In order to have an energy efficient home, it's important to look at all of the aspects that come together to create your house. This includes the walls, floors, ceiling, roof and insulation. Most homes have blown cellulose in the walls and fiberglass in the attic to help prevent heated and cooled air from escaping. By and large, these methods have worked well for many, many years, but new technology is expanding the efficiency of homes all across the country.
Reflective insulation has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past few years. Initially, it was a space aged idea that literally came from NASA. The technology was used in space suits that helped maintain the body temperature of astronauts. Over time, scientists began to realize that there were far-reaching applications for this technology which allowed people to make their homes more efficient.
The idea is simple and works much the same way as the technology was initially used when applied to space suits. Today, contractors and home owners are installing reflective insulation in attics to help prevent the loss of heated and cooled air through the roof of a home. Radiant barrier is applied in one of two locations, or sometimes both. First, it might be installed on the floor joists of the attic, with a layer of fiberglass underneath. While the fiberglass traps heat, it eventually escapes. When that escaping air hits the radiant barrier, it's reflected right back where it came from.
The second way to use this product is to attach it to the roof rafters. In this case, the reflective insulation is stopping cold (or hot) air from entering your home. When the roof is heated or cooled by outside air, the air tries to get inside. If you have a layer of reflective insulation there to stop it, the air can't get in.