As you search through the many different options for painting your home, you’ve likely come across paints that advertise themselves as “insulating” paints. These are paints that are supposed to prevent the transfer of heat, much as insulation does. They will keep warm air from escaping on winter days and prevent hot air from entering on summer days. That sounds like a great idea for anyone who is going to be painting their home anyway. However, they often come with an added expense. So, is the added expense worth it?
Do They Work?
Most of these insulating paints tend to have ceramic additions that are said to prevent the transfer of heat. However, most of them are not tested by independent research agencies. Since they haven’t been laboratory tested, it’s difficult to say whether or not they actually work. None of them have been shown to expedite the transfer of heat, though. So, you probably have nothing to lose by painting your home with one of these paints that portends to be insulating. You might not get any insulation, though.
On the other hand, there are types of paints that have been proven to reflect heat.
Paints That Work
Regardless of the efficacy of insulating paints, there are certain paints that are proven to work all the time at reducing heat transfer. Those are light colored paints. The color of paint is the most crucial factor in how much heat the paint absorbs from sunlight. Light colors are light because they reflect lots of light. Dark colors are dark because they absorb most light. Since sunlight heats up surfaces where it is absorbed, light colors are going to be more effective at reflecting radiant heat.
The amount of heat reflected varies based on the color of the paint and on the amount of radiant heat. Research has found that white walls can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than black walls. That could be a significant difference when it comes to keeping your home cool. That benefit will be muted if the wall in question is in the shade; there’s less radiance and thus, less heat. However, it will be more pronounced where there might be direct sunlight.
If you’re considering an insulating paint, you probably won’t lose anything by installing one that claims to insulate. You might not get much insulation from it, though. You will, however, benefit noticeably from using lighter color paints on your home.