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What Are Radiant Barriers and How Do They Work?

In the quest to find better ways to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency, homeowners can look to any number of excellent solutions. Radiant barriers, also referred to as reflective insulation, are one of these solutions. They aren’t quite new, per se, but they have seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the past several years. Why?

Studies performed in recent years have confirmed up to ten percent reductions in energy consumption within homes that use radiant barriers. This number may feel somewhat underwhelming, but take a moment to consider the sheer scope of what ten percent means. That is a ten percent reduction in all heating and cooling costs, year round, for the rest of the time you have the barrier installed. This is a huge difference!

What Is A Radiant Barrier?

So, we’ve thrown some numbers at you and told you how much a radiant barrier can help your home. But what is a radiant barrier? Reflective insulation is a layer of reflective material, most often aluminum or a similar alloy, that is designed to reflect radiant thermal energy. How does this type of attic insulation help? Well, let’s take a moment to get to know radiant thermal energy and how it impacts you.

Thermal radiation (fancy words that basically mean ‘hot things’ in the air) includes ultraviolet light, heat generated by living things, geothermal energy, etc.

So, with that knowledge in mind, you can now pretty much have a full understanding of the function your radiant barrier provides. This alloy barrier is designed to help block out and reflect radiant energy from the sun and its rays, thus improving the insulation of your home by reflecting (rather than absorbing) heat. The use of radiant barriers is found most commonly in attics and is an affective insulation material for hot, dry climates (Ring a bell, Sacramento residents?).

Radiant barrier insulation works particularly well in homes that have:

  • Air ducts in the attic
  • Asphalt roofing (which more easily absorbs heat from the sun)
  • Little to no shading from trees

Radiant Barrier Installation in the Sacramento, CA Region

We’re proud to offer our superior radiant barrier solutions to our consumers, and our experts are equipped and ready to serve you. Looking for more information on radiant barriers or have another question? Contact us today; we would love the opportunity to help!

Where should you insulate in your home? Check out our interactive infographic:

Products We Install
Energy Audits

Our team can help you save money with a home energy audit and air sealing services.


Our insulation team installs batt and blown-in fiberglass insulation.


Environmentally friendly and effective, cellulose works well in homes and buildings.

Spray Foam

Gold Star Insulation is a leading installer of spray foam insulation in the Sacramento area.

Radiant Barrier

An attic radiant barrier can help keep your home cooler and more comfortable.

Insulation Removal

Gold Star Insulation provides home insulation removal services.

Air Sealing

We are committed to saving you money by sealing your attic—which is the main source of air leaks in the home.

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