Emissivity & Reflectivity Qualities

The two properties that determine a radiant energy barrier’s strength are its emissivity and reflectivity quantities. The emissivity not only depends on the surface temperature, but it also depends on the number between 0 and 1 which is its rating. The higher this number is, the greater the emitted radiation from the barrier. This is a very important number to look at when purchasing foil bubble insulation, because a low emissivity number can lead to less money being saved on your electric and gas bills. 

The other number that plays a large role in the quality of bubble insulation radiant barriers is the reflectivity. This is a quantifiable number that essentially measures how much radiant energy is being reflected back once it hits the reflective material on the foil insulation. It is also generally quantified by a number between 0 and 1, with a higher number being much more reflected. Reflectivity can also be measured by percentage as well.


Typical Foil Insulation Installation

Foil InsulationThere are many different options to choose from and many different ways that a radiant barrier can be installed in your home. Some people opt for a DIY installation and others opt to hire a contractor or a carpenter to install it for them. Some of the things you may come across that might increase the cost of installing a typical foil insulation barrier are:


  • Whether it’s installed in a new home or an older home
  • Whether it’s installed on the floor of the attic or on the rafters
  • If you choose a basic barrier as opposed to one with various options
  • Retrofitting that you or your contractor may have to do


These are just a few of the unexpected roadblocks that you may come across when hiring a contractor to install your foil bubble insulation. Although these unexpected charges seem like they may be expensive at first, fear not: the barrier will more than pay for itself in just a few short years.