Frequently Asked Questions
Why Buy Reflectix® Insulation and Radiant Barrier Products?
What are the Advantages of Reflectix® Insulations and Radiant Barriers?
What are Conduction, Convection and Radiation?
What Types of Heat Flow do Reflectix® Products Address?
What are the Differences in Performance Between the Reflective/Bubble Insulation and the Reflective/Scrim/Reflective Radiant Barrier?
How is the Reflectix® Foil Tape Utilized in Foil/Bubble Applications?
What is the Temperature Range of the Product(s)?
What is a Reflective Insulation?
How do the Products Work as a Reflective Insulation?
What is an R-value?
What About R-values for a Reflective Insulation, and Why Do They Vary With Application?
What is Meant by the Terms “Up”, “Down” and “Horizontal” Heat Flow?
If You Install 2 Layers of a Reflective Insulation, Does the R-value Double?
Why Do You Need Spacers (for certain applications)?
What if There is No Air Space Present on Either Side of the Product?
What Types of Spacers Can be Utilized?
What is an Example of Radiant Energy?
What is a Radiant Barrier?
How Does the Product Work Being So Thin?
How Much Will I Save on My Electric Bill with a Radiant Barrier?
Does a Radiant Barrier Have an R-value?
Will the Product Hurt My Shingles?
Is Ventilation Required for a Radiant Barrier?
What is the Fire Rating of the Reflectix® Reflective/Scrim/Reflective Radiant Barrier?
Building Material Applications:
Reflectix is the Industry Leader! We manufacture the highest quality, most extensively-tested, readily-available, reflective-based insulations and radiant barriers in the world! With Reflectix® products, there is no middleman. We are the manufacturer and we operate with an ISO 9001:2008 certified management system. Our testing and validation requirements are second to none. Distribution of our products is worldwide through Do-It-Yourself Retailers, Contractor Sales Groups and Industrial/Commercial Building Product Suppliers.
Ease of installation and diversity of applications are two major advantages. Reflectix® Insulations and Radiant Barriers are very easy to handle and install. All that is required are simple hand tools and access to the installation area. Reflectix® products are some of the most diverse, energy conserving building materials available, with over forty verified applications for residences, industrial/commercial buildings and agricultural structures.
These are 3 ways that heat moves from warm regions to cool regions:
Conduction: Heat flow through a material
Convection: Heat flow transferred by the movement of air
Radiation: Electromagnetic transfer of energy through space
Conductive: In applications where an R-value is noted
Radiant: These applications are referenced as providing a radiant barrier benefit
Both products contain the same metalized aluminum and can be utilized as reflective insulations or as radiant barriers. The key difference is in the structure. The Reflective/Bubble products have strength and substance (from the bubble) that are ideal for a wide variety (40+) of applications (Residential and Industrial/Commercial). The Reflective/Scrim/Reflective Radiant Barrier product is designed primarily for residential attic applications as a radiant barrier.
Our tape is used to join the ends of the Reflectix® Reflective/Bubble Insulation products. It ensures a continuous reflective surface, and prevents air leakage that can result in condensation.
Reflectix® Reflective Insulation, Radiant Barrier and Foil Tape can be installed in environments with a range of -60 degrees to 180 degrees F.
A reflective insulation is a material (or assembly) that reduces the rate of radiant heat transfer across air spaces by use of one or more highly reflective surfaces. This rate of heat transfer can be quantified for a specific application by an R-value.
In the same (primary) way fiberglass or other mass insulations provide benefit, reflective insulation reduces conductive heat transfer. When a highly-reflective material (such as our product) is installed in a building assemblage, in conjunction with an air space, (shiny side of product) it provides a quantifiable R-value level of benefit.
An R-value is an assigned number derived from a specific testing procedure (or calculation) to determine a materials (or building assemblage) “resistance to conductive heat transfer”. The higher the R-value, the more resistant a material (or building assemblage) is to conductive heat transfer. Reflectix® can provide verification for all R-values stated for all products and applications.
R-values for reflective insulations are dependent on two (primary) criteria:
1. Heat flow direction
2. And, the amount of air space in a closed cavity on the reflective side of the product in a building assemblage
This is the reason our product has different R-values for different applications (varying amount of air space and heat flow directions).
These terms are related to heat flow directions. They are a part of the criteria utilized in R-value testing. For example, when testing a floor assemblage, heat flow down is tested. When testing for a wall system, heat flow horizontal is tested (same for all conductive heat transfer insulations).
With multiple layers of product and airspaces between each layer, enhanced performance will be gained. If the product is simply “doubled” (with no air space between the layers), a very minimal benefit is obtained (R-1.1 (per layer) for the Reflective/Double Bubble product).
Spacers are used to provide an air space where one is not present.
No Air Space = No Reflective Insulation Benefit
(An R-1.1 is provided from the product itself for the Reflective/Double Bubble material.)
There are several. Here are some examples:
• Reflectix® Reflective/Double Bubble Insulation cut into 2” strips
• 1”x 2” Furring Strips
• Thermal Breaks (a building product similar to furring strips)
• Reflectix® Duct Spacers
Reflectix® has a Class A/Class 1 Fire Rating on our Reflective/Bubble Insulation. It also meets all fire and smoke safety requirements of federal, state and local building codes (Satisfies UL 723, NFPA 255 and UBC 42-1).
An example of this would be the hot sensation you feel on your skin when walking from shade into direct sunlight.
Radiant barrier is a material that is a poor re-transmitter of infrared waves (radiant energy). By definition, this re-transmission characteristic (emissivity) must be at or below 10%. The emissivity of Reflectix® products is approximately 5%. Therefore, when a radiant barrier is installed in a residential attic, it “blocks” 95% of the radiant energy that is being radiated by the hot roofing materials. This equates to a cooler attic, resulting in a house that requires less air conditioning usage to maintain comfortable inside temperatures.
Example: Plywood has a very high emittance (82%). This is the reason attics are so hot during the day. The shingles are heated by the sun and (by conduction) the heat is transferred to the plywood decking which in turn emits (radiates) 82% of this energy to the interior of the attic.
Low emissivity sheeting (as in our Reflective/Scrim Radiant Barrier) has a very low emittance (5%). This is the reason when a low emittance sheet is installed below a roof (plywood decking) in an attic that such a substantial reduction in radiant energy occurs.
The product has a very low re-transmission rate (emissivity) of radiant energy. It blocks 95% of the radiant energy that it encounters and this translates to a significant reduction in attic surface temperatures. A cooler attic results in a cooler house requiring less air conditioning usage.
A savings of up to 10% off your air conditioning usage are typical. This can be a larger number if there are ducts mounted in your attic space.
No. R-values describe the rate at which energy is transferred through a material or assembly. Radiant barriers provide benefit by dramatically reducing “radiant” heat transfer which is just as significant but not related to an R-value type performance.
No, absolutely not. There has been significant testing on this issue and it has been proven that a radiant barrier installed in a residential attic will have not have any detrimental effect on the shingles.
No, ventilation is not required, but it is extremely helpful when addressing convective heat transfer. If an attic system has a mass insulation (such as fiberglass), a radiant barrier and a ridge vent, it has addressed three types of heat flow; conductive, convective and radiant within that system.
Reflectix® has a Class A/Class 1 Fire Rating on the Reflective/Scrim/Reflective Radiant Barrier meeting all fire and smoke safety requirements of federal, state and local building codes. (Satisfies UL 723, NFPA 255 and UBC 42-1.)