How does spray foam insulation compare to a radiant barrier?
Radiant barriers, also known as reflective radiant barriers, are designed to reflect radiation heat or heat
waves so as to reduce their thermal effect on internal temperatures.
To help visualize this just imagine that shiny, aluminum-looking car shade thing you put in your front
windshield to reflect the sun’s radiation from heating up your car. That is what a radiant barrier is.
Now, have you ever noticed that even with the car shade in place, the car still gets pretty hot inside?
That is because radiant heat is only one of the three major types of heat sources that effect thermal
transfer to the interior of your home or office space, and of the three it is the least significant.
Spray foam is far superior to any radiant barrier because it offers true insulation properties, not just
reflection – as is the case with radiant barriers. The option usually does exist (depending on the
project/building design) to use the two products in combination, but the negligible benefits have not
been proven to outweigh the additional expense.
Considering the fact that radiant barriers do virtually nothing to stop heat transfer via conduction or
convection (the two more significant heat sources) with the fact that spray foam is the best product on
the market today; boasting the highest effective R-values industry wide – well, there really is no
comparison – spray foam is hands down the best choice for a more comfortable and energy efficient
home or office space.