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Anyone use a Radiant Barrier in their attic?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by spotco2, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. spotco2

    spotco2

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    The insulation thread had me thinking more and more about adding a radiant barrier in my attic.

    I recently moved my office from our main level upstairs into a room that I have always had trouble heating and cooling. The room is adjacent to my attic and was finished out when I built the house.

    The attic in the summer gets unbearable. I have a power gable vent, perforated vinyl soffit and ridge vents.

    The new office has the standard batt R19 on the knee walls and ceiling. It's about 15 degrees hotter up here than downstairs. The room is about 700 sqft and has 2 HVAC vents and 1 return. One wall has 2 large windows facing west with full sun all day.

    I'm looking for opinions on properly heating and cooling this space. Would a radiant barrier like AtticFoil.com make any difference? I am not opposed to reinsulating this space or even adding a second HVAC unit if I have to. I just don't want to spend the money on the wrong thing up front and have to turn around and spend more because the first thing did not work.
     
  2. tongix

    tongix

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    Thats a good idea. Anything to keep the heat off is good. If you go for the spray insulation route , then expect the guys will be messing the blown insulation already there. Once thats done you need to have them reblow additional insulation to get it back to specs. If compressed, there is compromise of the efficacy of blocking heat.
     

  3. heliguy

    heliguy

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    There's 2 kinds. Spray on (cheaPer) and something that looks like aluminum foil. The spray on degrades over time, I'm told that it loses 30% effectiveness in 5-10 years. The foil lasts forever....But it was like $5 a square foot or something like that...
     
  4. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

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    I was told my new place has a radiant barrier, but I haven't been in the house long enough to judge its effectiveness.
     
  5. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Ridge vent and power vent? Might be part of your problem. Shouldn't have both. Your power vent isn't drawing enough low cool air from the soffits.
     
  6. SunGunner

    SunGunner

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    I have no experience with the additional insulation but Solar Tint that they sell at home depot has worked wonders for me, especially on windows that are constantly in the sun. That with what the others are recommending should work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  7. Roadkill_751

    Roadkill_751 5 or 6 rounds?

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    :agree:
     
  8. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

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    The only claims I have seen on these products is on their websites. The two folks I know that have used the radiant barrier in their attic used the foil and they didn't notice much of a savings.

    So I don't know if I am going to be sinking $5k into some product that I'm not sure works.... maybe someone can chime in that has nothing to do with the company and has done it with some solid reviews.
     
  9. MLM

    MLM

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    The first thing I would address and would be the cheapest is the windows. Having some type of film that cuts down on the amount of heat gain may be all you're needing.
     
  10. spotco2

    spotco2

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    Exactly why I was asking....hoping someone had experience.

    As far as the ridge vent and power vent, I'll unplug the power for a few days and see if anything changes.
     
  11. DrBob

    DrBob

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    We put the reflective foil - two layers separate by about .5-.75 inch in our attic and have been very pleased. Our cooling and heating bills have been lower than our neighbors. We do have some shade trees that help a bit. We think it has made a big difference.
     
  12. spotco2

    spotco2

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    Thanks for the info.

    I think this will be a good project in a few weeks.
     
  13. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

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    At my old house, I had my sun side windows tinted. The temp in the main room of the house would be 84 even though the temp set on the thermostat was set to 78. When I put the tint on, I didn't save any money, but the actual temp in the main room dropped to 81 so it was certainly more comfortable. A lot of people in the southwest seem to go with exterior sun shades, but personally I hate the way they look. The down side to either one is they make the inside of your house dark.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  14. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    We have the foil type and have seen a difference temp. Wise in the attic and in our electric bill. It went on when the new roof did. Make sure you have enough soffit vents too. Couple that with adequate insulation and maybe some solar screens and you are good to go
     
  15. Jake514

    Jake514

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    The best value for the dollar spent will probably be:
    1. More ceiling and knee wall insulation - go for at least R-40
    2. Exterior window shade (trees, window coverings, etc.)
    3. Window film


    Radiant barriers are so-so in my opinion. Yes, in a perfect world they do work but might not provide the value you are looking for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012