Radiant barriers have received a
great deal of attention in the past two
years, some good, some bad. To their
credit, radiant barriers significantly
reduce cooling loads in both new and
existing houses. However, the performance
claims, installation recommendations,
and sales tactics of some manufacturers
have been questioned.
Quite a battle has been brewing
between Energy Design Update, the
leading newsletter on energy-efficient
building technology, and the National
Energy Specialists Association
(NESA), a trade association representing
the radiant barrier industry.
I'll try to sort through some of the
controversy and provide useful information
of when, where, and how to
use radiant barriers.
What is a Radiant Barrier?
A radiant barrier is a layer of shiny
foil installed next to an air space