An easy way to
save 15 percent
on utility bills
Saving money around the house continues to be a major pursuit for homeowners nationwide. And with a focus on going green, savvy homeowners are looking for ways to cut energy use to
reduce utility bills and their home’s carbon footprint.
There are dozens of ways to curb energy use
around the home. Sealing drafts by applying caulk
and weather-stripping around windows and doors,
and applying foam sealer around drafty outlets and
piping leading outside can save up to 5 percent on
heating costs alone. Most important, installing the
proper amount of attic insulation with the proper
airflow is generally the best way to save on home
If you are among the millions of Americans who
enjoy do-it-yourself home improvement projects,
installing a radiant barrier in the attic space above
your home is one of the most effective energy-saving projects to consider.
While radiant barriers are not a new concept,
new products on the market are making it easier
for homeowners to install them and realize reductions in their energy bills each month. Overall, a
radiant barrier can save an average homeowner
up to 15 percent on utility bills.
The benefits of installing a radiant barrier have
long been known by professionals in the construction, roofing, heating and cooling and energy
industries, says Rick Jordan of EcoRite Products,
a major radiant barrier manufacturer. Only recently
have products been manufactured specifically for
the DIY installer market.
Jordan explains that a radiant barrier is a product
that is installed in the attic — between the rafters on
the underside of a roof — to reduce the radiant heat
gain that permeates a home when the sun is beating
down on it. Radiant barrier, a particularly effective
product for summer months, also reduces heat loss
from a roof during the winter, reducing the workload
on your furnace and lowering your heating bill.
Early, less-effective versions of radiant barriers
included spray-on metallic paint, reflective chips or
products known simply as “attic foil.” Installation
was cumbersome, often requiring special tools,
adhesives or multiple installers, and the low flash
point on the older type of foil created added dangers in the event of a house fire.
It’s important to choose a radiant barrier that is
Energy Star-approved and made of metalized film,
not perforated aluminum foil. Today’s radiant
barriers are far more sophisticated, yet some are
so simple to install that no tools are required.
Enerflex Radiant Barrier is an example of new
radiant barrier technology. The product is available
nationwide through a network of lumber and building materials dealers, as well as through major
retailers. The product is Energy Star-approved and
was named one of the “Best New Products of
2010” by Professional Remodeler, a leading trade
Enerflex Radiant Barrier comes in rolls or panels,
pre-cut for 16-inch and 24-inch widths for installation ease. The radiant barrier panels literally flex
or “snap” into place between the rafters, with no
tools needed. This makes it possible for installation
to be a simple, one-person, do-it-yourself job that
can be completed in a matter of hours.
“Studies on installed radiant barrier products
show that attic temperatures are typically reduced
by a full 30 percent during the summer months,
which can translate to 30 degrees on a hot summer
day,” says B.J. Damstra of Universal Forest Products,
one of the nation’s largest building products
“In really hot climates, homeowners are finding
additional uses for radiant barriers. In Texas and
Arizona, for example, homeowners keep garages
cool by installing the product on the inside of
garage doors and walls. Outbuildings on farms or
ranches, or outdoor workshops can also be kept
cooler in the summer when the product is installed
between rafters under the roof,” Damstra says.
Jordan of EcoRite Products says adding a
radiant barrier in the cooler months makes installation safe and more comfortable for the installer.
Radiant barriers are a safe, proven tool for
reducing energy bills and reducing the strain on
a home’s HVAC system. And when you can spend
a few hours over a weekend and complete a
project that saves money month after month,
it’s hard to ignore the benefits.
www.EnerflexFoil.com for more information
on radiant barriers or to find a retailer in your area.