Some Solar Energy Is Unwelcomed in Summer

Yikes! It’s nearly 100 degrees here in North Carolina and the humidity nearly matches it. It was still over 90 degrees at dinnertime! I, for one, don’t find solar energy all that welcome this time of year. Maybe if I was generating electricity from it I would feel differently. But the solar energy I’m talking about makes me roast whenever I step out of the shade and it makes my attic a veritable furnace. But, I’ve found a building product that comes to the rescue.

I’m talking about a radiant barrier. A radiant barrier is a reflective material that acts like a mirror to reflect heat back out of the attic just like those silver umbrellas you might have seen or the shiny foil that is wrapped around the space station and satellites to keep them safe from solar rays. When used as roof sheathing, just under the shingles, this same foil radiant barrier can keep your attic much cooler and significantly reduce your cooling costs, up to 30% according to some claims, cutting your energy bills by up to 17%.

I can attest to it’s effectiveness. Since I started specifying LP TechShield roof sheathing, or equal, I’ve noticed that the attics of my porjects have been significantly cooler, even on the hottest days. Not only does that mean that there is less heat transmitted into the living spaces below, but if your air conditioner and ductwork are located in the attic, as many are, the cool, air-conditioned air in the ductwork will stay cooler as it travels to where it is needed. This is a product that will pay for it’s added cost by way of energy cost savings in a very short time.

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

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Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch


  1. Ed on July 21, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Techshield is great for new construction. For existing homes you can install radiant barrier attic foil in rolls. You can simply staple it to the bottom of the rafters and it will reflect 97% of the radiant heat. Some companies charge $1-$2 per foot to install but you can purchase the materials and install it yourself for about .12/ft. Visit attic for complete do-it-yourself instructions.

  2. Shawn on April 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    You can use the radiant barrier rolls and simply staple them to the OSB and create your own “techshield” product. Check out the OSB page on for detailed instructions as well as the ability to purchase online.

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