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"We purchased an online coupon for $89 for 1,000 square feet of radiant
. In the first place, the Angie's List ad clearly showed "bats"" (as opposed to spray on
). The contractor blamed the mistake on Angie's List. OK, mistakes happen. I guess I could live with sprayed-on
. So the guy whipped out his measuring wheel and measured the roof line. By his calculations we had a little over 2,000 square feet. He put his pencil to paper and the quote came to a little over $1,000! So to translate: it was $89 for that first 1,000 feet. The second 1,000+ feet was over $900!!!! When I balked at the price, the guy offered to do our garage door for the $89 coupon. Moral of the story: if it sounds too good to be true it frequently is! So I bid the guy a fond farewell and we'll chalk this one up to a lesson learned. Now I have to figure out how to get my certificate refunded. Y'all be careful out there now!

-Robert G.

"I was very pleased with the service, professionalism of
. They arrived on time at the scheduled day of work. Work was completed promptly," professionally. The cleanup was excellent. Overall I was very pleased with my experience with
and would hire them again and would also recommend their services.

-Judith D.

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Local Articles in Washington DC

Avoid Ice Dams With Proper Attic Insulation

An ice dam can cause serious problems to your roof without proper insulation.

attic access door able to convert to room
Remodeling - General, Insulation

Wish you had more room in your home? Attics have room for you to convert into living space.

By properly insulating your attic you can keep warm air from escaping and save money on your energy bills. (Photo courtesy of Vinay S. of North Brunswick, New Jersey)

Hot air rises … but good insulation can keep your energy costs from doing the same thing.

Better air quality, quieter living spaces, comfort and better health are all reasons to reconsider your insulation choices. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Roseanne J. of Seattle)

Not just for new construction, learn how foam insulation can be placed inside existing walls to make your home more comfortable.

While traditional fiberglass insulation is affordable and efficient, injection foam insulation can offer even more benefits. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

Insulation isn't sexy, but it can keep you cool at night.

Angie's Answers


If you go the Better Business Bureau website you can see that the company has only had two complaints in the last 18 months and that they have both been resolved.  The company has an A+ rating.  This is not something you can buy.


There are genuine reviews on many 3rd party online review sites including AngiesList and the Better Business Bureau.  Simply do a Google search for "Smart Energy Today Reviews".


Sol Blanket Insulation acts as a radiant barrier, insulation and a vapor barrier.  It is not intended to replace traditional insulation but in fact compliments it and adds to it's ability to keep cool/hot air (depending on the season) in the home when the envelope of the home is properly sealed.  


Every attic is different and there are many other components that must be considered.  You mentioned an attic fan as well.  The heat that is radiated away from the ceiling by the Sol-Blanket Insulation is pushed out of the attic with an attic fan.  The US Department of Energy states that radiant barriers do work and suggest they be installed by professionals.


As with any product by any company if the product is not installed properly and other factors (attic fan, caulking and sealing, etc...) are not addressed then it will not be as effective.


A couple of comments about what Jim said:

1) Regarding type of insulation, in cold winter environments: Cellulose and fiberglass are actually about comparable in R value when installed - blown in cellulose runs from 3.2-3.8 R value, fiberglass batt 2.9-4.3 R value depending on manufacturer and whether hig-density or low density, high-efficiency or standard, according to official Department of Energy publications. Measured values in attic test cases, in areas with a true winter, after 10 years showed a decrease from 3.4 (in the test case) down to 2.1 for cellulose, and 3.5 to 3.3 for fiberglass batt, due to packing or matting. In an attic environment, there WILL be condensation or frost on the insulation at some point during the year (assuming an area with true winters) and in highly insulated houses commonly for a substantial time period each winter. Fiberglass packs down slightly from that weight but mostly rebounds, cellulose packs down and mats and does not substantially recover, so over the years cellulose loses 1/3 to close to 1/2 its insulation value, fiberglass about 10%.

