John S. Rodenhizer
  • South Hamilton, MA
  • United States
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Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dennis Heidner May 22. 19 Replies

I recently inspected a house that I am rating and discovered the HVAC contractor used Big 8 bubble wrap on the metal main duct in a vented attic in Climate zone 5. I spoke to the contractor about…Continue

 

John S. Rodenhizer's Page

Latest Activity

John S. Rodenhizer joined Kim Tanner's group
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TEC

Discussion group for The Energy ConservatoryHave a question about residential or big building air leakage testing, code compliance or one of our products? Post it here!Also, feel free to check out our LinkedIn group!See More
Oct 10
John S. Rodenhizer replied to David Wentling's discussion ERV recommendations
"As a Rater and PH guy I have seen a number of units. You do get what you pay for. I also commission for Zehnder, about 180+ to date. Having the ability to dial  in every room to meet a design spec is really special. 2 ECM fans and there…"
Sep 5
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Pests are also a really good reason to seal duct work with either the approved mastic OR aluminum duct tape... not the sticky "un-Duct" tape that DIYers use... "un-Duct" can be tasty for some critters..."
May 22
Mark Furst replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Hmm, good point. I didn't notice any droppings but it could be. I'll check my other pics."
May 22
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"If you look closely ... can you see rat or mice teeth marks on foil?   Some of the modern materials are gourmet meals for rodents.   E.g.  they really enjoy a snack on some PEX  or the insulation from some automobile…"
May 22
Mark Furst replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"On a tangentially related topic: I saw this today in an old attic installed AC system. Ducts made from only fiber-board, coming apart at the corners."
May 22
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"I believe one of the issues is how does one defend themselves against an HVAC contractor that insists it is okay.   And the answer to that would have to be pull articles from ACCA or AHRI which say that reflective bubble wrap is worthless…"
May 20
Gabriel Perez replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"I’ll give you an a for effort but even in the best cases bubble wrap ( unless it comes with a certificate of testing and depending on what lab was used) means nothing. If you can get a engineer’s stamp with signature maybe that might…"
May 20
Paul Herron replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"I think Ed and his video hit on an important point -- these radiant barriers are primarily addressing radiant energy.  They aren't doing much to address conduction losses and, if not installed properly, will not address convection…"
May 20
John S. Rodenhizer replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Agreed, But this guy fought me all the way. I have completed the rating and the HVAC contractor added R-8 on Top of the bubble wrap. We had to hit a HERS of 55 or below and when I gave the duct insulation R-1.1 it increased the HERS score to 57. the…"
May 20
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Links for Build America and Building Science…"
May 20
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Correct,   but when testing has been done on sealing ducts with wraps... (See the BTO and Build America website for reports... plenty of research done by ASHRAE and universities also) the seals are never really tight enough to prevent the…"
May 20
David Butler replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"@Dennis, without defending Big-8, I would point out that condensation (on duct surface) is a function of how well the vapor barrier (the outer layer) is sealed. This issue is exactly the same with conventional foil-faced fiberglass duct wrap. It,…"
May 20
Caleb Y Simon replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"I concur with your IMC interpretation. I have used this before with code officials and they have had to agree. Look forward to hearing what the "official" response is from RESNET."
May 20
Ed Fritz replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"As a radiant barrier manufacturer I've been fighting this bad information for years. I've run into this claim for installing radiant barrier in attics many times.  Which is similar the claims made for wrapping ducts.  This is a…"
May 20
Dennis Heidner replied to John S. Rodenhizer's discussion Using radiant barriers as duct insulation, Aka "Bubble wrap" What value do you assign for R-value?
"Read the manufacturers claims and installation steps closely  The foil needs a dead space  "To achieve a thermal resistance of R-8, 2-inch-wide spacer strips of rFOIL™ reflective foil insulation arewrapped around the duct…"
May 19

Profile Information

Company
JSR Adaptive Energy Solutions LLC
Role in Home Performance Marketplace
Building energy modeler, Contractor: general (new/remodel), Energy auditor / assessor / analyst
Professional Certification
HERS Rater, Other
Professional Interests
CPHC, PHIUS Rater, CPHB,and PH verifier
Website URL
http://jsradaptivenergy.com
LinkedIn Profile
John S Rodenhizer

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At 8:16am on October 3, 2017, Diane Chojnowski said…

Hi John,

Welcome to Home Energy Pros Forum. Feel free to join the conversation in the Forum and Groups. And share your energy efficiency photos, videos and upcoming events. If you're blogging about home performance, this is the place for you!

Don't forget to upload your profile photo.

Thanks!
Diane, HEP Moderator

 
 
 

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