Understanding Radiant Heat and Radiant Barriers

To best understand how radiant barriers work, it is essential to understand the principles of radiant heat. Radiant heat is the heat transferred between two objects that are not in direct contact. So, if one object was warmed by another object that it was not touching, the exchanged heat would be defined as radiant heat. Radiant heat is also defined as part of the light spectrum. As such travels at the speed of light and will continue travelling at that speed until absorbed or reflected. As can be guessed, Radiant Barriers and Reflective Insulation act as agents to reflect Radiant Heat.

For example, when placing your hand under a heat lamp the warmth can be felt emitting from the bulb. Should a Radiant Barrier or Reflective Insulation (reflective side facing the light emission) be placed in between the heating lamp and your hand it would be reflected. In effect, the Radiant Heat is no longer warming your hand because it is being reflected by the Radiant Barrier or Reflective Insulation.

Buildings act similarly to the hand in the above example where the heating lamp is the sun. Without a Radiant Barrier or Reflective Insulation the Radiant Heat a building will absorb radiant heat. And similar to the example above, if a Radiant Barrier or Reflective Insulation is place near the outer surface of the building it will effectively reflect Radiant Heat preventing the interior from absorbing Radiant Heat. It should be noted that the Radiant Barrier or Reflective Insulation will not just reflective the direct Radiant Heat observed in the visible light from the sun but also those sources of Radiant Heat that are reflecting and emitting absorbed Radiant Heat such as asphalt, mirrored buildings etc.

Energy Efficient Home Heating Tips

Although we generally focus reducing cooling costs with reflective insulation and radiant barriers International Insulation Products can actually reduce the cost of heating your home as well. Below are some tips to help further reduce the cost of heating your home by preventing heated air from escaping out of your home and also by preventing cool air from entering. It should also be noted that while these energy saving points are addressed at residential homes many can also be applied to commercial structures.

Closing a Chimney Flue

Fireplaces can be a great means of lowering heating costs. However, if left open while not in use, a great amount of heat actually escapes the chimney. In recent studies it has been estimated that fourteen percent of a home’s heat can escape through a chimney left open. So the simple solution to prevent this loss of heated air is to close the flue when the fireplace is not being used.

Holes to Your Home Exterior

It is estimated that thirteen percent of a homes heated air can escape through unsealed or improperly insulated passages to the exterior of your home. Common problematic areas are often wire, lighting and pipe passageways. Seeking out these problematic areas and properly sealing or insulating them can result in noticeable heating and cooling savings.

Gaps in Windows

Many windows focus on features that promote energy efficiency. Even still, improper usage or installation can circumvent those features and result in increased heating and cooling cost. It is estimated that in the average homes windows account for ten percent of heated air escaping. Ensure that sashed windows are firmly closed and that weather-stripping is properly blocking all gaps. On both sashed and fixed windows, it is worthwhile to seal any stationary areas.

Unsealed Ducts

Fifteen percent of heated air is estimated to escape through improperly sealed ducts. Many times these leaks can be observed by the layman. However, if ducts can be easily seen then it can be assumed that unseen duct leaks are also allowing heat to escape. It is generally best to contact a specialist if improperly sealed ducts are suspected of allowing air to flow out and into your home.

Door Gaps

We all know that gaps in doorways, generally at the bottom of the door, can allow air to flow between the interior and exterior. This exchange is actually greater when there is a greater difference in the temperature between the air outside your home and the air inside. It is estimated that in the average home doors allow eleven percent of heated air to escape. This number can be greatly reduced by proper use of weather-stripping. If weather-stripping is too unsightly then replacing the door with a properly sized door will also reduce the exchange of interior and exterior air.


The greatest loss of heat in the home is through damaged or insufficient insulation. It is estimated that in the average home thirty one percent of heat escapes because of improper insulation. This is one area that International Insulation Products can address and provide solutions. So, should you suspect your heating bills can be reduced by improving insulation, please feel free to contact us for questions and advice.

Reflective Insulation 1960 – Present

Most homeowners understand the general concept that a home must be appropriately insulated to prevent the loss of warm and cool air. However many homes still fail to pay proper attention to the attics and end allowing the air they pay to heat, or cool, to escape out of the roof. Most homes have insulation in the typical fiberglass or cellulose form. These types of insulation do offer heating and air conservation to some degree but recent studies have show that new alternatives are more efficient.

