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Dear Dale:

Aluminum Foil Barrier Still Available

June 05, 1988|Dale Baldwin

Question: I've been planning on making my home more energy efficient by adding another layer of insulation between the ceiling joists of my one-story home. A friend of ours, visiting from Florida, told me about a new type of insulation that's being used in his area. The insulation is a type of aluminum foil called a radiant barrier. My friend has it in his home and said his air conditioning costs have gone down and his home is much more comfortable in hot weather. Do you know of any sources for this radiant barrier in Southern California?

Answer: What your Florida friend has may be new to him, but it's been around here for a long time, according to my sources.

It's called Type C foil and it was used extensively in the days when roll insulation came backed with kraft paper. Today's insulation is typically foil-backed, reducing or eliminating the need for radiant foil.

The product is available at Fleming Lumber Co., 3250 San Fernando Road, in two forms, according to Joe Windsor at Fleming: Foil one side, 36 inches wide, 500 square feet, about $17, and two-sided foil, 24 inches wide, 144 square feet, about $19.

If you really want to get some potent insulation and your house is ready for re-roofing, Windsor recommends rigid foam insulation on top of the roof deck under the shingles. Available in various thicknesses, it's installed with the foil facing top. The best kind of insulation is the kind that keeps the heat or cold out, depending on the season, and my money is with Joe on rigid insulation.

IN THE MAIL: A reader wants to know why traditional door knobs aren't used for sliding-glass patio doors. Cylinder locks are available, according to my source at a large home center, but door knobs would interfere with the screen. Tyco makes a cylinder lock that can be keyed to your other exterior doors. You'll have to know who made your door to order the proper Tyco cylinder lock.

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