Comparing Radiant Barriers to Traditional Insulation

Jun 02, 2023

If you’re exploring different types of insulation for increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you may have come across radiant barriers. You may be wondering what this is, how it compares to traditional insulation, and which one is best for your home. Here’s what you need to know.

How Does Traditional Insulation Work?

First, it helps to understand how traditional insulation works. This includes options like fiberglass insulation that comes in big rolls, cellulose insulation that’s usually blown in, and spray foam insulation. All of these types of insulation work by slowing down heat from transferring through the material. Traditional insulation includes an R-Value to signify how effective it is at preventing conductive heat gain or loss in your home.

What Is a Radiant Barrier?

Radiant barriers, sometimes called radiant barrier insulation, are another product that can help prevent solar heat gain in your home. A radiant barrier features a highly reflective surface that helps to block and reflect heat from the sun away from the house. Because it works primarily through its reflective qualities, radiant barriers are a thinner and more space-efficient option than traditional “fluffy” insulation materials.

Should I Choose a Radiant Barrier or Traditional Insulation?

Homeowners often wonder if radiant barriers or traditional insulation will better suit their needs and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. In many cases, both products used together is the best option for your home. Traditional insulation can be installed between the roof joists in the attic while radiant barriers can be installed along the roofline inside the attic. Together, these two options can offer highly effective insulating capabilities that will enhance the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

How Much Insulation Do I Need with Radiant Barriers?

As noted above, traditional insulation has an R-value that determines how effective it is and how much you’ll need. Meanwhile, radiant barriers feature an emissivity value, with a lower emissivity value being more effective. Finding the right combination of insulation levels for your home will depend on a variety of factors including the climate where you live, the current insulation levels of your home, and the unique characteristics of your home. The best way to determine how much traditional insulation you need with radiant barrier insulation is to request an energy audit and receive a recommendation from a trained professional. From there, you’ll understand more about your home’s unique needs so that you can make your insulation decisions with confidence.

Learn More with Texas Pro Insulators

At Texas Pro Insulators, we specialize in energy-efficient home improvements for homeowners throughout San Antonio and South Central Texas. If you’re interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home with radiant barrier installation and traditional attic insulation, you can find the products, services, and solutions you need with our trained professionals. Contact us today to learn more about radiant barriers, attic insulation, and other energy efficiency solutions for your home.