Although reflective insulation and radiant barriers may seem new to many it has actually been extensively used since the 1960’s. Research, development and usage of radiant barriers was accelerated by NASA. Radiant Barriers and Reflective Insulation were studied in various implementations by NASA in an attempt to protect both the astronauts and the equipment from the effects of the sun’s radiation. Under the conditions of exposure to the sun’s radiation in space it was made more apparent that a highly efficient means of climate control was necessary. And so, much of the science behind reflective insulation and radiant barriers was born out of the necessity to maintain the highest level of efficiency for the survival of humans and the protection of sensitive equipment.

Almost sixty years later the research and development established by NASA is being seen as commonplace in commercial and residential insulation. Though the environment of space and earth’s atmosphere the principles of reflecting the radiant heat from the sun are still the same. Similarly, the principle of retaining heat within the home by use of radiant barriers and reflective insulation are the same. Primarily those attics with traditional fiberglass and cellulose insulation are being fitted and retrofitted with radiant barriers and reflective insulation for a much more efficient climate control system.

Metal Building Radiant Barrier Savings

International Insulation Products (IIP) offers products specifically to reduce energy costs in buildings with metal roofs. Our reflective insulation and radiant barriers have been shown to reduce air conditioning expenses by as much as fifteen percent.

IIP installed beneath roofing made of metal can highly reduce the absorption of radiant heat by via reflection. Many commercial buildings with no radiant barrier or reflective insulation often experience temperatures inside that are hotter than the air temperature outside. This does not occur with a radiant barrier or reflective insulation properly installed. International Insulation Products are further enhanced with perforated options available to remedy vapor flow that is common in many commercial buildings with high humidity.

With radiant barriers, or reflective insulation, installed radiant heat from the sun is reflected rather than absorbed effectively shielding the remainder of the building below. Radiant barriers used under metal roofing have been shown to reduce up to 97% of radiant heat.

Agricultural buildings have also shown impressive benefits from implementing radiant barriers or reflective insulation. Metal buildings which house livestock or poultry have actually seen an increase in yields from the heat reduced by radiant barriers. Studies have shown up to a 20% gain in yield from buildings that were fitted with reflective insulation or radiant barriers.

In metal buildings utilized for food storage, or other perishables, radiant barriers and reflective insulation can greatly reduce the cost necessary to maintain industry specific thermal levels. Furthermore, the radiant membranes found in many of International Insulation Products can can slow the gradual rising of heat throughout the day. The result is savings in those areas where energy rates are higher during peak hours.

The effect of radiant barriers or reflective insulation on staff within metal buildings is often overlooked when compared to energy savings. But the comfort of a workspace will almost always definitely lead to a better production and a higher quality of work from staff. With the use of radiant barriers and reflective insulation providing staff with comfortable ambient air temperatures are more financially viable.

Savings With Radiant Barriers

Looking for ways to save on utilities? Changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescent and installing a programmable thermostat will result in energy savings but an even greater way to save is implementing radiant barriers. In fact, radiant barriers have been shown to reduce energy costs by up to forty percent.

Roofing radiant barrier attic impactMany homeowners tend to think that radiant barriers cannot be installed once a home has already been insulated. However, radiant barriers can actually be installed alongside preexisting insulation.

Retrofitting with radiant barriers means that cost can be saved by using the preexisting benefits of the current insulation. Additional costs are reduced because there is no insulation removal or disposal fees which commonly occur when updating insulation. Furthermore, Energy Tax Credits can be issued for installing reflective insulation in qualified states.

While radiant barrier remodeling or retrofitting can be done by trained installers, many homeowners have found the process to be straightforward and easy enough to do themselves. Similarly, many business owners and management groups have found that retrofitting their existing commercial structure’s insulation with radiant barriers has been relatively easy and yielded great savings.

Let the Sun In

At the start of spring, most people are ecstatic to see the sun’s rays pushing the colder days of winter away. But as the spring drags on into summer just about everyone finds themselves wishing for cooler weather. In properly insulated homes the unique discomforts each season brings is considerably less of a bother. Proper insulation has come even more into focus over the last fifty years because of the steady rise of energy costs. The investment of properly insulating a structure will quickly pay for itself, continue reducing energy costs and provide a multitude of benefits that come with a comfortable ambient temperature. Below are some insulation basics to help consumers better understand insulation terminology and principles.

