Below are some frequently asked questions. Feel free to click on one of the questions below to see the answer or simply scroll down to view all questions and answers. If your question is not answered here, set up a consultation or contact us. We care about our customers!
We also have videos answering many FAQ’s that our customers frequently ask. Click here to view FAQ Videos
HOW DOES RADIANT BARRIER WORK?
A radiant barrier reflects radiant heat energy instead of trying to absorb it. What does this mean in your home or business? During the winter, 50-75% of heat loss happens through the ceiling/roofing system and 65-80% of heat loss happens through walls is radiant. In the summer, up to 93% of heat gain is radiant. If you are depending on R-value (resistance) alone to insulate against heat gain and loss, remember that traditional forms of insulation are virtually transparent to radiant energy and are affected by changes in humidity (moisture levels). A 1-1/2% change in the moisture content of fiberglass insulation will result in a 36% decrease in performance (referenced from HVAC Manual 10.6; McGraw-Hill). A pure aluminum radiant barrier is unaffected by humidity and will continue to perform at a consistent level no matter how humid it may be. For more information, click here: How does Radiant Barrier Work?
HOW WILL ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD KEEP ME WARMER IN THE WINTER?
Just like wrapping a baked potato in aluminum foil keeps a potato warm longer by holding the heat in, covering your attic insulation with ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD holds the heat in the house. Another analogy would be that ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD in the winter works just like a space blanket, which, although very thin and lightweight holds your body heat in. A thin space blanket can keep you warmer than several heavy blankets.
OKAY, IF ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD KEEPS HEAT IN THE WINTER, HOW CAN IT KEEP IT OUT IN THE SUMMER?
ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD reflects the sun’s heat before it can warm up the insulation in your attic. When the insulation stays cooler, your house stays cooler. It may help to understand how ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD will work for you if you think of other things that perform in the same way; ASTRONAUTS SPACE SUITS – keep body heat in, and reflect the sun’s heat away.
WHERE DO YOU INSTALL ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD?
Where should a Radiant Barrier be installed? There are a lot of different opinion, concerns, and questions on where and how to install the radiant barrier. Now we at Energy Improvements have been in business since 1989. We have put in tens of millions of square feet of radiant barrier across the country. Now the Department of Energy recognizes five different installation applications. What application would give you the biggest savings?
At Energy Improvements we install the radiant barrier with either the rafter installation or on top of the insulation method. However, we recommend and installed over 90% on top of the traditional insulation. We not only recommend based of the research from top universities and organization but we found by installing on the rafters you lose the fallowing benefits,
- Fire Safety: Unfortunately we have had 5 customers who have had various house fires since 1989. In every case the fire fighters and even insurance representatives have made huge statements how Energy Improvements Radiant Barrier Shield has kept the fire from spreading. Also, in a few cases, helped save lives. By installing this on the rafters this benefit would have been lost.
- Lose Winter Benefit: The warmer and lighter air will escape pass the insulation and your warm attic. While at the same time the denser and cooler air will fall into your living space.
- Damage Roof Shingles: It has been shown rafter applications will literally heat your shingles up and will keep them ten degrees warmer then the outside temperature. This has led to some shingle warrantees being voided.
- Proven More Savings: In multiple studies it is shown that you will save more on your utilities bills with the shield being installed on top of the insulation.
- More Labor & Material: Finally, it takes more labor and material to do a rafter job. So in closing, if you decide to go with the rafter application, you will ultimately pay more on labor and materials. It has been proven you will receive less energy savings in the long run.
WILL ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD MAKE MY ATTIC HOTTER IN THE SUMMER?
No. In fact, research has confirmed that summertime attic temperatures will be much cooler with ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD in place.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE MY OLD INSULATION OUT BEFORE INSTALLING ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD?
No. ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD actually makes your present insulation more effective.
IF I LAY ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD ON MY REGULAR INSULATION WILL IT CAUSE A MOISTURE PROBLEM?
