How Much Does Radiant Barrier Cost?

Typical Range:

$710 - $2,840

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Published June 11, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Radiant Barrier Cost

The cost to install radiant barrier insulation runs from $740 to $2,840 or $1,700 on average. Materials for this project run as low as $0.10 per square foot, up to $0.95. Professional installers typically charge $30 to $80 per hour for this job. Radiant barrier is best suited to attics.

Are you looking for the cost of other types of attic insulation? Find the price of blown-in insulation and the cost to insulate a house.

Average Cost$1,700
High Cost$2,840
Low Cost$740

Radiant Barrier Installation Cost

The average cost to install radiant barrier insulation is $1,700 for the whole project. Labor typically runs between $30 and $80 per hour. Keep in mind that many factors affect the project costs of this job, including:

  • Size of space

  • Location of insulation

  • One-sided foil vs. two-sided

  • DIY installation vs. professional

One-sided vs. two-sided foil

Double-sided foil is pricier than one-sided and costs up to $0.90 per square foot. Single-sided runs from $0.10 to $0.25 per square foot on average. Two-sided radiant barrier insulation reflects heat on both sides, while one-sided only reflects one way.

Radiant Barrier Attic Installation Cost

Attic insulation pros charge from $710 to $2,840 to add radiant barrier insulation to a 1,500-square-foot attic. Larger areas and more complex projects will increase this price.

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About Radiant Barriers

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential radiant barriers help homeowners lower air conditioning costs and lessen the impact of summer heat.

To create a radiant barrier, pros install metal foil over the rafters in an attic and reflect the sun’s heat away from the home. This is most effective when coupled with reflective insulation. To maximize cooling efficiency, the system must include an air gap between the reflective surface and the interior of the roof.

Radiant Barrier vs. Reflective Insulation

Reflective insulation is insulating material (like batt and roll insulation) that has at least one reflective surface. Radiant barriers do not have insulating material attached, but you can install them over new or existing insulation to maximize the efficiency of both materials.

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How Much Does Radiant Barrier Save?

Homeowners in hot climates can save as much as 10 percent on their heating bills, or about $120 off per year. Cooler climates typically save $15 per year on average with a radiant barrier upgrade. If homeowners upgrade to R19 insulation, they can save from $180 to $300 on heating bills.

DIY vs. Hiring Radiant Barrier Installer

Radiant barrier won’t work at peak capacity if it’s incorrectly installed. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends homeowners hire a radiant barrier installer to make sure the job gets done right. However, it is possible to DIY install this insulation with care. Installers can staple radiant barriers up on their own or lay the material over existing insulation.

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Do radiant barriers really work?

Yes. Radiant barriers are an energy efficient upgrade that can save you as much as 10 percent on their heating bills.

Is radiant barrier better than insulation?

Radiant barriers can keep your home cool more effectively than insulation in some cases. Although it usually works best when coupled with normal insulation.

Can you put radiant barrier over insulation?

Yes, you can install radiant barrier over new or existing insulation. In fact, this often improves its efficiency.

Can radiant barrier cause mold?

Radiant barrier insulation can cause mold if it is not installed correctly. A pro will be able to prevent this problem with proper installation. A local mold remediation specialist can help fix any issues if mold has already formed.

What is the R-value of radiant barrier?

Radiant barrier has no R-value on its own. This rating system is exclusive to materials that slow conductive heat — like bat and roll or blown-in insulation. Radiant barrier can work in tandem with other insulating materials and increase their effectiveness.

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