Install a radiant barrier in your roof
Radiant barriers keep the sun's heat from seeping through your walls and roof, reducing the amount of energy you need to cool your home and keeping you comfortable for less. Radiant barriers can lower cooling costs 5-10% when used in a warm, sunny climate.
How it works:
On a sunny day, your roof and exterior walls absorb solar energy, causing the interior surfaces to radiate heat inside your home. A radiant barrier reduces the amount of heat transferred from the outside of your home to the interior walls by reflecting the sun's energy. This helps your home stay cooler and lowers your air conditioning costs.
What to look for:
- Low emissivity and high reflectivity. Typical, clean, undamaged radiant barriers have emissivity of about 0.03-0.05 and reflectivity of 95-97%.
- A certified contractor to install it. A radiant barrier's effectiveness depends on proper installation. If you want to install a radiant barrier yourself, obtain instructions and safety precautions from the manufacturer. Carefully study and follow these directions. You should also check your local building and fire codes.
Things to think about:
Radiant barriers can be combined with many types of insulation materials to make reflective insulation systems. These can further reduce your air conditioning needs and your electric bill.