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The Spring/Fall Effect of Radiant Barrier

Every year I hear the same story. I have many clients who install AtticFoil™ and absolutely love the difference it makes all through the summer but once fall settles in they call to us with their concerns. Usually their emails will praise the difference AtticFoil™ made in the summer but then they’ll say that they aren’t able to cool their house off in the evening and overnight. Could there be a problem with the radiant barrier? Has AtticFoil™ failed them already?

The answer is no. The fact of the matter is that the radiant barrier is absolutely working as it should. But although the seasons change, the way heat and cold work don’t and the radiant barrier is designed to deal with that exchange regardless of the season. The result can be the opposite of what you as the homeowner would like, but rest assured, the radiant barrier AtticFoil™ is working perfectly.


Heat is a constant and you can count on it to always work in the same way. Heat will always flow from hot and into cold. So, if it’s freezing outside and nice and cozy in your house, that heat Is constantly trying to get out. Conversely, in the summer the warmth outside tries to worm its way into your nice air conditioned home at every opportunity. Once the outside cools off in the evening your home will begin to cool off naturally since the inside of your home may now be warmer then the outside.


The radiant barrier in AtticFoil™ does its job and it does it well – possibly too well sometimes. In the summer as you want your home to cool off quickly, the radiant barrier is still working to deflect heat back into the home, which is what it was designed to do. It was designed to reflect heat out of the home during the day and to keep the home warm by containing the heat inside the home when it’s cooler outside. So there’s nothing wrong with your AtticFoil™ or the radiant barrier – it’s just working when you would rather it wouldn’t.


So what’s the solution?

When the radiant barrier is doing its job too well and making it hard for your home to lose heat naturally you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. Since we know that heat naturally wants to escape into cold, simply give it the opportunity to do that. Open some windows and doors and encourage the hot air within your home to escape outside.


This problem typically only lasts a few weeks and is at its peak as seasons change and weather is more likely to change quickly. And for the rest of the year that radiant barrier is working to keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature making it well worth the price as an investment.

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