Radiant Barrier – good recommendation or scam?

Recently a family member mentioned an unsolicited phone call resulting in an “energy interview” and “preliminary audit” conducted the same day.  When I asked about certifications of the Energy Auditor and the credentials of the “company” there was little information available, but a subsequent visit would be made to perform more tests on the house.  Prior to the “official audit” the recommendation was a simple foil radiant barrier in the attic that would result in great energy savings.  As their attic space is easily accessible I inquired if Icynene had been mentioned, which it had not.

Curious and somewhat concerned, I researched as many articles and blogs I could find about the values of radiant barriers.  One of the most informative was this post in Martin Halladay’s blog, “Musings of an Energy Nerd”.

Somewhat technical yet extremely informative, this blog entry discusses values of radiant barriers in various climates.  A retrofit study in Nevada with $650 of radiant barrier installed in the attic showed a savings of $11 a year bringing the payback to 59 years! Discover the bottom line to these new telephone solicitation calls touting the value of adding a radiant barrier.  Click here to read more…

With a new focus on energy savings I highly recommend checking certifications of any company or individual touting energy savings with simple solutions, especially when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls.  An Energy Audit conducted by an independent, certified auditor is the best first step to energy savings.  Once you receive your “map” to the most effective steps for energy savings you will know where to begin to maximize your investment.


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