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ASTRO-SHIELD and REFLECT-IT Radiant Barrier Q&A

Q

If it's only 5/16" thick, how can ASTRO-SHIELD possibly have a high enough R-value to be more effective than regular mass insulation, like fiberglass or cellulose?

A

Reflective insulation has one or two layers of polyethylene bubble between the industrial foil layers which traps air and give ASTRO-SHIELD its R-values, in addition to the great
reflective properties it possesses. Radiant barrier has a substrate of polyethylene film & polyolefin scrim between the two foil surfaces. Basically, reflective insulation is a radiant barrier with R-values.

Q

If ASTRO-SHIELD has similar efficiency to ASTRO-SHIELD, why can't I use ASTRO-SHIELD anywhere, as it costs less?

A

You can. It's just that ASTRO-SHIELD (double bubble) is tougher & more durable than
ASTRO-SHIELD (single bubble), which is a good thing when installing in commercial applications. There is more stress put on the material (stretching, tightening, etc) when installing in commercial buildings than there is when installing in residential. Plus, the added layer of bubble works great as a moisture barrier to discourage condensation.

Q

Wouldn't I just be able to go to the grocery store & buy a bunch of kitchen foil for less than it costs to buy radiant barrier?

A

Maybe. But there are three problems:
1. Kitchen foil (even the heavy-duty kind) is much, much less durable than REFLECT-IT radiant barrier--so it'll be almost impossible to install without any rips or tears--which substantially reduces the effectiveness of the radiant barrier.
2. REFLECT-IT Radiant Barrier is a much more pure aluminum foil, thereby allowing for greater reflectivty (a lower emissivity).
3. For a home's attic, one needs the tiny perforations available in radiant barrier so that a vapor barrier is not created, causing moisture to build up below the foil & condensating on the ceiling. Regular kitchen foil does not have those tiny perforations.

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