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Benefits of Using Reflective Insulation in Metal Building Systems

During the past few years, more and more companies have found the solution for keeping the desired temperature inside their buildings while keeping energy cost down.  The solution is reflective insulation products.  Reflective insulation products are gaining popularity for their energy savings benefits, ease of installation and competitive pricing.

Because metal buildings conduct heat, maintaining desired temperature during the summer and winter months can be ongoing and expensive.  The insulation reduces the transfer of heat across a building’s air spaces and is manufactured with a highly reflective surface.  Since 95-97% of the radiant heat that strikes the surface is reflected, only 3-5% of the heat is emitted through the insulation.

The major benefits of reflective insulation is that in the summer, heat that radiates through the roof will reflect off the insulation’s surface back to the roof- not to the inside of the building- keeping temperatures inside the building cooler.  In the winter, the heat inside of the building is reflected off the insulation’s shiny surface to retain the heat.

To achieve maximum performance, the reflective insulation must be properly installed with an air- space facing one foil side of the product.  In addition to its energy saving capabilities, reflective insulation has many other features;

• Lightweight and features easy installation which can reduce labor costs

• Can be cut-to-size

• It can be installed over previous insulation to increase insulating properties, or to improve a building’s appearance.

• Requirements for indoor lighting can be cut by up to 35%, which can help reduce electricity bills.

• The lower moisture transfer improves the overall thermal performance of the buildings

While reflective insulation materials can be used in any climate, it is most effective in southern states where excessive heat can send energy cost soaring.

Reflective insulation materials are tested under the ASTM 1224 Standard Specifications for Reflective Insulation for building applications.  Included in these criteria is a fire test ASTM E84-10 and ASTM E2599 require reflective insulation to have a flame spread rating of 25 or less and a smoke development rating of 50 or less.

John Starr is the vice president/partner of Covertech/rFoil

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