2) a note on radiation barriers attached to the bottom of the rafters - there are a lot of installers and homeowners making two major mistakes with this product that can cause major trouble: First, be sure to terminate it short of the eave openings. I have seen cases where it was carried all the way out to the fascia board, thereby blocking all airflow on the underside of the roof. Even carrying it all the way to the eaves along the bottom of the rafters will block off ventilation to the main attic area. You have to leave the air space between the rafters open to full airflow from the soffit/eave area ot the ridge vent. Second, do NOT run it continuous from eave to eave across the full width of the attic - leave a gap about a foot wide under the ridge vents so warm and moist air in the attic can vent through the ridge vent. Closing the ridge vent area off with the radiant barrier effectively puts a vapor barrier around the main attic area, causing retention of the moisture which WILL accumulate there, promoting mold.


Obviously this is not a timely response to the initial question. However, for those who may be reading these answers at a later time, a couple of added thoughts:

1) the radiant barrier being discussed is basically heavy-duty metal foil or metallized surface on a plastic sheet, intended to reflect RADIATED heat (infrared radiation - think heat light, or heat you can feel at a distance radiated from a fireplace), the same way a mirror reflects light. Radiated heat is how a standard oven broils and how steam and hot water baseboard heat predominately work.

2) you generally should do NOT place a radiant barrier over the insulation that lies between and over the joists in a normal attic, especially in a region where the attic temperature can frequently reach condensation temperature (below about 45-50 degrees) - it may reflect back some of the house heat that is coming up from the house, but by destroying most of the temperature gradient from the house to the attic air destroys much of the driving force that moves moisture to the attic air and subsequent venting. Between that greater heat and the fact the barrier is also a moisture barrier, that makes a perfect condition for mold and rot in your insulation and attic wood, and has become quite an issue in energy upgraded homes because of retrofits that cut off airflow outside the insulation, but do not cut off the moisture source leaking thorough from the house. The proper and ONLY place for a vapor barrier in a normal attic insulation system is on the pressurized and normal warm, humid side of the insulation zone - directly above the ceiling drywall in the top floor, fastened to the UNDERSIDE of the ceiling joists or trusses, NOT anywhere above that. Perforated barriers are supposed to reduce this tendency, but the perforation area percentage is so small that typically they still act as a vapor varrier, just not a totally effective one.

3) radiant barriers reflect radiated heat ewith up to 99% efficiency but have basically zero resistance to CONDUCTION (body to body heat transfer at points of contact - think heat transfer from your warm hand to a frozen cold drink can, or hot pavement heat transfer to the bottom of your feet) - so there needs to be an air gap between the radiant barrier and the hot item passing the heat to it, otherwise the heat will just pass through it by conduction. Therefore, applying it directly to the sheathing (above or below) or manufacturing it directly on the surface of the sheathing defeats its purpose, even though this is commonly done.

4) there is a lot of discussion, particularly in the professional design community, about attic radiant heat barrier effectiveness and problems. Because they are being installed on the bottom of the sheathing or underside of roof joists, they act as a heat trap for the energy being conducted through the roof which would normally radiate into the attic air or be transferred by CONVECTION (fluid flow heat transfer) to the attic air, and be vented through roof vents, ridge vents, gable vents, etc. By trapping that heat, they are causing the underside of the shingles and particularly the felt and sheathing to get a lot hotter than they otherside would, essentially changing it from a system where the shingle top surface might reach 120-180 F and the inside surface of the sheathing about 80-140F in the summer, to making the entire roof system equal to the outside surface temperature. This causes more rapid shingle deterioration and cracking, and makes the felt or plastic moisture barrier under the shingles brittle and subject to failure.

Also, any moisture above the radiant barrier (from roof leaks or humid air coming into the area) is prevented from evaporating by the attic airflow which would normally remove it, so it starts acting like a steamer. I have seen both wood and metal lofts and attics become a major mold farm in months because of this effect, and a couple of roofs which started sagging due to rotted sheathing within 2 years of reroofing with tightly adhered radiant barrier. Some radiant barriers are vapor-permeable to reduce the moisture issue, many are not, but few actually are effective in letting moisture freely escape.

Having seen these products in use, and having analyzed and specified building products for use from the Middle East to the Arctic for decades, and having a Masters in Arctic Engineering (a degree predominately in energy conservation and heat flow), my personal opinion is that these radiant barriers will be banned by code within 10-15 years for unheated (so-called "cold" roofs) roofs, because they just do not use the principles of thermodynamics correctly. For more info on this issue Google the following search phrase  - moisture trapping by radiant attic barriers       and read the government (not the manufacturer) literature on the issue.