Insulation is a building material that absorbs or reflects the exchange of heat between the interior of a structure to outside. Heat can be exchanged three ways; Conduction, Radiation and Convection. Heat is transferred by Conduction when elevated temperatures are exchanged from two objects in direct contact. Heat is transferred by Radiation when elevated temperatures are exchanged from two objects that are not directly touching through rays of light (direct or indirect sunlight). Heat is transferred by Convection when elevated temperatures are exchanged by circulation within a given space (heat rising). Various forms and applications of insulation are better at maintaining ambient temperatures and reducing energy costs.

For North American consumers the most often seen value concerning thermal insulation’s effectiveness is a measure known as R-Value. R-Value is the value given to specify a materials resistance to conductive heat. The higher the stated R-Value the better the material will block conductive heat. Fibrous or cellular material insulations typically resist conduction. For International consumers the most standard value seen as a measure of an insulation’s effectiveness is the U-Value. The U-Value is a much broader measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer because it takes into account all three methods of heat transfer (Conduction, Radiation and Convection). Unlike R-Value, a lower U-Value shows that the material or product is more efficient at resisting heat transfer. E-Value is primarily related to reflective insulation or radiant barriers. E-Value is the measure of a material or products ability to resist heat transfer by radiation (radiant heat). A higher E-Value indicates that a material or product is more efficient at resisting radiant heat.

In order to best ascertain what product is best for a certain application the methods of heat transfer need to be considered heat-loss-diagram Once the methods of heat transfer are identified different product heat transfer resistance values can be used to determine which insulation will work best for that specific application. For example, in an attic heat is transferred primarily by conduction and radiation. A product with only the R-Value listed, as is common with most traditional insulation, may provide an effective means of preventing heat transfer via conduction but it does not address the heat transfer via radiation that is often excessive in most attics. Similarly, a product that only lists the E-Value may be an efficient means of preventing heat transfer via radiation but determining how well it will resist heat transfer via conduction is unclear because of the absence of a R-Value. Products only listing an E-Value are sometimes seen in radiant or reflective barriers. The effectiveness of products listing only a U-Value for certain applications are more difficult because all three methods of heat transfer are taken into account. It should also be noted, that many times materials or products are used in conjunction. For example, a radiant barrier with a high E-Value used in conjunction with a high R-Value cellulose insulation would likely prevent heat transfer in an attic if installed properly. Similarly, a product that combines a reflective membrane and insulation, commonly seen in reflective insulation, may provide equal or greater results, for an attic application.

Sol R Skin Title 24 Compliant

International Insulation Products is proud to announce that Sol R Skin Class A Thermal Underlayment and Sol R Skin Composite Thermal Underlayment now qualify as an accepted insulating material by the State of California’s Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal insulation.

The listing allows the contractors/users to verify the product satisfies the California Energy Commission’s requirements as stated in the 2019 Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 6).
These standards are designed to ensure new and existing buildings achieve energy efficiency.  Now Sol R Skin products are recognized as a product that makes homes more comfortable, lowers energy costs and aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  Search for us using license number T 1512.

Sol R Skin Class A Thermal Underlayment is made up of a tough synthetic underlayment bonded to a fiberglass core bonded to a scrim reinforced radiant barrier.  Because it addresses all three modes of heat transfer, radiant, conductive and convective heat transfer, it has an R-Value of 5.5, reducing attic temperatures by up to 50°.  Passing the stringent ASTM E108 set of tests, it’s a one layer Class A level fire barrier in some installations.  Also, it is the only underlayment listed by CalFire, a program designed to protect life and property.

Sol R Skin Composite is made up of a tough synthetic underlayment bonded to a scrim reinforced radiant barrier.  This product works to reduce attic temperatures by reflecting radiant heat from entering the attic.  Sol R Skin Composite can work under most types of roof materials and has shown a reduction in attic temperatures by up to 30°.

International Insulation Products is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and manufactures radiant barrier and reflective insulation products.

International Insulation Products Opens New Orlando Headquarters

Orlando, Fla. – International Insulation Products (IIP), an industry leader in reflective insulation manufacturing, cut the ribbon on its new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Orlando region. The company relocated its HQ from Atlanta, Georgia, investing approximately $350,000 into its new facility located at 8695 Transport Drive and is projecting to add two dozen jobs by the end of the year.

Please see the article from the Orlando Economic Partnership for full details: https://news.orlando.org/blog/international-insulation-products-opens-new-orlando-headquarters-and-manufacturing-facility/