Radiant barriers are among the most misunderstood energy-saving devices available today. A reflective substance known as a “radiant barrier” is used to deflect sunlight’s radiant heat. A wide range of options are available:
An attic floor or rafters can be covered with rolls of foil-like materials. Spray-on or laminated sheet products with reflective materials laminated to plywood or OSB sheathing are additional options for radiant barrier construction wraps.
How much energy is saved by using these products? Manufacturer claims for reflectivity and decreases in radiant heat transmission can easily be confused with energy savings promises, so be wary. Because it promises to reflect 90%+ of radiant heat, does not guarantee that it will cut your cooling expenditures by 90%.