How To Install Radiant Barrier Insulation In A Stud Wall

Eli Smith
by Eli Smith

Radiant barriers are classically located in attics and are excellent at reducing the amount of heat and reducing cooling costs. While it may not be as typical, you can also install radiant barriers in stud walls. With this short guide, you will be well on your way to understanding how to go through this installation.

Your first step is to find a perforated radiant barrier so that it can transfer water. The reflective surface should be facing the outside, but you can purchase a double-sided reflective surface. Because you are making the installation inside of a stud wall, you will need to use studs and strapping to create an air gap.

Below, we are going to be going through a step by step guide when it comes to the installation of radiant barriers. We will also be digging into some essential safety measures.

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A Step-by-Step Guide On Installing Radiant Barriers In Stud Walls?

  • Measure to determine the amount of radiant barrier you need.
  • Have all of your supplies ready
  • Staple the radiant barrier to your stud to ensure it’s secure.
  • Use reflective tape to cover any gaps
  • Use strapping between studs
  • Put back on the wall

Step One: Measure Your Walls To Determine How Much Radiant Barrier Insulation You Need

Any insulation job will require you to determine the number of radiant barriers you need. While standard insulation jobs require you to measure between studs, you will measure the entire wall in this case.

Always overestimate the amount of insulation you need. It is much easier to remove extra radiant barrier insulation as opposed to taping additional pieces. When taping on, you are more likely to run into gaps in the insulation.

Step Two: Have All Of Your Supplies Ready

For supplies, be sure you have the following:

  • Utility knife
  • Tape measurer
  • Reflective tape
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Long sleeve clothes

Because you will be working close to insulation, you are likely going to need something to protect your exposed body parts. Invest in a pair of safety glasses and gloves.

If you get insulation on you, clean that section with warm water and mild soap.

Step Three: Begin Stapling The Radiant Barrier To Your Studs

Radiant barrier insulation comes in rolls, similar to batt insulation. You will not be removing any insulation in this process.

If you have ever done this with a roof, you will need to be sure that the radiant barrier has a little give to it. By doing this, you ensure that the radiant barrier has an air pocket.

This air allows what would usually be standard, warm air to become radiant air. This process happens because it is radiating off of the surface of your house and traditional insulation. When it radiates, it is more likely to bounce off a reflective surface.

Step Four: Use Reflective Tape To Cover Any Gaps

When it comes to any project, there is likely to be some mistake made along the way. Nobody is perfect when it comes to home improvement, and there are always a couple of steps you may have to backpedal on.

Thankfully, reflective tape often has much of the same idea as radiant barriers. While it would be incredibly inefficient to cover your entire wall with reflective tape, you can use it in small chunks here.

You will want to look for any seams to ensure an airtight seal.

Step Five: Use Strapping Between Studs

This next step is going to be where you create your air pocket.

Through the usage of strapping material, you can place sections of wood or metal between each stud. You can do this horizontally or vertically.

Regardless of what direction you choose, you will want to double-check your seam work at this stage.

Step Six: Put Back On The Interior Wall

Utilizing the strapping that you have just applied, you will be able to reapply the wall. Be careful not to puncture or rip any of the radiant barriers in the process of putting the wall back up.

In this case, the strapping acts as an additional set of studs for you to secure the wall on.

At this point, you should notice a pretty drastic reduction in the cost of cooling your home.

Can I Use Radiant Barrier Insulation With New Construction?

Yes, you should wrap your home in radiant barrier insulation, if possible. The reason for this is related to the already existing gap between the outside siding and the interior walls.

In this case, it takes fewer steps to install radiant barrier insulation. Simplicity is key with these things, so try to keep this outside if possible In either case, you will need to be sure that your radiant barrier insulation is perforated.

What Is Radiant Barrier Plywood?

If you want to combine two construction materials into one, radiant barrier plywood is a great option. It is the combination of a radiant barrier connecting to one side of a plywood strip.

It works great when finding easy ways to cool detached structures like sheds and garages. It is also usable as roof decking.

What is Radiant Barrier OSB?

Radiant barrier Oriented Strand Board is another option that is similar to plywood. As a result, this is typically for outside structures and roof decks.

Can You Combine Foam Board And Radiant Insulation?

Yes, although you will need to have horizontal strips of wood across this known as furring strips. Much like the strapping we were talking about earlier, furring strips will create an air barrier needed to support radiant insulation.

Also, be sure to check the R-value requirements for your zone. Rigid foam boards are excellent insulation provided that they meet your minimum requirements.

Do Radiant Barriers Work?

Radiant barriers are known to be most effective in hotter climates. They can reduce cooling costs by up to 10%.

The resulting cost reduction has allowed people to invest in a less power-consuming air conditioning unit. In colder climates, the amount of heat produced there does not justify having it.

As a result, people in Florida will find this more useful than people in Michigan.

Do You Need Insulation Installation or Replacement?

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Related Questions

How Long Does Radiant Barrier Last?

Because they do not take as much stress as insulation, radiant barriers can last a reasonably long time. Some people have reported having them installed up to ten years with no issues.

How Much Does A Radiant Barrier Cost?

Materials typically cost 10 cents per square foot but can cost up to 95 cents. Professionals can charge on an average of $50 per hour. Before deciding to hire a professional, be sure to shop around for different rates.

Can I Receive A Tax Credit For A Radiant Barrier?

There are no tax credits on the federal level for radiant barriers. Check with your local state guide to see if they have implemented this.Typically, they save energy tax credits for those who are willing to invest in solar panels.

Eli Smith
Eli Smith

I'm a guy who becomes the expert of whatever I stumble upon, writing-wise. I've written tons about cool home products, home improvement, and smart technology in the home. I'm also the proud father of a kiddo born on new years, making my holidays very busy.

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