The Difference Between Insulation and Radiant Barriers

The Difference Between Insulation and Radiant Barriers

Is your energy bill too high? Are you constantly shelling out large amounts of money to keep your San Antonio home cool throughout the warmest months?


Usually when cooling costs are abnormally high the residents of that home experience hotter living conditions than those who have proper insulation or radiant barriers. Both of these home improvement techniques cut down on the cost it takes to keep your house cool, and they typically start with the attic, which attracts heat and lets cold air seep out.


So what’s the difference between these two energy saving tactics?




Insulation is typically implemented in the attic where large amounts of cold air leave the home. The insulation keeps the temperatures of the outside away from the house and seal the warm or cold air in. This works nicely for homes in warm weather climates such as San Antonio, because the cold air is then kept in your home without letting in the warm air from outside.


Insulation is padded material that is inserted into the walls of your home. Similar to a water cooler it keeps the contents inside warm or cold, cutting down on energy costs in your home.


Radiant Barriers


Radiant barriers produce similar results as insulation, but the process is much different. They both work to keep your energy costs low, but radiant barriers are ideal for houses in warm weather climates where the sun is constantly beating down on roofs.


Warm air beats down on your roof and absorbs into the home, minimizing the effectiveness of your cooling system. Most people turn their air conditioning up to compensate for this, increasing the amount they pay for cooling. A better solution would be to deflect the sun’s rays and keep heat out of your home. Radiant barriers act as reflective surfaces, and they are typically installed on the exterior of your roof or attic. They reflect the warmth of the sun instead of absorbing it like most surfaces do. The reason absorption occurs is because heat typically moves through a surface to a cooler area, ie. your home.


Both radiant barriers and insulation are affordable and effective forms of energy conservation. They both cut down on the amount of money you spend on energy and they make your home more comfortable to live in. Insulation is more effective for homes in cold weather climates since it can keep both warm and cold air in your house. Radiant barriers are typically used on homes in warm weather areas, such as San Antonio, to keep the sun’s heat from penetrating your walls. Consider trying out one of these energy saving tactics to keep some money in your pocket and improve the quality and value of your home.


Now it is your turn. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about radiant barriers or insulation. Tell us if you have any experience with installing radiant barriers or insulation in your home. Are your energy bills more affordable? Do you feel more comfortable in your house?

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