Pros and Cons of Spray Foam vs. Radiant Barrier Insulation
When installing attic insulation, an argument can be made for spray foam vs. radiant barrier with available distinctive types of insulation and spray foam insulation. Several factors should be considered when choosing between these two, especially the environment that you are building in. Radiant barrier sheathing is cheap and reflects massive thermal radiation to keep attic spaces cool. Spray foam provides insulation and some soundproofing benefits from outside noise. Here are commons radiant heat barrier vs. spray foam facts.
Radiant Barrier insulation
Attic spaces are mostly heated through radiation. The foil surfaces of radiant barriers reflect the heat and stop it from radiating into the attic space.
That implies that the attic and the whole house will be more comfortable, and the effectiveness of attic insulation and the AC system will be enhanced.
A radiant barrier unvented attic can reflect up to 97% of radiation. That can significantly decrease attic temperatures. That means that your attic will stay cooler in hot summer months and discharges less heat into your home, saving on your summer cooling costs of up to 17%. Cooler attics improve your cooling system efficiency and prolongs its life by bringing down radiant barrier problems. Radiant barrier insulation may only cost a few more hundred dollars per house over regular sheathing, and it needs no special tools or trades to install. Radiant barriers intensify roof shingle temperature by only several degrees and do not affect their warranties.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is a great way to keep heat in your home in the winter and often sparks the spray foam roof insulation vs. radiant barrier discussion.
It has increased R-values that make your attic space cooler in the hotter months. Spray foam may be a good option in small homes where space is essential or in areas that are difficult to insulate.
When you subject the spray foam under radiant heat, it provides a higher R-value per inch and a way to seal your home. Spray foam insulation also helps in decreasing the temperature difference between the living room and the attic space. If you are placing ductwork in the attic, it helps your heating and cooling systems to function more effectively. However, you will have to consider energy savings with the cost of heating and cooling that extra space since you are conditioning an additional floor.
Spray foam is costly and may cost you additional thousands of dollars over typical types of insulation. It also requires trained and skilled installers because there can be gaps and holes if the installation is not done correctly. In most situations, it is the contractor that recommends the R-value in your home and not an independent agency.
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