Costs of Installing a Radiant Heat Barrier

The rafters of an old attic.

In attics, a radiant heat barrier is installed to prevent heat from escaping in winter and overheating the attic in summer. Using a radiant heat barrier generally helps lower heating and air-conditioning costs.

It can also prolong the life of attic beams and roofs by preventing condensation from forming on the inside of the roof and causing wood rot and mold. Radiant heat barriers reflect rather than absorb heat, although they are not as good at reducing heat conductivity as thermal insulation.

Types of Radiant Heat Barriers

The cost of installing a radiant heat barrier depends on the type of radiant heat barrier you install. There are a variety of barriers, which can range from reflective paint, metal shingles, foil, reflective chips, and even laminated roof sheaths. This material is then placed on one side of some substrate material, such as paper, film, plywood, or cardboard.

The most common types of radiant heat barrier, foil and spray, both have cost advantages. The spray is cheaper to buy and can be installed more easily, but the foil is much better at reflecting heat. It can block around 97% of heat, making the attic significantly cooler during the summer.


It is possible to buy radiant barriers that can be self-installed, which is cheaper than having someone else do it. Nevertheless, you may be discouraged from self-installation by the likelihood that you will not install the barrier correctly and thereby prevent the barrier from performing its job properly. If that is the case, you'll just have to go ahead and hire a professional.


Costs will be reflected in the kind of radiant heat barrier you choose, and whether you install it yourself or use a professional. Radiant heat barriers are not insulated, so you will also have to cover the costs of putting in insulating material after the radiant heat barrier has been installed. Foil radiant heat barriers will cost around $70 per 500 square feet and can reduce your energy bills by as much as 30%.

You can cut costs by buying or installing the product yourself. You may also take advantage of special offers or brand reductions. Some homeowners can reduce costs further by getting a government grant, which will pay part of the total cost of installation for you. To compare it with another energy-saving upgrade, replacing windows with more energy-efficient glass can cost 7 to 10 thousand dollars.

Radiant heat barriers will eventually pay for themselves, and they will also make your home greener in the long run. With electricity prices rising, using radiant heat barriers is a good way of ensuring that you are not wasting electricity because your attic is not properly insulated.