Add a Radiant Barrier to Improve Insulation
LESLIE: David in Texas needs some help with a new home project, especially considering insulation and radiant barriers. Tell us about your new build.
DAVID: Yes, ma’am. I am going to be building a new house – traditional wood frame – in the near future. And what I’m considering is using Icynene insulation – the walls and attic – and I’ve actually been inside a house during the summertime, in an attic that had that and I was impressed at how cool it was.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Yes.
DAVID: So, my next question would be: would I be improving the insulation any at all, the r-rating, by adding radiant barrier rather than just regular sheeting – just a regular roof? I mean decking?
TOM: Yeah. I think so, although I will tell you that Icynene is a terrific choice, because not only does it insulate but it’s also an air barrier and that makes a world of difference in terms of keeping the cold air on the cold side and the warm air on the warm side, depending on the season. So, it’s a great choice.
I don’t think you would go wrong using a radiant barrier on the roof, because it will reflect a lot of the heat of the sun out and probably make the home less expensive to cool in the summer, though.
DAVID: Now, what – the house that I was in actually had – the Icynene was blown on the underside of the decking, the wood decking, and the rafters.
TOM: OK. Well, was it – was the attic finished? Was the attic part of the living space?
DAVID: No. No, it wasn’t. And what threw me on this was the attic itself was not heated and cooled. It was comfortable.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right.
DAVID: And there was no blown insulation on the joists – ceiling joists. There was no insulation between the attic and the house itself.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. Yeah. Hmm. I’m actually not sure why they did that; I would have thought that the insulation would have been at the ceiling level. But I’ll tell you what, if I were you, I would go to the Icynene website and send them a note, because they’re a good group. I’ve actually met some of the folks that run that company; very impressed with them. They’ve got a new product out that is actually based on a natural oil.
LESLIE: A linseed oil.
TOM: It’s a linseed oil.
DAVID: Hmm. Interesting.
DAVID: OK. Well, I appreciate it.