Underslab Bubble Foil Insulation: Reflective Insulation

Radiant Heating Design Guide
radiant floor heat

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The performance of radiant barriers in wall and roof assemblies can not be contracted with underslab applications. 

If a distributor or manufacturer intentionally or unintentionally has lead you or anyone you know to this conclusion, contact the Federal Trade Commission

toll-free #:

Radiant heat can be measured with radiometry which looks at the electromagnetic waves released between surfaces separated by space...we have yet to find an underslab bubble foil manufacturer who can demonstrate the use of this instrument for slabs bearing on grade. 

Let us say this...there isn't a radiant problem to solve until its deliberately created with the installation of bubble-foil-bubble products... another example of consulting your barber if you need a haircut.


Misleading Claims on the Web...Brand-Z

Example #1 : These statement comes directly from Brand Z's site in reference to slab on grade systems...

"Can easily be installed over rough grade • Helps direct radiant heat into the living space • Superior bubble strength withstands jobsite traffic • Can easily be formed around plumbing, wiring, etc. • Methane, radiant, and vapor barrier all-in-one • Installation is quick, safe, and easy"

All are subjectively "true" statements except this..."Helps direct radiant heat into the living space"

HH Response: Once again we have another manufacturer making claims which are simply not true. Concrete on grade does not radiate heat into the earth ergo it can not be directed back up via radiation.  It is all conductive heat transfer. Again, another solution looking for a problem which doesn't exist.

Example #2: Brand Z advises readers of it's specification, "ASTM C236 modified to demonstrate the radiation effect of reflective foil on reducing the energy input at the room-side of the Guarded Hot Box."

HH Response: We have forwarded this statement to ASTM for their review and comment.   Our suspicion is ASTM would not approve the reference to a "modified ASTM Standard" to support the claim of a manufacturer. We could be wrong and will retract this statement when we hear back from ASTM. In the meantime file under "suspicious use".

Example #3: "The new Building Sealing and Energy Conservation logo is stamped on all Brand Z products in recognition to their ability to help increase energy conservation."

HH Response: "The new Building Sealing and Energy Conservation logo" is a creation of the manufacturer and though the manufacturer makes no claim to it otherwise, consumers should be advised it is not recognized in or by any industry standard. Do Brand Z products promote tighter construction and reduced energy use - sure they do and good on them, but so does throwing on a sweater and warm socks...maybe the socks and sweaters industry should create a  special logo...just don't be swayed by marketing masquerading as science...

More to come...

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