One of the best ways you can protect your residential or commercial property is to install a quality radiant barrier.
These are our top 10 radiant barriers on the list:
- RadiantGUARD Ultima
- Houseables Radiant Barrier Insulation
- Diamond Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Foil
- RadiantGUARD XTREME
- US Energy Commercial Grade Solid White Foil
- US Energ Radiant Barrier
- NASA TECH Green Energy Radiant Barrier
- SmartSHIELD 5mm 24”X50ft Foam Core Radiant Barrier
- SmartSHIELD 3mm 48″x50Ft Foam Core Radiant Barrier
- US Energy Double Sided Reflective Heat Radiant Barrier
For those of you in the rush, these are our top 4 choices for different purposes:
|TopTOP QUALITY||Radiant Barrier - RadiantGUARD Ultima FOIL HEAVY GRADE 1000 sq ft roll | 48-inch by 250-feet | U-1000-B | Reflective Insulation Perforated Attic Insulation Foil – Blocks 97% of Heat||Check Price|
|BEST ON BUDGET||Houseables Radiant Barrier Insulation, Aluminum Foil Roll, 1000 Square Ft. (250 x 4 Feet), Reflective, Solar Guard Backed Material, Heat Barriers, Commercial, Residential, Industrial Grade, Perforated||Check Price|
|BEST FOR DIY INSTALLATION||500 sqft (4ft x 125ft) of NASA TECH Commercial Grade Perforated No Tear Green Energy Radiant Barrier Reflective Insulation Attic Foil Roof Attic House Wrap SCIF RIFD||Check Price|
|BEST FOR NOISY SPACES||SmartSHIELD -5mm 24''X50ft Reflective Insulation Roll, Foam Core Radiant Barrier, Heat-Cold Shield, Thermal Foil Insulation - Pure Aluminum||Check Price|
10 Best Radiant Barriers
Not all barriers are made the same, however, some have a varied thickness, the ability to reflect heat on both sides, and others that have foam centers. Below are the leading radiant barriers that are available on the market and are easy to install to either new or existing properties.
At 1,000 square feet, the RadiantGuard Ultima Foil is one of the best radian barrier options out there for new homes and those who are looking to replace the current insulation.
Because of their heavy-duty design, they have the ability to reduce the current heatwave happening in your attic by up to 40 degrees. You can expect your power bills to be drastically lowered because it maintains the temperature in the home and the heat does not rise excessively.
It is not only ideal for residential homes and properties, but this radiant barrier works great also in the commercial industry. For areas that have high ceilings allowing heat to rise, there needs to be a barrier where that heat will not pass and maintain its temperature for longer periods of time.
Homeowners are also taking advantage of this radiant bower, using it to insulate outdoor workshops and sheds where items are stored, minimizing the damage done by humidity. If you use a shed outside for decorations, tools, and other excessive storage, you want it to be in an area that will maintain the best temperature at all times. With a quality radiant barrier like RadiantGuard Ultima Foil, it can be added to current or new constructions in all types and sizes.
It is critical to mention that this radiant barrier is non-toxic to you, your pets, or your employees if used commercially. You can expect rodents and pests to avoid this barrier, as it is not the right material for their nesting grounds. Before you use this radiant barrier, make sure you store it in a dry area until you use it. It will also have a higher price point than most other radiant barrier options.
Another leader in the race for the best radiant barrier is the Houseables Radiant Barrier Insulation. It comes in rolls of 1000 sq feet and is reflective, which is essential for new construction or those you are replacing in existing homes.
This barrier’s reflectiveness is double-sided and 97 percent, so it either sends heat back into your home or away from your home, depending on which side you use. While you should avoid hard handling, it can withstand such treatment and will not wrinkle or rip. All that is required for installation is a pair of utility scissors to ensure that it is cut correctly and then installed.
Because of the aluminum, it prevents the growth of bacteria or fungi in your attic or garage where humidity likes to build. Deflecting and reducing the humidity in the area where it is used keeps it from growing while also deterring pests who like to nest in these environments.
