Radiant Barrier Foil, Insulate Plumbing Pipes, Window Treatments
Radiant barrier paint and foil are becoming increasingly popular. Install it once and save on cooling and heating costs over the long term.
There are 2 types of thermal applications. The first is paint, typically infused with microscopic porcelain pellets and aluminum flakes. When spray painted on the underside of the roof decking, it will block 60% to 80% of the sun’s heat. Which is fine for summer, but does nothing to help lower utility bills during the winter.
A better choice is to install radiant barrier foil on the attic floor. This will stop up to 97% of heat from entering the home through the attic insulation and drywall ceiling. More importantly, it does double duty by keeping the heat in during the winter.
Windows are a prime cause of heat loss in the winter. In these tough economic times, installing double pane replacement windows might not be an option. Here is a solution that’s not pretty, but it is a practical alternative.
What makes double panes effective is the void between them. They’re gas-filled with an element that limits thermal transference, usually something like argon (Ar, a noble gas). But a plain air void works to a lesser extent.
First, apply double sided tape to the window frame inside the home. Next, apply clear shrink wrap plastic film over the window, pressing it onto the tape. The thickness of the resulting void is the depth from the window casing to the glass.
Finally, use a hair dryer to tighten up the film.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are not only a headache. If one happens to burst, the repair job can be quite an expense. It’s cheaper to install pipe insulation now, before Jack Frost visits. Don’t be out in the cold trying to thaw a frozen water pipe. This insulation is very inexpensive and can be found at Home Depot and many other home improvement stores.
The insulation is just lengths of foam tubes with a slit down one side so it can simply be snapped onto plumbing pipes. Check for pipes in the attic, crawlspaces, and unheated areas of the home, such as the garage.
Another thing to pick up is a Frost King Faucet Cover for every outdoor faucet. It’s important to use the correct size to minimize freezing drafts.