Truth Blog

FTC Cracks Down Hard on Radiant Barrier Scammers

The Federal Trade Commission, under it's R-Value Rule, is cracking down on companies making absurd claims of energy efficiency, and in a big way. This week, the FTC imposed a $350,000 fine on a company that was claiming high R-values for paint and radiant barriers. It is the largest penalty ever in a home insulation case. 

See the FTC's full press release here: FTC Action Leads to Court Order: Home Insulation Marketer to Pay $350,000

One of the specific claims the company made about radiant barriers was: “This . . . reflective coating will reduce wall and roof temperatures by 50-95 degrees . . .” and “Saves 40 to 60% on your energy bills.”

What is particularly interesting is that this company was doing business in Florida, a climate in which radiant barriers might actually have some benefit. 

More Radiant Barrier Scams in Northern Climates

It seems Connecticut isn't the only northern state where radiant barrier is getting pitched as an energy saving solution. 

Check out this article--Homeowners Warned of Energy Saving Scam--from the Billings Gazette in Montana. 

Radiant Barriers May Interfere with Cell Phone Reception.

Green Building Advisor recently published an article discussing whether radiant barriers may interfere with cell phone reception.

The conclusion? Radiant barriers and other foil-faced building products probably have some negative effect on cell phone reception, although it's most likely minor.

The article was written by Martin Holladay, one of the country's most respected experts in the field of building science and green building. After looking at statements from radiant barrier manufacturers, cell phone companies, and other building experts, he concludes: 

Green Building Advisor Recognizes Radiant Barrier Truth

We're gratified that our efforts to expose the truth about radiant barriers have been recognized by the seminal online publication for the green building industry--Green Building Advisor. 

The article, Oooh, Shiny Stuff! — Radiant Barrier Fundamentals, surveys the science about radiant barriers and specifically calls out Radiant Barrier Truth for its work exposing the fallacy of this product in northern climates.

The article is written by Building Scientist and Physicist, Allison Bailes III, PhD of Energy Vanguard

Thanks GBA and Dr. Bailes!

Is Your Insulation Working? Find Out with an Energy Audit.

Winter's not far off. Is your house ready? How will you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.

A simple enough premise - it's the application that gets complicated. Salesmen may try to sell you on the benefits of radiant barriers but building science experts strongly recommend air sealing and insulation as the highest priority measures to make your home use less energy, make you more comfortable, and make the planet happy.