Foil Insulation

What is Foil Insulation?

Foil Insulation or reflective insulation generally refers to products comprising of  1 or several layers of plastic or paper substrates with a reflective facing on one or both sides. The reflective facing is most usually a very thin layer of aluminium foil, hence the name foil insulation.

How does it work?

Foil or reflective insulation works by taking advantage of the high reflectivity and low emissivity properties of aluminium foil and an adjacent air space to create a radiant heat barrier within your home and reduce the radiant heat transfer between outside and inside.  For a comprehensive explanation of how foil insulation works, see our article ‘How insulation works’

But, very simply put: The sun (radiant heat) beats down on your home and heats up your roof tin or tiles, which then start to emit radiant heat into your attic space. The air in your attic space heats up and eventually the ceiling of your living space heats up and the heat then passes into your living space.

Aluminium foil only emits (releases) about 5% or less of the radiant heat that strikes its surface. So when installed next to an air space it will reduce the transfer of radiant heat by up to 97%, thus reducing the heat build up in your attic space and into your home.

The Air Space is vital, without an air space on one side of a reflective foil insulation the product will have absolutely no insulating value.

If reflective insulation is in contact with other elements of the building it will simply transmit the heat energy that strikes it to the other building elements by conduction, so the correct installation of reflective insulation is of paramount importance to its effectiveness.

Reflective Foil Insulation products:

The term foil insulation encompasses a wide range of reflective insulation products designed for  different applications within buildings. The most popular reflective insulation products are:

Wall Wrap/Roof Sarking Reflective Foil Insulation

A light weight, high tensile strength pliable membrane made from substrate of kraft paper with aluminium foil adhered to one or both sides. Application is either wrapped around the building frame or over the top of trusses during construction.

Aircell Permiwall Reflective insulation

An all-in-one reflective insulation and vapour permeable membrane specially designed to reduce heat transfer whilst reducing the risk of condensation for concrete walls.

Aircell Permishield Reflective insulation –

is a closed cell foam structure between 2 highly reflective foil surfaces designed to create a vapour-permeable barrier and insulation in a single product. AIR-CELL Permishield® is designed for use behind lightweight cladding materials in steel framed wall structures that require vapour permeance.

Insulbubble Reflective Insulation –

A layer of PE film and reflective aluminium foil and a layer of polypropylene and aluminium foil, both laminated to a fire retardant cell structure. Insulbubble reflective insulation is also coated with antiglare ink to protect against sunglare during installation.

InsulBubble® Reflective Insulation is designed to reduce thermal transfer and provide a vapour barrier in a variety of residential and commercial applications.

For more information on Reflective insulation products, check out the store on reflective insulation for residential and commercial buildings or contact a Higgins Insulation expert on 1300 130 233 or email