When dealing with conditioned buildings (air conditioned/ heated) think in terms of layers and air-tightness. Basically, you want to create a well-insulated box that is air tight, and you want to wrap that box with radiant barrier. The radiant barrier will act as the first line of defense against radiant heat, while the standard insulation (with R-Value) will act as the second line of defense against conductive heat flow. Our 60″ Wide Single Sided Radiant Barrier Foil is a good option for these kinds of installations. We also have the Single Sided Foil in 48″ Wide.
For a radiant barrier to work the foil MUST face an airspace. In a typical metal building this means thinking in terms of LAYERS. The first layer is the metal building, the second layer is the air space, the third layer is the radiant barrier foil, the next layer is typically framing and/or regular insulation, and the final layer is the inside “skin” of the building. It may be sheetrock, metal, plywood, or another product.
Remember: foil closest to the OUTSIDE of a building keeps heat OUT best and WareHouseFoil™ must have an air space on at least one side of the foil in order for it to work properly.
How Does WareHouseFoil™ Help Reduce Heat Gain?
In a typical building, the outside “skin” can easily reach over 150ºF in direct sunlight. Once the skin heats up, the heat flows by direct conduction through the walls and ceiling insulation. When you create an airspace it FORCES most of the heat to CONVERT to radiant heat in order to cross the airspace. Radiant heat is actually EASIER to control than conductive heat, since it can be REFLECTED just like light*. Once the heat is converted to radiant heat, we OWN IT! We can reflect the energy away from the regular insulation, which makes the regular insulation more effective.
Simply put, think of your insulation like a refrigerator sitting in the direct sun. Do we agree that the refrigerator would be more efficient if we could move it from under the sun and put it in the shade? Radiant barrier basically acts like shade, making any traditional insulation more effective by reducing the heat load before it ever reaches the insulation inside the walls and ceilings.
*Radiant heat/ infrared radiation is actually the invisible part of the light spectrum.