Why is “reflective insulation” still being sold by HD and Lowes — and supplied by many contractors?

I stopped by my local HD for even more supplies and was surprised to view rolls of “radiant barrier” bubble wrap on the shelf. Lowes and also online merchants sell assets with equivalent clintends.

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For instance, right here are the benefits promised by a leading vendor:

“An easy-to-install double reflective, double bubble insulation

R-values range from R-3.7 to R-21 depending upon the applications

Energy-conserving residential applications include: cathedral ceiling, crawl area, radiant floor, wall, HVAC duct, water pipe, garage door, knee wall…”

R 21 ?? !! As GBA posts and posts note, the typical claims for radiant insulation are snake oil, put to the lie by two decades of independent researches, FTC and also Attorney General actions etc.

Unfortunately, building contractors, home builders and customers continue to autumn for these clintends. For example, the HVAC contractor at our latest task confirmed up through a big roll of Reflectix and also started to wrap the plenums. The label on the Reflectix roll boldly asserted “R6”, through a small note that R4.2 was the expected level of insulation via HVAC ducts. if you check out the excellent reviews and also commentary on GBA, you understand you need to read this fine print extremely very closely. R4.2 is only achievable through a perfect assembly, a constant air space and also horizontal orientation — and no dust on the foil surconfront.

These claims are not unique; launch a Google search for “reflective insulation” and see exactly how many assets and extravagent clintends show up in your web browser.

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This is a whack-a-mole difficulty. When one vendor is hit by the FTC or an AG suit, an additional pops up. “Reflective insulation” is very cheap to manufacture, so new products easily show up through even more wild clintends.

It is past time, well past, for professional builder organizations to join together nationwide — and also put an end to this charade.

Included below are links to a number of dependable sites and also independent studies:

Healthy Heating: twenty years of research research studies on reflective ‘insulation’: http://www.healthyheating.com/Page%2055/Page_55_o_bldg_sys.htm#.UqHyQMRDvNk (Scroll dvery own to watch the newer studies)

GBA: Is Bubble Wrap Duct Insulation a Good Idea? https://www.kosid.org/blogs/dept/qa-spotlight/bubble-wrap-duct-insulation-good-idea

Energy Vanguard: The Foil Faced Bubble Wrap Sham http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/29497/The-Foil-Faced-Bubble-Wrap-Sham-Understanding-Radiant-Barriers

GBA: A good collection of every one of the inquiries and claims for HVAC installers: https://www.kosid.org/community/forum/green-products-and-materials/23805/reflectix-still-claiming-r42-its-bubble-wrap-my-h

A copy of a thounstable 2010 study by the Canadian National Institute for Research in Construction is additionally attached. Their conclusion: In a perfect state (via no dust on the surface), a radiant obstacle via an air gap boosted the effectiveness of insulation in a wall surface by 10%. In other words, if the wall was already R6, including ‘miraculous’ foil bubble wrap included .6, for a complete of R6.6.