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If you live in a city with record-breaking temperatures during summer, you will want to choose attic insulation that will effectively reduce your home temperature. Otherwise, you could be uncomfortably warm inside your home and spend a fortune running cool air only to have it seep outside.

Spray Foam or Radiant Barrier Sheathing: Which is Better?

(Pixabay / pixeltweaks)

The two conventional ways of insulating the attic are radiant barrier sheathing and spray foam insulation. Radiant barrier sheathing reflects back as much as 95 percent of the heat absorbed by the attic on a hot summer day. This reflective process can reduce the attic temperature by as much as 20°F. The sheathing can keep your home’s interior temperature at a comfortable level, allowing you to save on electric bills by as much as 17 percent. Installing radiant barrier sheathing is easily accomplished without the need for special tools or machines. Put the sheathing in place with the reflective foil facing down into the attic.

When you install the sheathing, don’t let it come in contact with other materials. Keep a minimum ¾-inch gap for proper airflow. Radiant barrier sheathing cannot be used in all regions. It is only recommended for the country’s warmest climate zones.

Spray foam insulation is another way of keeping your attic cool during summer. The high R-values of spray insulation can easily achieve this goal. Spray foam insulation is ideal for use in smaller buildings with difficult-to-reach nooks and crannies. It can be pricey, but it can significantly reduce your power bills in both summer and winter for up to 80 years.

Spray foam insulation requires special equipment for installation. It does not protect against radiant heat, but it is effective in protecting the home against convection and conduction. It is not as effective as radiant barrier sheathing in summer.