The sun's effect on your home's energy usage doesn't stop at the windows. If you live in a home that heats up too much in the warm, sunny months, reflective insulation may be a cost-saving upgrade to put high on your to-do list.
Reflective insulation is designed to control solar radiation, the sun's heat-producing energy, which passes through your roof and walls to heat the air inside your home. Some types of reflective insulation can prevent wayward airflow inside, while others simply bounce the solar energy away from the interior (hence the "reflective" label) [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. Reflective insulation is often a thinner material than the thermal insulation used to keep heat from escaping from the home. It usually consists of a reflective material, such as aluminum, bonded to thin wood or another type of backing. It's typically used along with thermal insulation as part of a comprehensive project: Combining this type of insulation with the options described in the following section can provide year-round protection from the outside temperature [source: U.S. Department of Energy].