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An Honest Response to “The Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap Scam” in EnergyVanguard

I work for a reputable company that provides extremely high-quality insulation materials for wholesale or retail sales. We ship a lot of our products directly to the consumer, and we provide an exceptionally high level of customer service for all our customers. The reason we do those things is simple: it’s the right thing to do.

So when I started to research for a blog about the benefits of foil/foil and foil/white bubble insulation, one of the first items that appeared on Google was a critique of “foil-faced bubble wrap”, which you can read HERE. Even though I’m fairly new at Radiant Barrier USA, I knew immediately that the critique was deeply flawed.

First of all, “bubble wrap” is a packing solution, not a building solution. Bubble wrap is thin, easy to pop, and is made cheaply and quickly to keep the cost low for people who want their items to be shipped without being damaged. Our Bubble Insulation, on the other hand, is thick, stiff, and reliable. It is puncture-resistant up to 60lbs per inch, doesn’t crack or shrink, nor will it allow mold or mildew to form. This is NOT “bubble wrap.”

Secondly,  that blog starts with the premise that people who sell foil-faced bubble insulation are trying to scam you. The author feels that some purveyors of this material will lie to your face and tell you half-truths in order to get you to buy their product. We can’t speak for everyone in the insulation business, but we can guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would never lie to you about the functionality of our insulation. Why in the world would we? We know exactly what foil-faced bubble insulation can do and what it can’t do, and, if there is a more effective product for your project, we would tell you. But we would also tell you the limitations of the material and be up front about what exactly is required to achieve the results you want.

So why in the world would this author call foil-faced bubble insulation “overhyped?”

She claims (in July 2010) that she walked up to someone at a Radiant Barrier booth at the Southeast Building Conference and asked the man at the booth what the R-value of the bubble insulation material was, to which he quickly replied, “15.4.”   The author then decided that he was full of baloney because the product itself must be installed correctly in order to achieve that R-value.

I’d like to ask you fine people if, at a car dealership, when you ask how fast a certain sportscar can go, if the salesman asks you if you plan to change the oil and put gas in the car before he answers your question.

Of course not! It is assumed when a consumer asks a question and there is no time for a full conversation (like at a home conference packed with curious potential purchasers), that your response is based on this simple fact: You have to use the product correctly for you to get the benefits of the product.

So, fine, this one guy at this one home conference made an assumption that the professional in the industry asking him pointed questions about his product knew a little bit about proper application, and he answered too quickly. That might happen occasionally. However, when you call Radiant Barrier USA and speak to one of our highly qualified insulation specialists, we would never lie to you. We would not only explain the limitations of our foil-faced bubble insulation, but we would walk you through the proper installation to ensure you achieved well over the required R-value for your project.

The author of this blog article says there are only two good places in a home where radiant barrier is effective: the attic, and the windows. Of course, since no one wants windows you can’t see through, she concludes that the attic is the only place that radiant barrier is useful. And that’s just a bald-faced lie. 

What makes this author think that the walls of the building aren’t absorbing the same amount of radiant heat being thrown at the windows? Red brick, for instance, has an emissivity value of 93%, meaning that 93% of the heat that it absorbs will be transferred to the other side. Flat clear window glass has an emissivity rate of 93 to 94%.  What’s the functional difference to a consumer between those numbers??

And what about metal buildings that have been converted to homes, where there are few windows and the walls are made of metal (an extreme conductor of heat)? Of the three types of heat transfer (conduction, convection, and radiation), radiant energy from the sun is what radiant barrier protects against. (R-value only measures conductive and convective energy reduction.) When you put your hand up to a sunny window, the radiating heat from the sun goes right through it. The same thing is happening to your walls if you don’t have any radiant barrier in them. Our Double-Bubble Double-Foil product reflects 95% of that radiant heat! That’s not a “useful” application? Read on to see some more extraordinarily useful applications for bubble insulation!

  1. Did you know that your metal building needs a condensation barrier in order to keep it from forming what amounts to a rain cloud? (It’s generally condensation from the metal building being chilled on the outside with moist air on the inside which causes water to start forming on flat cold surfaces like the walls and ceiling, leading to water damage.)  Our Double Bubble-Double Foil insulation provides as much reduction of water vapor transmission as the product specifically created to protect damp crawlspaces. And, speaking of crawlspaces:
  2. Crawlspaces benefit from not only the vapor barrier that prevents water from forming and pooling, causing damage to your wood and your masonry walls: they also benefit from both the radiant barrier on the product reflecting 95% of radiant heat emitted through the masonry, and the bubbles (combined with the additional ¾” air gap at installation) which provide an R-16.8 value of insulating properties from conductive/convective heat transfer!
  3. Ductwork wrapping: OF COURSE it has to be installed correctly, with ¾” spacers, in order to provide an R-value of 6. (Our esteemed author of the blog-critique I’m referring to mentions that no one ever installs it correctly. We beg to differ! Our clients ask our advice, and we provide them with the proper installation methods long before their purchase is completed.)

There are so many more useful applications for bubble insulation. That’s not to say that all bubble insulation is created equal – it certainly isn’t. Ours is incredibly sturdy, an effective vapor barrier, is extremely puncture resistant, highly reflective as radiant barrier, and it’s so easy to install – we are miles ahead of our competitors, because we want to earn your trust and be your insulation partner for many years to come.

Give us a call now so one of our insulation specialists can get the details of your current project and honestly and genuinely recommend the best product for your needs without any pressure or untruths. Our entire business model depends on us providing you with the truth, and we’d love to do that for you today! 817-538-5222

1 thought on “An Honest Response to “The Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap Scam” in EnergyVanguard”

  1. Hanan Rotenberg

    Great information very useful. I rather use reflective products over glasswool\fibergalss any day and anywhere. Whatever is good for NASA, surely good for me. Thank you.

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