The cooling costs in the summer can be reduced by approximately 10 percent because of its ability to reflect the heat away from the home, garage, shed, or commercial building where it is being used. Before being released to the public, it did undergo the American Society for Testing and Materials text, where it surpassed the requirements for smoke and fire. It will meet building codes at the commercial and residential levels.
Once it is installed, there is no need for additional maintenance annually or periodically, as the quality of the foil will maintain as long as it is up and not torn.
If you are looking for a radiant barrier that is solar in nature, the Diamond Radiant Barrier may be the right option for your building. Purchased in packs of 1000 square feet, this foil is reflective at 99 percent, one of the most reflective foils on the market.
This reflection is maintained through the barrier on both sides, so no matter how it is rolled out, it is able to protect and deflect unwanted heat into your home. While it is easily applied on new construction properties, it can be used on existing homes, garages, and sheds that need the old barriers removed and replaced with this.
When you are installing this barrier, you do not need any fancy equipment, just a good pair of utility scissors so that you can make the necessary cuts into the barrier and then place it where it needs to be. Once it is installed, that is all you need to do for installation. There is no further maintenance required or additional steps. The material is resistant to bacteria and fungi, preventing these unwanted cultures to develop. With a reduced humid environment, their potential for growth is reduced substantially.
This radiant barrier has undergone the appropriate testing by the ASTM and has been approved for both smoke and fire testing. The main purpose of this was designed for attics and floors above basement levels, but it has proven to be essential in all types of constructions, large and small.
NOTE: It can be used in different commercial buildings that are looking to replace their current barrier and improve their overall utility usage. If you are not satisfied with this product, you have a window of 120 days to return it as weell.
Another RadiantGuard product, the XTREME line is meant for industrial areas that absorb lots of heat. It is a heavier barrier, coming in at 1000 square feet but also 28 pounds per roll. The barrier is able to reflect up to 95 percent of radiated heat once it is installed and has this ability on both sides of the barrier.
This barrier is also permeable, allowing moisture to escape without becoming trapped and producing undesired dampness. Because of its capacity to deflect heat from the outside or heat rising up, this EXTREME RadiantGuard, like the other lines, is designed to keep your home’s attic roughly 40 degrees cooler than its current temperature.
While it can be used residentially, this line is geared towards the industrial sector, giving them the opportunity to use a stronger barrier and apply that 40-degree difference found in the residential attic to their overall building where there are multiple floors and high ceilings that have no additional room between them and the roof.
Because of the strength of this product, you may be able to use utility scissors, but a hack saw is often preferred to cut the material and make it right for the installation. You also want to keep in mind that while you are using this barrier, you are protecting yourself and your employees since it is non-toxic and ideal for workplaces where those working will spend nearly a third of their week.
NOTE: You can use this product on a commercial property that has just been built, or you can upgrade an existing building that may be in a remodeling stage. This model is unique due to its weights and industrial features.
Coming in as one of the best options but with a different look is the US Energy Products: Commercial Grade While Foil Radiant Barrier. This foil is not designed with perforations but does come in the 1000 square foot role. There is reflective insulation on this radiant barrier that is 5 layers. The outer two layers are made of aluminum foil so that it gets a 99 percent heat reflection once it is installed.
While it was designed for industrial buildings, it can be used residentially, making it one of the best radiant options on the market.
Once it is installed, there is no maintenance required because this barrier is foil-based. This means that it does not allow moisture through, creating an environment for mold, fungus, or other unwanted growth on your property.
If you are using this for a commercial property, you want to make sure that it lines the entire duration of the ceiling, since most of these buildings do not have attics. If there is an attic, treat it like a residential property and line the entire area.
Depending on how warm your climate is where you are located, you could see as much as 40 percent or more saving in the summer when the outside heat is deflected back from the building. This can also help in the winter when the heat is rising and needs to be reflected back to the ground level where your employees are located.
It will help you Reducing the use of your HVAC system in your building and reduce future energy costs.
Made for residential properties, the standard foil radiant barrier from US Energy has a 4ft wide barrier that you can cut and apply to your attic area when you are ready to upgrade it. There are 1000 square feet per roll, making it ideal for attics.
