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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always used traditional batt or cellulose insulation in all of my jobs but I have one customer asking me to install the Reflective Radiant Barrier Insulation instead. I told her I had never done it before and I would need to do some research and get back to her but from what I can see so far, this stuff does not appear to have a good return on investment. It looks like it will help keep an attic cooler in the summer months but won't help much in the winter.

What is the general consensus around here on the reflective radiant insulation products?
 

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I'm assuming this is an attic installation. You can set paper faced to either reflect radiated heat back into the house or back out of the roof. When installed to reflect radiation back into the house, it looses it's effectiveness over the years due to dust settling on it - very poor performance in a heating situation.

The only application where it's of any use long term is stapled to the rafters in a high cooling climate, where you can get a drop in attic temps (with a conventionally insulated attic) from 140 F to 120 F, so you can save some on AC during the day time. The house still has to have proper attic ventilation, so the install has to allow for proper airflow - do it wrong and you can have moisture issues.

Dropping attic temperatures in a heating situation is going to cost you money. Radiant barriers aren't significant insulation - there is some true insulating value just from the boundary layer air forms along the surface, but you get that effect from stapling up old newspapers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SLS - No not by itself but in combination with batt insulation

hDavis - Thanks, yes I am leaning towards telling my customer that I don't recommend it and if she still does want to have it installed, she will need to find a specialist, because I definitely don't have experience with this stuff and I don't want to end up causing this customer moisture issues and the like with improper insulation.
 
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