Walking into a New Orleans attic in summer is like walking on the sun. Have you ever wondered why attics get so unbearably hot? It has to do with radiant energy. Radiant energy is what makes surfaces hot, like the slick, vinyl of a car seat on a scorching afternoon. Or steaming roadways during Fourth of July traffic.
The sun’s radiant energy heats the roof of your house in the same way that it heats all surfaces. The heat then travels through the materials of the roof by way of conduction. On the other side of the roof, the heat is radiated once again onto cooler attic surfaces, quickly turning your attic into an oven.
You may think you’re safe from the attic if you just keep the hatch shut until it’s time to pull down Christmas decorations, but you’re wrong. If cooling ducts running through your attic as is the case with many homes, your attic’s radiant energy heats them up, forcing your air conditioner to strain harder to cool your home. That’s a waste of money and energy.
As the temperature rises in your attic, the air expands. This causes it to begin to push against the cooler air below, forcing conditioned air out of your home through cracks and crevices almost as quickly as it’s cooled down. Once again, your air conditioner is forced to work harder to keep your home feeling comfortable as a result of the heat buildup in your attic.
In tropical climates like southern Louisiana, homes benefit from the installation of a radiant barrier. This silver, reflective insulation may look like tin foil, but it serves a valuable purpose. Radiant barriers can reflect up to 97% of the sun’s radiant energy away from the house and back outside, reducing your air conditioning costs by 10% or more.
It’s a simple matter to install radiant barriers in new homes, but they can also be incorporated into the attics of older homes. Whatever your circumstances, installing a radiant barrier is more involved than you might think, and its only effective when installed properly. As with most insulations, it pays to have a professional with experience install the material. Our team at Sunlight Contractors are trained and licensed and have years of experience to offer. If you’re ready to turn down the oven that is your attic, give us a call today.
Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082
New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 1635 Elysian Fields Avenue, Suite 325, New Orleans, LA 70117 (504) 302-0058