How do reflective insulation products work in buildings?

Innovative Energy's astroECO reflective insulation

Radiant heat is one of the three ways that heat is transferred, and it is the primary mode of heat transfer in buildings. It occurs when infrared rays cross air spaces from one surface to another. Whereas mass insulation slows down heat transfer, reflective insulation and radiant barrier products feature a highly reflective film that can block up to 97 percent of radiant heat transfer, therefore improving overall thermal performance.

Reflective insulation products incorporate the insulating qualities of trapped air spaces in the core material sandwiched between the two reflective surfaces to create a material that reduces heat transfer. Radiant barriers typically come in sheets with a highly reflective surface on one or both sides, depending upon the application.

The main difference between a radiant barrier and a reflective insulation product relates to the way in which it is installed. Reflective insulations are typically installed within cavities that incorporate air spaces between the insulation and the cavity materials, as in a wall. Radiant barriers are typically installed with one reflective surface facing a large open air space, such as in an attic. To learn more, click here.

Overall benefits of reflective insulation and radiant barrier products include:

  • Reduced energy consumption and costs
  • Improved interior comfort
  • Thin and lightweight products
  • Easy and safe to install; no special tools or protective clothing required
  • Products available for virtually any structure

Innovative Energy offers the most complete line of reflective insulation products — from products for the building industry to materials for OEM and packaging applications. With a wealth of technical expertise, Innovative Energy representatives are always available to direct customers to the products that best fulfill their needs and requirements.

For more information about Innovative Energy or reflective insulation products, call 800-776-3645 or visit