Radiant Barrier Insulation Blog - InsulationStop.com
InfraStop® post frame building insulation in action. Take a look at this collection showcasing a customer's project. This 4500 square foot post frame building was constructed in Southern New Jersey, about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. InfraStop® double bubble foil insulation was used.
For the roof, InfraStop® was installed over the trusses and above the purlins, then the metal roofing was installed. For the walls, InfraStop® was installed on the outside of the girts and then the metal siding was installed.
Click here for more information on the various application methods for installing post frame and pole barn insulation whether you have a new or existing building.
The jury is still out but we are getting a little closer to an answer!
Well, we heard some folks were doing this, installing Reynolds wrap aluminum kitchen foil in their attic to block radiant heat and we wanted to learn more. So almost 4 years ago, June 2010 we put out a blog post offering a free roll of insulation for anyone who would share details of insulating an attic with Reynolds wrap kitchen foil. Out of nowhere EJ contacted us a week ago and wanted to redeem the free product offer.
Below (in italics) is the description of why he chose to insulate his attic with kitchen foil instead of a radiant barrier. After reading the email, it is clear that EJ understands exactly how reflective insulation works. Although we would stick with our insulation, we now understand why someone would think to pursue the kitchen foil route.
Thank you EJ for submitting this. Please visit and comment on how the kitchen foil is working as well as the radiant barrier we are sending.
"Here are a few pictures I took with my phone. The foil's shine confuses my camera's flash. I'm a retired engineer, I have a HVAC master license and have alot experience with energy audits. This part of my house was built in 1954. About 10 years ago we did a spray in radiant barrier Low/mit-2 and insulated to R-38. This helped considerably with overall electrical usage and temperature variances in the house.
5 years ago we added on an additional 1800 square feet. The newer tighter construction reveals some deficiencies in the old house. What bugs me most is how quickly the bedrooms heat up. I was doing more research on radiant barrier exterior paint additives and started reading about the advantages of foil (and its air gap) vs. paint on barrier. I believe low/mit-2 tests at 77% reflectance vs. foil at 98%. While this is a significant difference, in my situation of already having a paint on barrier I felt the payback in upgrading to a true foil barrier like yours might be too far down the road. However I saw little harm in buying several rolls of kitchen foil and spending an afternoon crawling through my attic. It hasn't been hot long enough this year for comparison.
From experience and theory I'm sure there will be some gains from the channeling and convection effect of the foil and my ridge vent. I would wager there might even be a slightly better advantage with your product because of your bubble wrap you do have a slight R-value keeping the roof side air warmer that should cause a better drafting effect. I did my foil job in March, and just found your site via google in May while looking around to see if anyone else has tried the kitchen foil idea."
Fruits and vegetables need warmth and sunlight to thrive--that is, until they are harvested and removed from the tree, vine or plant that was keeping them alive.
Once picked and readied for shipment, fresh foods become vulnerable to even the slightest rise in temperature. People operating farmer's markets or in the business of shipping fresh foods to remote locations know how quickly bacteria can destroy fruits, vegetables and meat that is not kept thoroughly chilled. Fortunately, packaging dilemmas concerning the safe shipment of fresh foods can be solved with reflective foil insulation.
Avoid Unnecessary Costs and Waste with Reflective Bubble Foil
When you use our reflective insulation, you can ship any perishable items with confidence and know that it will arrive to its destination fresh, delicious and safe. In addition to being non-toxic and recyclable, reflective foil insulation also offers these advantages over non-reflective packaging materials:
- Thermal value properties
- Prevents odors from transferring to other foods
- Ensures that fresh products retain their natural taste, color and quality
- Substantial reduction in warehousing and freight expenditures
- Reflective foil insulation is easily fitted to any size packaging container and requires minimal handling.
How Quickly Can Food Spoil?
It only takes an hour for packaged fresh food to start spoiling under the right conditions.
Fresh food starts spoiling as soon as the interaction of moisture, heat, oxygen and bacterial growth creates conditions ripe for food to start rotting. Bacteria called "facultative anaerobes" thrive everywhere regardless of oxygen content while toxic molds need a minimal amount of oxygen to develop. Spoilage also occurs when negligible changes in humidity affect fresh foods that have been improperly packaged. Photodegradation, or spoilage due to light, causes fresh foods to lose their nutritional value, attractive color and natural good taste as well. Consumers will always avoid purchasing discolored food even though the discoloration does not mean the food is spoiled.