It has a 99 percent reflective feature so that most of the heat trying to get into your home is removed quickly before it causes humidity and an increase in temperature. This is also double-sided so that you can put it up on either side and get the same reflective properties after it has been installed.
When you are using and storing this product, you can move it around as you need and not worry about it tearing, causing damage to the foil. You do want to make sure, however, that you are storing it in an area that is dry so that it doesn’t carry any humidity or wetness to your attic when you apply it. It is very easy to install and works great as an option when you want to make replacements to your current barriers.
Before you use this product, keep in mind that it has been properly tested through the ASTM and found to be compliant through both Class A and Class 1. It is ideal for a number of different units, such as Barnes, warehouses, and homes that have a basement in addition to an attic.
You can use this barrier in your floor to keep the cool air from escaping below and keeping the unwanted temperatures in your basement out of your home. When it comes to price, this option from US Energy is a little higher than other options, but still has an attractive price point when you are making purchases.
If you are looking for a barrier that is not only ideal for your home but offers a green option, as well, then the NASA TECH green energy radiant barrier may be ideal for your home.
It is breathable and also carries the same features of double-sided reflectiveness but is much thinner than other competitors. When you are working to install these barriers, you can do so with utility scissors, but avoid the use of a hacksaw because of its thin nature. It will rip this barrier, as it is not as strong as some other options.
The NASA Tech is still a good option when it comes to testing for the ASTM. For most codes at state and federal levels, it has the ability to surpass the testing for fires and smoke tests. Because it is thin, it is a great option to add to small sheds, garages, and other buildings that you have on your property.
NOTE: Unlike other barriers, this one is sold in 500 square feet increments, so the price would need to double to match the price point comparisons of the other options.
Unlike the other barriers on the list, the Smart SHIELD Insulation roll has a foam center that gives much more thickness and girth to the radiant barrier when it is applied.
This roll can come in different sizes, ranging from 16″ x 50 ft, 24″ x 50 ft, 24″ x 25ft, or 48″x 50 ft options available to choose from. Because of the foam center, there is no room for vapor to get in or get around the barrier. This reduces the chances of condensation in your attic or floor, no matter where you are applying it on the property.
If you have an industrial property that has no attics and just barriers separating the open area from the roof, then these thicker barriers are often the better option. They have a stronger ability to reduce the humidity and can keep heat from below inside when it is necessary.
These insulating rolls also provide a sound barrier, whereas the competition does not. This is the appropriate solution for you when insulating different portions of your property if you want to reduce sound from one room to the next. Thi is important especially in commercial buildings with multiple offices, where having this barrier not only maintains the temperature in the office but keeps it private.
NOTE: It may be bulky, but it is lightweight and very easy to install on your own if you want a quick DIY project. Feel comfortable knowing it is not toxic, and it does not have any allergens.
Not as thick as the other option, the Smart SHIELD 3mm insulation roll still carries the same benefits. Because this roll comes in a 48 x 50 ft roll, you can expect to cover substantial square feet with each roll, making fewer rolls needed for larger properties. You may use this insulation roll radiant barrier as a barrier both indoors and outdoors thanks to the vapor barrier. If you need to cut it to fit into some weird corners, it’s simple enough to do without being too tough.
While it still surpassed the ability for sound barriers from the other options, it is not as private. This works ideally in the residential home instead of commercial areas where you want more privacy.
NOTE: this role is not as expensive as some of the others with foam but it is not as cheap as some other radiant barriers, either.
Another company with an insulation role is US Energy. This product comes in the 12 x 50ft option so you will need multiple rolls, especially in larger homes and properties.
This roll has a foam center that is 5mm and surrounding on both sides with aluminum. With its ability to reflect over 99 percent of heat from both sides, you can keep heat out of your property and protect the inner heat from escaping. In the winter, this is a pro choice for homeowners, especially those living in cold areas.
You may also start to notice that your family members are no longer getting as sick as they once were. This is because of the antifungal and antibacterial environment that this radiant barrier offers the properties where it is used.
NOTE: At the price point for one roll, it is still a relatively fair price for this radiant barrier, making it a true competitor with other barrier options. Also, it does take away from your square footage and storage space since it is thicker than most of the options out there.