5) Unfortunately, the right way to handle this issue is to put the radiant surface on the OUTSIDE of the house - by using reflective materials on the roofing material. This is already done with flat roofs, house trailers, and industrial structures by spraying with alumiunum paint, and a few brands offer reflective aggregate shingles that are slightly more reflective and radiant than normal shingles. People obviously do not like this reflective surface from an aesthetic standpoint, though with solar cells coming into more general use this may soon be more widely adopted. The idea should be to keep the solar energy from penetrating into the building envelope at all, not try to re-reflect it away after it has penetrated throguh the roof system.

The sprayed-in foam has a couple of issues you need to be aware of:

6) it needs to be the low-pressure expanding type mixed for use around window frames, as fully expanding foam can bow joists or trusses and pop drywall ceilings free as it expands, and non-expanding foam actually shrinks as it cures, leaving gaps for air and heat flow alongside the ceiling joists.

7) being closed-cell it is essentially impervious to moisture, so the vapor barrier on the house side has to be EXCELLENT (incuding sealingof all penetrations), or it will trap household moisture escaping into the attic and promote mold and rot in the ceiling drywall and joists.

8) it tends to bleed chemical fumes into the house for a long period of time (can be noticeable for years), which may be objectionable to some people from an odor or environmental standpoint, and especially should be considered if any residents have severe allergy issues or respiratory problems.

9) I emphatically recommend AGAINST use of sprayed-in foam between ceiling joists or truss members in any area that can have cold attic air that could cause moisture condensation in the insulation, though this is probably not a significant problem where you live, assuming your Dallas is the city in Texas. For essentially year-around air-conditioned homes in hot climates, the problem can actually be condensation of attic air moisture on and in the colder ceiling surface insulation and on cold attic runs of air conditioned air, so attic ventilation becomes a critical issue to remove the moisture before it condenses.

In summary, having seen an awful lot of attic moisture and thermal problems, my personal recommendation would be to ensure excellent sealing of the house from the attic, use normal UNFACED fiberglass insulation, and instead of a radiant barrier ensure adequate full-attic ventilation. If you decide to got with a radiant barrier, then I would recommend a perforated one, sloping up towards the sides a foot or two and stopping a foot or so clear at the sides so moist air under it can escape to the roof joist spaces and be vented from the attic. I have seen this done several times with a fine nylon net strung above the insulation in the attic, supporting the barrier, resulting in something very similar to the double-roof system used in bedouin tents, where airflow between the two layers keep the hot air away from the living space.

Steve made a good point.  Also, while it isn't required to remove the old insulation you can check the ductwork, wiring, etc. with the old stuff removed,  You can also spray foam around all openings and holes in wall top plates to better seal your home as Steve was pointing out.  My concern is the potential for mold spores you mentioned in your question.  If you suspect there are any get a good company in to remove the old and clean the attic.  Another concern is asbestos.  Your home is old enough you could have it in there and that's worse than mold if released into the air.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

A moisture barrier has to be on the warm side ie towards the heated side.  Most people would not install a moisture barrier in your situation.  (They also sell a paint that you can use on your interior ceiling? as a moisture barrier).  Rather most homeowners would hire an insulation contractor to blow a cap over the existing insulation bringing it up to your areas reccomended levels,,Your power company can tell you the level, I would guess R 40.  What you use is up to your wallet, the best is a spray foam that can be applied to the ceiling or over the whole shebang.  Being a bit of a miser I would trot on down to my local big box store and buy a truckload of cellulose and get a free blower for I and a friend to self insulte.  Big box= Menards, Lowes etc.  Cellulose= ground up paper treated with boron for insect control and fireproofing.  It has a high R value and will stop moving air loss from the home. Before you cap current mostly emply attic is ideal time to take sealant to any openings in the attic floor,  like pocket doors, canister lights electircal wires and close off the air leaks from inside.  If foaming skip this.  Hot air rises so you save yourself a ton air sealing the home.

An attic radiant barrier is also a possiblity see my blog for nifty results on it.

Jim Casper Old Energy Conservation Guru

ps moving existing insulation use a plastic rake


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Insulation reviews in Washington DC


Installation was performed in a professional manner. We were very pleased with the results of the job. Inspection of insulation found that we needed to add a little more to be more energy efficient; we scheduled that service as well.
- Julian G.