Give Your Customers the Delicious, Home-Grown Foods They Want
Eliminate costs associated with losing fresh foods to damage or spoilage due to appropriate packaging practices by protecting perishable food with affordable, easy-to-use reflective foil insulation. Customers will love the taste and appearance of your fresh fruits and vegetables wrapped in reflective foil and you will enjoy saving on overhead expenditures related to food lost to spoilage during transport.
After the difficulties of the cold winter months, animal producers are glad that frigid weather is over for now. However, the weather patterns will soon be swinging to the other extreme when the blazing heat of summer arrives.
Heat Stress in Animals
Extremely hot temperatures are just as dangerous for animals as extremely cold temperatures can be. Those who raise pigs, chickens, and cattle must be aware of the effects of hot temperatures and take precautions to cool their animals off when a heat wave arrives. Watching your animals closely when the mercury soars will help you determine when you need to step in.
- Poultry: Chickens can't sweat, so they rely on panting to cool themselves. Their normal body temperatures range from 103 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. If a chicken's temperature reaches 113 degrees, they are in serious trouble. However, even slight heat stress can cause chickens to stop laying eggs, stop eating, and produce inferior eggs. If they get too hot, they can die.
- Pigs: Pigs are extremely sensitive to heat. Even getting overheated for as few as two to six hours can upset the digestive systems of pigs, leaving them vulnerable to infections. Additionally hot pigs don't eat, meaning that they won't gain weight. Taking too long to get to market weight will affect your farm's bottom line. Pigs can't sweat, so they have to pant or wallow in the mud to cool off.
- Cattle: Cows, especially those with black hides, suffer tremendously in the heat. Their internal digestion generates heat as their rumen microbes break down their food. Hot cattle will demonstrate increased respiration, increased heart rate, and increased panting. They will not gain weight and lactating cows will produce much less milk when it is really hot.
Tips for Preventing Heat Stress
If you are a livestock or poultry producer, you must have a plan in place to combat heat stress. You could stand to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars when the temperatures rise. Even if you don't lose an animal, they will be less productive when it's hot, meaning that you won't make as much money as you might otherwise. Therefore, you should consider using these strategies to keep your animals cooler during the hot months of summer.
- Water: Having plenty of water is essential to keeping your animals comfortable on hot days. Make sure that there are several water stations so that dominant animals don't keep the less dominant animals from getting all that they need. You may want to add some electrolytes to the water to help the animals maintain the appropriate electrolyte balance.
- Ventilation: If your animals are housed in barns, keep the air moving by using fans and opening every window and door that you can. If your barn is overcrowded, you may want to either find another place for some of your livestock or sell a few of your animals to help the rest of them stay cooler.
- Insulation: Many people think of insulation only when it's cold. However, using reflective bubble insulation can block the transfer of radiant heat from the outdoors to the indoors. Using this kind of insulation on barns, calf hutches, water tubs, and chicken houses will keep your animals much cooler and more comfortable during a heat wave. This is a very inexpensive way to combat heat stress.
For cattle producers, you may want to look into some technological advances to help monitor your animals. The University of Missouri has created an app called Thermal Aid to help cattle farmers monitor the effects of heat on their animals. With this app, you can input your cows' respiration. The app coordinates this information with current weather conditions to help you know when your animals need additional help in getting cool.
When we think of storage, we think of protection. A storage space should keep our goods safe until we need them. Unfortunately, many storage areas lack one critical element, protective insulation.
Storage buildings need to allow plenty of room for goods. As a result most are designed with thin roofs and walls with little or no insulation. Most storage facilities have metal roofs and walls, which can cause more temperature control problems. Metal easily conducts heat, allowing rooms to warm up faster on hot days, and chill quickly during cold spells. In addition, condensation often forms on metal surfaces when the temperature changes. This creates moisture that can drip on the goods stored within the structure.
Whether you have a storage shed on your property, or use commercial storage spaces, you can easily add reflective insulation to protect your goods from the elements and extreme temperatures. Reflective insulation creates what is called a "radiant barrier" Traditional insulation, like the familiar pink fiberglass, absorbs heat. This slows heat flow into or out of a building, but will not block the sun's rays from entering a building.
Reflective insulation consists of a shiny aluminum surface laid over plastic or other materials. The surface reflects radiant heat away from a building. As a result, the walls and roof of a storage facility will absorb significantly less radiant heat preventing extreme temperature changes within the storage space. The polyethylene backing material consists of bubble layers that also prevent conductive and convective heat flow into or out of the structure thereby helping to maintain a consistent temperature.
