How Does LOW-E Reflective Insulation Work?Why does reflective insulation work? It's the Law! The second Law of Thermodynamics, unlike man-made laws, cannot be broken HEAT goes to COLD by one of three ways: CONDUCTION, CONVECTION & RADIATION.
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Understanding what LOW-E means can be difficult. All surfaces have an e rating from .01 to 1.0. The e stands for emissivity, which is the ability of a surface to reradiate or give off radiant heat to a cooler surface. The lower the e rating, the lower the amount of radiant heat the surface will give off. For example, a wood stove surface has an e rating of 1.0, meaning that at 1000 degrees it will give off 1000 in infrared. Cover it with a Low-E surface with an e rating of .03 then that surface will reradiate only 30 in infrared!
All building products have an e rating, most of them over .80.
|Why is a LOW-E surface highly recommended?
The left sides of the houses above are demonstrating the potential heat loss and gain in buildings using only mass type insulations. The right sides of the house demonstrate the potential reduction in heat loss and gain by adding LOW-E Reflective Insulation with the mass insulations.
In the chart above we are demonstrating the difference in heat transfer with 75 degree floor temperature and using as an example, 120 degree summer inside roof temperature, with no LOW-E, 48,877 btu’s are transferred and with LOW-E, 2,712 btu’s are transferred.