Ashburn, VA

Ashburn, VA

# How much does radiant barrier installation cost?

$0.30 –$2.00cost per square foot installed
$350 –$2,700average cost to install in attic

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

## $350 –$2,700average cost to install in attic

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Radiant barrier installation costs $0.30 to$2.00 per square foot for labor and materials. Installing an attic radiant barrier costs $350 to$2,700, depending on the attic size and install method. Radiant barrier spray costs $250 to$400 for materials to cover 500 to 2,000 square feet.

Square feet Total cost to install
500 $150 –$1,000
700 $210 –$1,400
1,000 $300 –$2,000
1,200 $360 –$2,400
1,500 $450 –$3,000
2,000 $600 –$4,000

• May save 5% to 10% on cooling costs.

• Reflects 90%+ radiant heat away from the home, reducing attic temperatures by up to 30° F.

• Are most effective in hot climates, but also reduces heat loss in the winter months.

Get free estimates from radiant barrier installers near you.

## Average attic radiant barrier cost

The following table shows the average cost to install a radiant barrier in an attic.

## How much radiant barrier do I need?

• If installing the barrier over the attic floor insulation, measure the attic's square footage.

• If stapling the barrier to the roof rafters:

1. Measure the length and width of each roof surface.

2. Subtract 6 inches from the length measurement to account for a 3-inch ventilation space needed at the top and bottom.

3. Multiply the width by the reduced length.

4. Add the roof surface totals together.

### What is a radiant barrier, and does it work?

A radiant barrier is a material that reflects 90% or more radiant heat, reducing heat transfer to the home's interior. Radiant barriers are typically made of aluminum bonded to high-strength paper or fabric and are installed in an attic to reduce incoming heat from the roof.

• Radiant barriers are most effective in hot climates, but they also reduce heat loss in the winter months.

• A radiant barrier is not a substitute for thermal insulation because it only addresses heat radiation, not conduction or convection.

• Metal roofs reflect radiant energy, but metal-roofed homes may still benefit from a radiant barrier, depending on the roof color and material.

• Radiant barriers may interfere with TV antennas. The impact on cell phone reception is typically minimal unless the home has a weak signal.

• Wi-Fi signals are not affected by radiant barriers since the signal comes from the router inside the home.

### Is a radiant barrier worth it?

A radiant barrier may be worth it for homes in hot climates or with attic ductwork. When installed at the roof rafters, a radiant barrier reduces attic temperatures by up to 30° F. Cooler regions benefit more from adding additional thermal insulation instead.

Pros and cons of radiant barrier
Pros Cons
• May save 5% – 10%+ on energy bills
• Does not support bacteria or mold growth
• Does not break down with moisture or time
• Non-toxic
• Dust buildup may reduce its efficiency.
• Does not block heat conduction or convection; should be combined with other insulation types
• Not as effective in cold climates

### How much energy does a radiant barrier save?

Installing a radiant barrier saves 5% to 10% or more on cooling costs, depending on the climate. Homeowners in warm regions may save over 15% during the summer months. A radiant barrier provides energy savings of 10 to 20 kWh per month, depending on the home's ventilation, thermal insulation, and orientation to the sun.

### Can you put a radiant barrier over insulation?

You can put a radiant barrier over existing insulation. Still, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends against this due to trapped moisture and dust buildup reducing the barrier's effectiveness over time. Stapling a radiant barrier to the roof rafters works better and is ideal for hot climates or attics with ductwork.

### Can you put a radiant barrier under shingles?

A radiant barrier requires air space to be effective and should not be installed directly under shingles. A radiant barrier sandwiched between the shingles and roof deck without an air gap becomes a heat conductor and provides fire resistance but hinders energy efficiency.

### Does a radiant barrier qualify for a tax credit?

A radiant barrier may qualify for a federal tax credit and state tax incentives as radiant barriers improve home energy efficiency. Check the Energy Star rebate finder and the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for available rebates and tax incentives in your area.

## Tips for hiring radiant barrier insulation installers

Before hiring insulation contractors, be sure to:

• Get at least three quotes to compare.

• Look for pros experienced in radiant barrier installation.

• Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for 5+ years.

• Ask for references. Check with previous customers about the company's performance, and ask whether they have seen energy savings since the installation.

• Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

• Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.

• Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

• Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

• How long have you been in business?

• What experience do you have with radiant barriers?

• Do you recommend radiant barriers or reflective insulation for my home, and why?

• Should I install the radiant barrier at the rafters or over the attic floor insulation?

• Will a radiant barrier work better than adding more thermal insulation? Why or why not?

• Do you have customers in the area I could contact for a reference?

• Is air sealing included in the estimate?

• What is and is not included in the price?

• What additional costs should I expect?

• Can I be in the house during the insulation process?

• How long will the project take?

• How long should the insulation last?

• Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?

• Are there any rebates available, and do you apply for them?

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