When it comes to increasing home energy efficiency, it’s often the little things that make a big difference.  In the case of radiant barrier roof sheathing, it’s the thinnest of layers, such as these slender sheets of aluminum that cool down attics and save energy in a big way.

Radiant barriers are highly reflective materials placed on roof sheathing (the layer beneath the roofing surface). This reflective surface, usually installed in attics, is designed to block summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs. It’s possible to install a radiant barrier on an existing home, but it’s much easier to do it during the construction process. That’s when Shea Homes incorporates products like LP® TechShield®.

LP TechShield was one of the first radiant barrier panels on the market, and it’s still one of the best. TechShield is basically a standard piece of OSB (oriented strand board) sheathing with a layer of aluminum. This metal sheet, which is punctured with small holes called VaporVents, blocks up to 97% of the radiant heat from entering the attic, which can cool the space by as much as 30 degrees. This heat reduction at the top of the house trickles down into the rest of the home’s interior, and consequently the HVAC system requires less energy to do the same amount of cooling.

With air conditioning running optimally (thanks to sun’s rays bouncing off the aluminum in the attic), homeowners notice the difference in monthly utility bills. TechShield suggests that their system can save up to 17% per month on air conditioning costs.

Along with performing great, TechShield installs just like regular roof sheathing, which helps Shea Homes control costs that are passed down to the homebuyer. Furthermore, the VaporVents help keep the panels dry during construction, an important part of Shea’s commitment to crafting the finest built homes in the industry.

A radiant barrier’s effectiveness depends on proper installation, so it’s best to use a certified installer. If you choose to do the installation yourself, carefully study and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions and check your local building and fire codes. The reflective insulation trade association http://www.rimainternational.org/index.php/technical/ also offers installation tips.

Find more of Shea’s favorite products at SheaHomes.com.

Images courtesy of LP Building Products.

About The Author
Josh Englander is a novelist and the founder of DesignLens, an online architectural publication that explores residential design and land planning concepts in America.

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