How effective are radiant barriers at reducing heating costs?
Radiant barriers are most effective when they face “warm” outside temperatures. As long as the sun is shining, blocking radiation will result in reduced energy usage even though there may be no solar gain entering through windows.
With good insulation and window placement, the need for heating can be reduced or eliminated altogether depending on climate conditions. If added to your home without proper insulation, you could actually increase your losses by trapping moisture inside the home through the process of conduction.
In an unconditioned space, a radiant barrier could have a positive effect but, because it is only adding to existing heat loss, the overall benefit would likely be marginal at best.
How To Install A Radiant Barrier?
if you are ready to purchase one of the above radiate barriers, all you need to installit, is some staples to secure it and utility scissors so that you can cut through the barrier. If you decide to go with the Radiant Guard Extreme, however, you may need a hacksaw on hand because its texture is much harder to cut through than the rest of the options on the list.
- Measure out what you need for a radiant barrier.
- Remove any old barrier if this is an existing structure.
- Start applying as much as you can directly without cutting it. If you needed multiple rolls because you have a large space, you are most likely able to apply full rolls first.
- Cut the rolls needed for corners and nooks so that you get every inch covered. Make sure they are cut to match the corners, as you do not want any space left between the structure and the barrier for water or humidity to get in.
These steps are essential to make sure you have the radiant barriers installed when you want to do it yourself.
What is ASTM?
The ASTM acronym stands for American Society for Testing and Materials. This testing is meant to provide standards for all materials that are commercial, residential, construction, or other industries where the quality of essential products is upheld.
When it comes to the radiant barrier products, these are all tested in terms of fire and smoke. Since there are building codes and standards at both the federal and state levels, these products need to make sure they pass the standards that are outlined.
This not only keeps your property compliant with standards but also keeps you safe after purchasing and installing these barriers.
- Class A – This rating is applied when the material has been tested against fire and smoke, and their production of fire spreading and smoke is lower. This is an ideal safety rating.
- Class 1 – When a material has a minimal risk of fluid exposure, then they are identified as a Class 1 or Level 1 product.
- Class 2 – This rating is available for those materials that will promote moderate fluid exposure.
- Class 3 – This rating is provided to the materials that when tested, have splashes and sprays exposed for high levels of fluid exposure.
Why Should You Install a Radiant Barrier?
When you leave your attic, flooring above the basement, and even your building on your property exposed without a barrier, you are subjecting your property to damage without realizing it.
If your home does not have some form of a radiant barrier, the amount of humidity will increase substantially and can cause extensive damage to your property.
With a radiant barrier, you can save money on preventing unnecessary maintenance to the area on your property and also save money each month with your utilities. Also in the warmer months, it keeps out heat from your home so that you do not need as much conditioned air as you would without.
Will the radiant barrier affect the cell phone signal?
The radiant barrier has no impact on cell phone signal – it only reduces the heat load. It is still recommended to use a roof vent to allow any hot air or moisture to escape as well as allowing for proper ventilation of appliances such as HVAC equipment and refrigerators.
Does a radiant barrier allow moisture to pass through?
Moisture is often found on the outside of a radiant barrier and this moisture can be dried out with proper ventilation. The more effective radiant barriers have small spaces in them which allows the moisture to pass through and dry out as well as allowing any hot air or moisture to exit.
Does the radiant barrier also reduce air conditioning costs?
The radiant barrier reduces radiation, which in turn reduces the load on an air conditioner. Less cooling is required to maintain a set temperature with an air conditioner thus resulting in lower running costs.
Does a radiant barrier reflect light?
No, it does not. A properly installed reflective radiant barrier will block out sunlight and should not allow any light to pass through.
Reflective materials such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap are not good substitutes for a radiant barrier. These products can actually make things hotter by reflecting sunlight instead of blocking it like the radiant barrier.
Can a radiant barrier be installed with a white coating to reduce the heat?
No – you should not install a radiant barrier over a surface that has already been painted as it might trap moisture between both layers and damage the paint.
It is also recommended to clean off or scrape off any debris from old roofs or those that have been treated previously before installing the new material.