Radiant Barriers and Your Cell Phone Signal
Radiant barriers have become increasingly popular as homeowners everywhere try and cut down on high energy costs. But can they also act as a barrier to your cell phone signal? Well, the short answer is yes, but we’ll take a closer look to see if they actually are as big of an issue as some are making it out to be.
What Is A Radiant Barrier?
A radiant barrier is a form of thermal insulation that prevents heat from thermal radiation. Most commonly this is a thin sheet of aluminum or other reflective metal. It is installed either on top of your roof or under it inside the attic, either way is equally effective. This thin layer then reflects a majority, about 97%, of the radiant heat back out through the roof into the world again. This can be a substantial amount of heat reduction and is especially effective in humid climates where traditional insulation is less effective.
Can A Radiant Barrier Hurt Cell Phone Reception?
Like we said above yes radiant barriers can technically hurt your reception. However, it’s important to take into account a few things. First, most contractors only install the barriers over about 30-35% of your roof. Meaning that there is still 65-70% of a roof and four walls that you can receive a signal through. Also while aluminum and other metals used for these radiant barriers do interfere with cell phone signal they are often so thin that they don’t cause an issue. Think about it this way, you drive around in your car on the phone all the time and it works well, except for the occasional hiccup. Your car is made up of a metal probably very similar to or is actually aluminum and that frame doesn’t cause interference, simply because the sheet metal is thin. Radiant barriers are much thinner than a car frame.
The bottom line is while a radiant barrier can hurt your reception they often don’t. It has been noted that at times they have caused problems, however, this is typically in cases where they were already receiving poor reception. If you are one of the few unfortunate cases that this has happened to signal boosters have been shown to alleviate the problems extremely effectively. Consider one to fix your new dead zone.