Q&A / 

Save Energy Costs – Radiant Barrier Foil Chips & Tips

Cash is king when it comes to saving money on your utility bills. Once you make an improvement that lowers your energy usage, compare it to making a deposit in your savings account. Over time, the amount of money can be significant if you choose to do the right improvements.

Fluctuations in Price

Real savings start to happen when energy costs begin to soar. Remember that energy costs are closely tied to supply and demand. Abnormal weather can cause demand to soar. A refinery explosion or fire can limit supply. All sorts of things can easily affect the price of energy.

Save Big with Big Changes

If you want to save big money, you need to do several big things around your home or lots of little things that add up to a big savings. Replacing a 35 year old furnace with a newer 90+ percent furnace is a big thing. If you live where you use lots of air conditioning, you can save big if you install a 14 or 16 SEER air conditioner in place of your 15 or 20 year old 6 or 8 SEER unit.

On the contrary, if you were to just install two compact fluorescent light bulbs, you probably will see no savings on your electric bill. But change out all of your bulbs and you will see a difference.

Attic insulation upgrades are always a money saver. Sealing large air leaks is also very helpful. If your heating/cooling ducts are in an attic space, inspect them to see if any pipes are disconnected, joints are leaking air, or the insulation around the pipes is minimal. You want this ductwork to be insulated and sealed so that your heating and cooling dollars end up inside your home instead of inside your attic space.

The Radiant Chips

Last year, an Arizona company installed small foil chips in my attic. I can tell you they work. We have had a mild winter but I can feel that the second floor of my home is warmer and the furnace does not seem to come on as frequently as it used to. I have not yet done a comparison of my utility bills. It is very complicated to do because you actually have to compare the number of heating degree days compared to last year. To do this, you need data from the National Weather Service Office in your area. It is free data, but it takes time to get it all together and study it. You just can't look at the fuel bills! If this winter is more mild than last year, AND the cost of natural gas is exactly the same, then you can see why without any changes the fuel bills should/would be lower. But fuel costs vary, temperatures vary, people might change the thermostat! All of these things need to be calculated to do a fair comparison.

The Radiant Chip Company

The company I worked with was Horizon Energy Systems, Inc. It is owned by a fellow named Brad Lindsay. You can go to his website and get all sorts of data on the radiant chips.

Radiant technology is not new. But, the chip concept is indeed revolutionary. Large sheet radiant products have been around for a long time. But, the manufacturers don't like you to know that once they become covered with dust, they lose lots of their effectiveness. Brad's radiant chips solve this problem. His machine broadcasts 6 or 7 layers of chips in the average attic. The upper layer of chips will get dust covered but the layers below still work. Talk to Brad about them.


Click here to watch a video on radiant barrier insulation.

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