Reflective insulation is a strong durable substance. It can be easily cut to fit a storage space, but will resist tearing once in space. Installation is easy, as the insulation can be attached with adhesive tape or glue, nails or even strong staples.
Once in place, reflective insulation also resists moisture accumulation, helping keep goods dry. As goods are sheltered from heat, light and water, they are less likely to age prematurely, become discolored or be damaged by freezing and thawing cycles. Among its many advantages, reflective insulation can also:
- Create a barrier to pests, rodents and vermin
- Line freezer storage spaces to keep temperatures cold and save on energy costs
- Provide an extra layer of insulation and protection in home storage areas like basements, crawlspaces, walk-in closets and attics.
It's a challenge for many homeowners to keep their homes cool in the summer time and warm in the winter time. But aside from creature comforts, there's also the issue of rising utility bills. In fact, for rooms in direct contact with the sun's rays, it's not uncommon for there to be a temperature swing of 20 degrees compared to rooms that are more shaded. Yes, homeowners can spend money on the likes of smart thermostats and expensive windows to stay comfortable - but there's the upfront cost involved in such actions, not to mention taking the chance that the expenditure will eventually pay off in energy savings.
Then there's also more affordable, yet equally effective, measures such as window insulation - specifically that of the reflective kind. What is reflective window insulation? Simply put, it's highly reflective aluminum foil with a bubble core that's placed on a window which works to reflect the sun's light, rather than absorb it. Covering windows in the summer prevents heat from entering the home, thereby keeping it more comfortable. And this type of window insulation reflects heat from both the inside and the outside, so it's capable of preventing heat from escaping when applied during the winter months as well.
Here's a look at some other benefits of reflective window insulation, compared to other energy-saving measures one can take around the home:
- Reusable: This variety of window insulation can be taken down and reapplied whenever a homeowner chooses, meaning that it can be used year after year for long-lasting effectiveness.
- Practical: While reflective window insulation may not be applicable for every room in your home - after all, you're likely going to want some sort of natural light entering the home regardless of the season - it's ideal for seldom used rooms, such as attics and guest bedrooms. It also works well in RV windows, car windows and more. You can even place the insulation on the rooftops to reflect the sun, which will also keep the home cooler.
- Affordable: Just because it's worth mentioning again, reflective window insulation is a preferred energy saving solution for households that are on a budget. Rather than ponying up hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for state-of-the-art products to maintain creature comforts, there's a comparably low upfront cost associated with this product, which makes it even more attractive.
It's a fact that heating and cooling costs are rising and will likely only to continue to rise moving forward. But that doesn't mean that you can't do something about it. While there are several ways you can maintain creature comforts and keep energy costs manageable, reflective window insulation is one technology that is as practical as it is affordable.
When insulation works well, no one notices it. So it's not always top of mind when homeowners think of improvements and renovations. Still, there are many reasons to replace, upgrade or enhance insulation.
New Materials that Meet Higher Standards
Insulation in older homes, especially those built before 1980, usually fails to meet current recommendations for slowing heat flow through a building (manufacturers report this as the R-value on insulation materials).
Fiberglass remains the most common insulation material, but modern installations use fiberglass tailored to provide an R-value for the home's climate, and designed to prevent air leaks that can make it more expensive to heat or cool a home. Installing upgraded fiberglass can help homeowners save between 5 and 50 percent on energy costs, depending on how efficient the previous insulation was.
Recycled materials can provide similar effective insulation, and many homeowners appreciate the chance to install a green material in their homes. Denim, hemp and wool scraps from manufacturing are the most common recycled insulation materials.
Cellulose-based insulating materials are made from soybeans and other plants. Cellulose is a flexible and easy to install material, since it can be found in both standard and spray-on versions.
Polystyrene and similar plastics have made a name for themselves among insulating materials. Remarkably efficient, these premium insulation products offer high R-values with the convenience of spray-on applications that can help place the material in hard to reach corners of attics and roofs.
Reflective materials, designed to complement existing insulation, are described in more detail below.
Improved Installation Methods
Not only do homeowners and contractors have a choice of materials, they now have additional flexibility in how to apply many of the materials.
Blanket installation is quick and easy, perfect for do-it-yourselfers. This technique does have a couple of drawbacks however. Compressing the material to fit into tight spaces can reduce the efficiency, and the blanket sheets may not fit into tight corners or around structural supports.
Applying loose-fill materials provides a better fit than the blanket technique. It's vitally important to apply materials consistently and to the correct depth, however, so this method is best left to professionals.
