Question: Is AtticFoil® brand radiant barrier foil Energy Star rated?
Over the past year we have received this question from potential customers. In 2010 Energy Star began an investigative look into who they would take partnerships with and which products they would support under their program. As of March 26, 2012 they finalized which categories of products would and would not be eligible to qualify as part of their insulation products program.
Not all ENERGY STAR qualified products qualify for a tax credit.
To see the timeline of how these revisions came about, check out the Energy Star website page that features the details of their SEAL and INSULATE with ENERGY STAR program: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=revisions.insulation_spec
We remind you to read the fine print and know the details of your application before choosing a product based on this rating. Just like the misleading claims of radaint barrier products that promise R-value, the key to these claims is dependant on the application, and most residential applications will not create the environment necessary to achieve the results being claimed.
As part of their revisions, radiant barrier products (as defined by the EPA) are no longer part of the SEAL and INSULATE with ENERGY STAR program. Beginning May 23, 2012 all previous partners are to cease and desist using the Energy Star logo on radiant barrier foil products.
Why? The main reason appears to be the fact that reflective radiant barriers on their own do not have an R-value. Based on the definitions Energy Star created for insulation products, qualifiying products have to have a cerain R-value to be included. It is because of this R-value requirement that there is one radiant barrier foil product that is an exception to the rule: radiant barrier reflective barriers that contain air gaps (or bubbles), when part of a sealed system, are allowed by the program.
Since typical application of radiant barriers in residential applications occur in an attic space where air is vented and moves freely, radaint barriers do not achieve an R-value, regardless of the kind of radiant barrier it is (radiant barrier with insulation inbetween, bubble foil, etc.) and it is because of this that they neither seal nor insulate and therefore are omitted from the SEAL and INSULATE with ENERGY STAR program.
Good news: while having an Energy Star endorsement is nice, it in no way invalidates the benefits of radiant barrier and how radiant barrier foil works together with traditional insualtion, not in place of it, to give your home the best chance of running efficiently and comfortably.
We recommend you read some of the over 875 customer reviews on our radiant barrier reviews page to see how customers are using the combined effects of both a radiant barrier and traditional insulation with R-value to maximize rejecting heat in the summer. Radiant barrier foil stops 97% of the radiant heat from getting into the traditional insulation, making it more effective against slowing down the 3% left that gets into the attic. Furthermore, it also helps keep heat inside your home in the winter because of foil's ability to stop the convective looping that occurs within your traditional R-value insulation.
For the full information and the new rules and regulations, you can read the PDF version of the EPA's final ruling.