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Is a Radiant Barrier Worth It?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jimmy from South Carolina is on the line with an insulation question. What can we do for you?

    JIMMY: I attended a presentation of a foil-type insulation which goes into your attic.

    TOM: Yes.

    JIMMY: It supposably (ph), in the summertime, reduces the heat coming into your house by reflecting the heat back.

    TOM: Right. Right.


    JIMMY: In the wintertime, it contains the heat within the house, letting it – to keep it from going …

    TOM: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah, it’s called radiant barrier.

    JIMMY: Right. How legitimate are these products and is it worth putting in?

    TOM: There’s a lot of crazy claims out there about efficiency. It’s kind of hard to pin them down. I think there’s probably other things that you can do that could be more effective for you.

    For example, most homes don’t have enough insulation to start with. So, if your house in South Carolina does not have 19 to 22 inches of batt insulation or 19 of batt, 22 of blown-in, that’s going to be the single, most cost-effective way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. If your house doesn’t have continuous ridge and soffit vents – so it’s trapping excess heat in the attic – that’s a very cost-effective improvement.           

    But radiant barrier, maybe but it’s kind of hard to tell because there’s a lot of claims of energy-efficiency but it’s very difficult to prove it out.

    LESLIE: To prove it.

    JIMMY: OK. Just wanted to check, because this here, supposably (ph), is going to save you roughly 50 percent on your energy costs per …

    TOM: Oh, well, anybody who comes and says he’s going to send you – save you 50 percent on your energy bill is like if you had no insulation and now you have insulation, maybe. But that’s – any claim that’s as outrageous as that means the product isn’t legit, in my opinion, because I don’t know any product that’s going to save you 50 percent.

    LESLIE: That truly gives you 50 percent.

    TOM: Yeah.

    JIMMY: OK.

    TOM: Very suspicious. Jimmy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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