchased and am pleased with.

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By Ben on 12/29/2010


There are two types of radiant barrier - perforated, which lets some moisture through, and solid, which blocks all moisture.

Also, the contractors you spoke with were correct - if there is no air space on the foil side, then you will not see a large benefit.

You can learn more about the types of radiant barrier, installation, and energy savings at EcoFoil Radiant Barrier.  On the homepage there is a menu option "Learn about foil", which has a wealth of information.

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By Michelle in Fort Worth, TX on 4/15/2015


We bought radiant barrier from a www.radiantguard.com and then installed it up under our roof rafters following the instructions found on their website.  Our neighbors had radiant barrier professionally installed in their attic and swore by the results so we decided to look into it as well but opted to install it ourselves and save money.  I couldn't believe how much cooler it made our attic.  Every time a maintenance guy comes to check our water heater or ac unit, they always comment on how cool it is in our attic.  We also put some of our leftovers on the inside of our garage doors.
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