Spray-on plastics can serve as a complete insulation, or be used in difficult areas where blanket or loose-fill techniques don't provide effective cover. Spray on insulation provides the tightest seal against air and moisture, so it helps block air and water leaks, as well as retain heat.
Reflective systems, or radiant barriers, add another layer of insulating protection, working in tandem with other materials. In summer, for instance, outside heat is absorbed by the insulating material in walls. Over time though, heat trapped by insulating material will warm up the air around it, and hotter air will gradually flow into the cooler air of the home. As a result, indoor temperatures rise and cooling systems have to work harder. The same process takes place in reverse during winter, as warm inside air flows to the cooler air outdoors.
Reflective systems represent the next step in efficient insulation. Radiant heat reflects off the surface, so the underlying insulation does not warm as quickly. Rather than slowing heat flow, radiant barriers prevent a significant amount of heat from entering a building at all. Reflective insulation can help keep a building at a comfortable temperature and reduce energy use whether it uses central air, air conditioning or fans.
Neglecting to insulate livestock barns, pole barns, chicken houses or hog runs compromises the health and fertility of your livestock as well as the stability of agricultural buildings. Especially important to effectively insulating barns is making sure to use the right kind of insulation designed to reflect radiant heat, prevent condensation and moisture from promoting mold growth and maintain a temperature range optimal for the life your animals and the life of your barn, coop or run.
What is the Black Globe Effect?
Agricultural industry experts have recently discovered a natural phenomenon that detrimentally affects livestock if they are allowed to absorb excessive amounts of solar heat. Deemed the "Black Globe Effect", this phenomenon inflicts a definite stress factor correlating to the cost inefficiency or efficiency of weight gain in cows, chickens and other meat-producing livestock. In fact, results of studies examining livestock living in barns insulated with reflective foil bubble and radiant barrier insulation found that these animals exhibited maximum body weight, increased milk production and better mortality rates in comparison to livestock living in uninsulated environments.
Whether livestock are in barns or grazing, they tend to absorb greater levels of radiant energy emitted by the sun when the temperature exceeds 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Affordable reflective foil bubble insulation has been found to be the best method to use for insulating barns and preventing radiant energy from inhibiting livestock productivity.
Reduce Energy Costs By Insulating Agricultural Buildings
Radiant barrier insulation reflects indoor heat back into a building's space to create a comfortable living area for livestock and provide energy savings during extreme weather. In addition, reflective foil insulation meant for agricultural use contains non-toxic additives that inhibits flammability by resisting and stopping the progression of heat extremes.
Advantages to Insulating Pole Barns
Pole barns are growing in popularity because they are affordable and easy to build. However, their metallic constitution makes it necessary to insulate pole barns with reflective foil insulation so that enormous amounts of heat absorbed and emitted by the metal does not get trapped inside the barn. Instead of packing the walls and roofs of pole barns with bulky, impractical insulation that needs replaced frequently and acts as a magnet for fungus growth and nesting rodents, invest in lightweight, pliable, easily installed reflective foil bubble insulation.
We are constantly striving to improve our service levels to customers and today we can announce our new Quick Ship program. We carry the industries most extensive offering of reflective insulation. Coupled with our custom roll size capability, there is no project requiring reflective insulation we cannot source.
Now with the ability to ship selected sizes in one business days we ensure our customers can get material fast. The products within the quick ship program are designed to complete any insulation project. The products are also sized so you are getting the best price for material no matter how large or small your project is.
Here are the details and products. Orders in before 1pm, EST ship next day.
We are making a few changes to the website. If you are one of our regular customers you will certainly notice the front page has changed. If you have never shopped with us before, welcome to the latest version of our website. We are continually trying to improve your buying experience.
A major change, and one that directly benefits you our consumer, is that we have teamed up with Shopper Approved. You can see their icon in the right column off of our home page.
Shopper Approved is a customer review and rating service that interacts with you to gain insights on the products and service levels we provide. The reviews and comments you will find are from actual customers of ours. We think this addition to our website is a great way to build trust with our future customers as well as let our existing customers express their thoughts and opinions regarding their shopping experience with us.
Please note, we have always believed in an absolutely hassle free shopping experience. This interaction with Shopper Approved is completely optional and will not get in the way of your shopping experience with us at any time.
We welcome Shopper Approved to our website and hope their service provides value to our customers. Thank you for choosing Insulation Stop as your radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation supplier.
Take a look here to see some of the foil insulation reviews we have already gathered.