Materials now being used to keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter were tested in outer space. The scientists who designed the U.S. Space Shuttle created the insulation to prevent extreme temperatures from entering the vehicle, as well as the space suits used by our astronauts.
Now, thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and an enterprising Palm Desert entrepreneur, those materials are available to homeowners for use in insulating their homes.
Reno Carell, whose firm markets All Weather Shield through dealerships in Palm Desert, Yucca Valley, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Scottsdale, Ariz., learned of the insulating materials from a friend of a friend, then verified their usefulness with astronaut Walt Cunningham. Cunningham and Carell had attended Venice High School together.
All Weather Shield is a radiant barrier that reflects 95% of all radiant energy, according to Carell. "It's like a space suit, created by bonding two sheets of 99.5% pure aluminum to form a two-sided reflector shield," Carell says.
"One side reflects the summer sun's heat and keeps buildings cooler, while in the winter, the other side keeps heat from escaping."
The product is installed in attics and garages at a cost of 68 cents a foot. An average installation covers about 1,700 square feet, costing about $1,200.
But his customers will get their investment back in two to three years, says Carell, based on utility cost savings. He guarantees a minimum of 20% savings, but says savings reported by customers have actually been between 30% and 40%.
All Weather Shield takes about a day to install, according to Carell, and causes no disruption in the household. By installing the product in an attached garage as well as the house, the interior temperature will drop another 20%, he says.
Carell has done several hundred installations and says several architects are now specifying All Weather Shield in their house plans. The product has no toxic side effects, he maintains, and is just as effective in cold areas as hot ones.
On flat roofs, a barrier is placed on the roof deck, then covered by the Ray Barrier (patent pending), then with All Weather Shield II, an EPDM rubber roofing system manufactured by Uniroyal. The result is a roof that saves energy, prevents leaks and requires no maintenance, according to Carell.
It comes with a 20-year guarantee and costs slightly more than other types of roofs, Carell says. Carell's main office is at 74-991 Joni Drive, Suite 5, Palm Desert 92260.