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Hutch's Dr. Energy Saver Q&A

What is a thermal bypass?

To have a thermal bypass we need to know what your thermal boundary is that we are bypassing. The insulation in your walls, floor and attic is supposed to be one continuous line. Anytime you have a break in this line this would be the bypass. Most of the time we find this between the first and second floor in a number of ways. A lot of the time between the floors they just install fiberglass batts to keep the insulation line intact, the problem with batt insulation is that it will not stop air flow. Between the first and second floor they are not required to have insulation. This means air that flows through the batt insulation will go freely between the floors effecting the temperatures of both floors.

Knee wall space is usually a place for a bypass under a bonus room or even the whole house. The biggest thing to remember is between the floors there is no insulation. Meaning if outside is cold or hot, the air can get to this area and it will effect the temperature of both floors. We need to stop the air from getting to these areas.

Why do you need the barrier and what is the proper installation of the aluminum product?

Radiant barrier seams to be one of the most popular ways to make your home more energy efficient. The barrier industry started out by making consumers think that if we could make our attics cooler, that we would make our homes cooler. The industry has even gotten bold enough to try to tell us that this barrier will keep the heat inside your home in the winter also. I have even seen it in the crawl space of some homes. They install this to the bottom of the floor joist calling it sealed. They say it is all about the energy savings. 

If it were all about the energy and how much we could save, then we at Hutch's Dr. Energy Saver would not be removing it all the time. When installed correctly, it will make your attic cooler by twenty to thirty degrees. I have been in attics in North Carolina that are 130 to 150 degrees. Ok great, it is twenty to thirty degrees better in hundred twenty degrees or more. 

Making things worse they have been installing the barrier over the top of the existing insulation and saying that is the best way to have it installed, to cap the insulation seals it.

The way that this barrier works is the reflective side radiating the heat out of the attic. Well, if the reflective side gets a dust film on the barrier it won't radiate back as much, then the attic won't be as cool as first stated.

Radiant barrier does have its place like everything else but you must know when and how it should be used. Trust the experts, like us! 

Disclaimer: We sell radiant barrier 

Note from our expert Hutch: As I have said before, it has its place. If you are having rooms that are different temperatures or if the upstairs won't cool off or warm up. The heating or the air conditioning keeps running and won't shut off. Call us today to get a FREE home evaluation.

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Our Locations:

Hutch's Dr. Energy Saver
2708 Exchange Dr, Unit A
Wilmington, NC 28405