Radiant Barrier Insulation

The benefits of insulation and radiant heat barriers

The government has released a report on how effective eliminating radiant heat transfers can be for any living or work-space. The heat saving properties of such insulation provide a money saving system that will pay for the product and installation of the materials fairly quickly.

This type of insulation is typically installed in homes — usually in attics — primarily to reduce summer heat gain and reduce overall cooling costs. The barrier consists of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat and won’t let it be absorbed into the space that’s protected.


Heat travels from a warm area to a cool area by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat flows by conduction from a hotter location within a material or assembly to a colder location, like the way a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Heat transfer by convection occurs when a liquid or gas — air, for example — is heated, becomes less dense, and rises. As the liquid or gas cools, it becomes denser and falls. Radiant heat travels in a straight line away from any surface and heats anything solid that absorbs its energy.

Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and — to a lesser extent — convective heat flow. Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the reflective surface must face an air space.

When the sun heats a roof, it’s primarily the sun’s radiant energy that makes the roof hot. Much of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.

A radiant barrier works best when it is perpendicular to the radiant energy striking it. Also, the greater the temperature difference between the sides of the radiant barrier material, the greater the benefits a radiant barrier can offer.

Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates than in cool climates, especially when cooling air ducts are located in the attic. Some studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs 5% to 10% when used in a warm, sunny climate. The reduced heat gain may even allow for a smaller air conditioning system. In cool climates, however, it’s usually more cost-effective to install more thermal insulation than to add a radiant barrier.


Radiant barriers consist of a highly reflective material, usually aluminum foil, which is applied to one or both sides of a number of substrate materials such as Kraft paper, plastic films, cardboard, oriented strand board, and air infiltration barrier material. Some products are fiber-reinforced to increase durability and ease of handling.
Radiant barriers can be combined with many types of insulation materials in reflective insulation systems. In these combinations, radiant barriers can act as the thermal insulation’s facing material.

Pictures of radiant heat insulation

fabric insulation  radiant heat insulation tempshield



A radiant barrier’s effectiveness depends on proper installation, so it’s best to use a certified installer. If you choose to do the installation yourself, carefully study and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions and check your local building and fire codes. The reflective insulation trade association also offers installation tips.
It’s easier to incorporate radiant barriers into a new home, but you can also install them in an existing home, especially if it has an open attic. In a new house, an installer typically drapes a rolled-foil radiant barrier foil-face down between the roof rafters to minimize dust accumulation on the reflective faces (double-faced radiant barriers are available). This is generally done just before the roof sheathing goes on, but can be done afterwards from inside the attic by stapling the material to the bottom of the rafters.

When installing a foil-type barrier, it’s important to allow the material to “droop” between the attachment points to make at least a 1.0 inch (2.5 cm) air space between it and the bottom of the roof. Foil-faced plywood or oriented strand board sheathing is also available.

Note that reflective foil will conduct electricity, so workers and homeowners must avoid making contact with bare electrical wiring. If installed on top of attic floor insulation, the foil will be susceptible to dust accumulation and may trap moisture in fiber insulation, so it is strongly recommended that you NOT apply radiant barriers directly on top of the attic floor insulation.

See more at the Department of Energy’s Page and visit our Insulation Page today!


Calf Warmers Are Essential for a Healthy Start

Calf Warmers from Barn World

To provide the best care in the critical after-birth hours of your calf’s life, be sure to enlist the help of a calf warmer.

cow in a calf warmer

Calf warmers should be a livestock supply staple when raising livestock

Calf warmers create an excellent shelter and warm nurturing environment for newborn calves. Usually constructed out of a durable, long-lasting, and rust-proof medium-density poly, this animal shelter is a must for newborns and should be in every livestock supply arsenal.
Newborn calves require a warm enclosed space during the critical hours right after birth. They are vulnerable to the cold and need a safe place to recover from the birthing process. Barn World calf warmers have top-of-the-line heaters located in the rear of the warmer in a separate enclosure that provides a steady warm, circulating flow of air. The area is large enough so the calf can stand up or lie down while remaining in the interior warmth of the heater. Being contained allows the identity scent to remain intact so the mothers will instinctively reclaim their rejuvenated infant once they’re ready to be released.

Calf Warmer Features

Barn World carries both a PD Calf Warmer and a Sioux Steel calf warmer with the following top-of-the-line features including a fully controllable and automated heater.

Calf Warmer exteriorlarge calf warmer in blue

Calf Warmers come with:

  • An adjustable 1500-watt electric heater with a fan with automatic shutoff and built-in thermostat for controlling temperature and airflow speed

heater for calf warmer

  • The top hinged section is completely removable for ease of cleaning and for providing the largest allowable access area for calves to enter and leave the enclosure
  • The bottom of the warmer is reinforced for easy towing and durability. It comes complete with a tow rope already installed so you’re ready to remove the calf from the delivery area
  • The floor is raised and grated to provide warm air circulation throughout the entire warmer. It has a two-panel system and is removable for easy cleaning
  • The top eve vent allows for ventilation and circulation control as well as provides sighting access so you may keep an eye on the calf without raising the lid and disturbing it
  • A popular feature is the 12-volt adapter
  • The warmer measures 45” high, 25” wide and is 48” long to allow for maximum comfort inside.

Livestock Supplies are a necessity for newborns

To keep your young, newborn livestock healthy and to give them a great start at a long and healthy life, a calf warmer is a must during the crucial hours after birth. You know it’s always in the middle of a blizzard when they arrive. It’s a tremendous shock to go from their safe, warm confines to literally dropping onto frozen earth while still wet.

Providing a safe and comfortable environment for your animal to recover from the shock of birth is a must to ensure a great beginning in a stress-free and most importantly, a warm setting.

To take advantage of all the calf warmer has to offer, call (720) 238-2190 or visit BarnWorld.com today for all your livestock supply needs and remember, they carry everything from cattle guards to saddle pads!