Radiant Barrier in Attic

I love NC. I love that winter lasts for 2-weeks and that people freak out when there is a chance of snow. I love that the flowers start blooming in February and we can enjoy living outside and being outside a lot more often than when we lived in Michigan, because y’all – it gets COLD up there. But here is the thing, July in NC, it’s like January in Michigan. There might be like 1-nice day and the rest are a bit of a doozy. Like multiple days above 100 – yikes.

We’re always trying to find ways to cute down on our energy costs and summer heat is obviously a bear for our AC bill, so in addition to our insulation we already have in our attic, we thought it would be a good idea to add in a radiant barrier for some extra heat repealing goodness. Ever installed one of these? Ever heard of them?

This is what it looks like – a massive roll of tin foil.

Radiant Barrier Attic

And this is what your husband looks like after installing said radiant barrier. Does that smile look forced? I feel like he didn’t want to be cheesin at this moment in time. Not transmitted via photo – stank. Lots of it. DIY_Attic_Insulation

Our attic is actually pretty well suited for this install since 1) our hvac runs up there and 2) we have a pretty accessible peak where Jay can easily stand up and get to all of the nooks and crannies without bumping his head or having to stretch up too much.

Side note – all of my life I just hand things to husband and send him up the attic ladder and say – Jay – can you put this up there. Coming UP to the attic, I see that once things cool off in the temp zones that I may need to ahem – organize said things vs just landing them at the nearest locale at that precise moment in time 😉

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So here you can see our HVAC running through the ceiling, and before, when it was getting hot as hell up here, all of our system equipment was prone to the same temperature fluctuations as this very warm, unconditioned space. Not ideal.

Radiant_Barrier_In_Attic

The DOE recommends hiring someone out for this, since they say proper installation = success, but Jay’s been meticulous about following the guidelines they outline to ensure you have a working product. Here is the website page we read, and we found it pretty helpful for our install process.

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Overall, this should reduce cooling costs by 5-10% in warm, sunny climates (which NC definitely qualifies as!), so at $160, I’d say we’re looking at about a 4 year ROI – but I still need to go through and crunch the numbers and track them over time to see where we’ll land.

Has anyone else tried this in the past? I’m hoping it’s a relatively low cost way to make our house a bit cooler over these very hot NC summers.

 

2 thoughts on “Radiant Barrier in Attic

  1. Yes, we have used this product and installed it ourselves. We did the salesman thing and were definitely not going to pay the outrageous price he wanted to sell it for. We live in SW Florida so you can imagine the heat we are dealing with. After 4 years it has paid for itself, and yes it does keep the attic cooler in the summer. The added bonus is that I have not had to turn the heat on during the winter since then. Granted we only used it a few times each winter, but with this radiant heat barrier, it keeps the temperature constant year round.

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