I would appreciate your guidance in determining whether a radiant barrier installation is necessary or likely to assist in significantly reducing home energy usage in the attic of a 15-year-old, two-story home that already has an insulated attic? Basically, is it worth spending the money to install this based upon future electricity bill savings? Also, in the event that I chose to do this myself, are building permits required for the installation of the radiant barrier and/or an attic fan?
In order to give you a good answer I would need to know a few things about your home:
- Where do you live, (climate)?
- How much mass insulation do you already have in the attic?
- Do you have uninsulated HVAC ducts running through the attic?
As a general rule, radiant barriers work best in the hotter, Southern parts of the country. As for projecting how much you can expect to save on future energy costs, it’s very hard to predict what those costs will be, the crystal ball just isn’t that clear. There is some data for different climate regions.
Usually, you should not need a building permit to install a radiant barrier in your home, however, some communities may have such guidelines. You need to check with yours.
I suggest you visit the members that have their products listed on the RIMA verification page for the radiant barrier you might want to buy. Also, ask the member to send you specific installation details so you can be assured you did the job correctly.