No. The tiny holes in ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD allow moisture to escape from you regular insulation.
I ALREADY HAVE PLENTY OF INSULATION IN MY ATTIC. DO I REALLY NEED ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD?
Regardless of how much insulation you have in your attic, adding ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD could save on your heating and cooling expense, and keep you much more comfortable. Energy savings in many homes for heating and cooling can range from 20% – 30% depending on a number of factors including climate, building configuration, materials used, site, family size and lifestyle.
HAS ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD BEEN TESTED BY A QUALIFIED INDEPENDENT LABORATORY OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY?
The Florida Solar Energy Center at Cape Canaveral has tested radiant barriers in both small scale laboratories and in full scale building models. Their results indicate that radiation barriers like ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SHIELD can provide significant resistance to heat transfer. Tests conducted by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Oak Ridge Laboratories in Tennessee, and the University of Mississippi support the findings from the Florida Solar Energy Center. Northeastern Illinois University conducted winter tests in residential and commercial structures using infra-red thermograph photography. The photos show significant resistance to heat transfer over regular insulation.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL ATTIC INSULATION AND ENERGY IMPROVEMENT RADIANT BARRIER?
At Energy Improvements we are asked, “How does a radiant barrier differ from attic insulation?” This is a great question. In order to understand the difference between Radiant Barrier and conventional attic insulation, you will need to know how hear transfers. There are three types of heat transfer
- Conduction: Conduction happens when two solid objects touch each other. Heat is transferred through the objects. A good example, is when the stove gets hot, heat gets transferred to the teapot.
- Convection: When the air is warm, warm air expands and rises.
- Radiation: Radiant heat, the movement of heat from a warm space to a cool space. A good example, a heat from a fire moving towards the colder areas surrounding the fire.
Now that we understand heat transfer let us move on to how insulation works. Insulation works with heat similar to how a sponge works with water. If we pour water into a sponge it can only hold a curtain amount of water before it begins to leak from the bottom. Insulation works by trapping air in millions of air pockets. It will slow down the heat. However, when you insulation becomes to full, then the heat will continue onto the cooler regions in your house. Traditional insulation is an important part of battling the heat transfer. The higher the R-Value the greater the insulating effectiveness.
According to the Departments of Energy, “the still air(in insulation) is an effective insulator because it eliminates convection and has low conduction.” Did you notice there is no mention of traditional insulation stopping radiant heat transfer? NASA had to deal with radiant heat in outer space where the astronauts could go from two hundred degrees below zero in the shade to two hundred degrees above in the sun. In order to protect the astronauts and the vital electronics inside the space ship they created the Radiant Barrier. Radiant barrier works off two main principles.
- Reflectivity: Heat is reflected back from where it came from. Aluminum is reflected on the hot side. The Energy Improvements Shield Radiant Barrier has 97% reflectivity.
- Emissivity: Radiant barriers work off the emissivity. Which means the amount of heat that can pass through from the hot side to the cool side. Energy Improvements Shield Radiant Barrier only allows 3% of radiant heat to pass through.
What does Radiant heat mean to you? In the summer up to 93% of heat gain is radiant heat. Even the Departments of Energy acknowledges that traditional insulation doesn’t stop radiant heat transfer. It can only stop convection and conduction. This means your air conditioner has to run longer in order to cool the excessive heat entering in your home. In the winter your house will lose up to 75% of the radiant heat. This transfer will happen and it does not matter if you have fiber glass, Rock wool, or any other style of insulation. Insulation does not stop radiant heat transfer. NASA found what stops radiant heat, and that is a Radiant Barrier.
It is also proven that a Radiant Barrier will out perform four to seven feet of conventional insulation. There is no comparison to real bottom line results.
Click here to watch a video on the difference between traditional attic insulation and Energy Improvement Radiant Barrier
DO YOU OFFER FINANCING?
Yes we do! Click here to watch a video with more information on the Energy Improvement Financing