Showed up on time, kept floor clean in area where attic was entered. Air sealed the attic, put in new eave vents in attic and added celluose insulation to attic to go from R 30 to R50 rating. Only have had the air seal and attic insulation for one winter since work was completed but first winter the upstairs of the home was much more comfortable than in the past. They did a great job and the results of there work are just what we needed. Arrived on time for quote and first visit, explained everything they could do, arrived on time to do the job, cleaned up after, great experience. Wish all contractors worked like these folks, We could not be happier with the work.
- Mark P.

They did a great job. The guys who came out were absolutely professional. They cleaned up after they left and left it cleaner than before they started!
- Vera S.

Once again I ordered the "special" and once again was told during the service that didn't cover all costs and it would be an addition; $49 …what I paid for the original deal!! z This is the 2nd time this happened with "specials"
- rhiannon H.

Very punctual and reps were very clean, left no mess, communicated throughout the entire process. They provided a pleasant experience.
- Linda G B.

It turned out pretty good. The final product was good. The price was good. Installation work wasn't perfect. It would be B for that part and A for value.

Jeriami was very thorough. He found a very serious gas leak, which I fixed that day. A few days later he gave us a report with some suggested repairs. Very professional and knowledgeable. He indicated that we would find more savings in blow in insulation than new windows. This was very educational for us, because we were considering new windows, to offset high heating bills. We were delighted to find out that the blow in insulation is less than the cost of windows. We are considering having them perform some of the work that they recommended. I highly recommend this business if you would like to find out how your home heating and cooling performs.
- Glenn G.

Great service. I couldn't have asked for better. Great communication, life-time warranty that transfers to new owners if the house is sold, great price compared to other quotes I had gotten. I'm very pleased!
- Melissa G.

Insulation Contractors in Washington DC

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!


1402 North Capitol Street NW

5th Gen Group

8704 Garfield Street

A-1 Roofing's Kanga Roof

6360 S Hanover Rd

A-Pro Renovation

1629 K St. NW

Absolute Insulation Services

14500 Three Dormers Ct

Access Green

617 Rhode Island Ave NE

Acute building construction, llc

2017 Vermont Ave NW

Adelphia Exteriors

4820 Dodson Dr

Air Benders

23571 Pebble Run Pl

Air Duct Maids

7942-B Cluny Ct

Alco Products Inc

7714 Cindy Ln

All City Builders & Fabricators

411 New York Ave NE

All Renovations Inc

6920B Braddock Rd

America's Best Energy Team

14140 Parke Long Ct

American Custom Contractors Inc

15728 Crabbs Branch Way

Apex Waterproofing

2972 PS Business Center Drive

Atlantic Duct Cleaning

22875 Bryant Ct, Suite 120

Aurora Construction

6633 Wind Ridge Rd

Bankster International

911 6th ST NE Unit#1

Barratt Construction

PO Box 60463

Beautiful Home Services

18909 Fisher Ave

Beyond Exteriors

14524-E Lee Rd

BGE Home

1409 Tangier Dr

BJ Global Enterprises LLC

11160-C1 S Lakes Dr

Budget Bath

2160 East Joppa




4101 Waterbuck Way

Certified Inc

13509 Paternal Gift Dr


7722 Whiterim Ter


12815 Folly Quarter Rd

Cole Roof Systems Inc

605 Princess St.

Colonial Remodeling LLC

11350 Random Hills Rd

Comfort Solutions

7518 Fullerton Road

Commercial Management Services

3900 Watson Place, NW Suite #G3B

Complete Home Solutions LLC

235 W Bay Front Rd

Construction Solutions

525 East Market St.

CR Home Improvement Inc

112 C Fredrick Ave

Creative Design Contractors, LLC

902 K Street NE

Danny's Painting

7017 Aronow Dr

Denny & Gardner

506 Shaw Rd


508 McCormick Dr. Suite H

Direct Connections, LLC

213 P Street NW

Discount Energy Services

7481 Huntsman BLVD STE#215

DMV Kitchen & Bath Inc

429 E Diamond Ave

Edge Energy

6854 Distribution Dr

Elite Development

4401 Connecticut Ave NW

Elysian Energy LLC

1414 Fenwick Ln


8840 Brookville Road

Exterior Medics

7540 Accotink Park Rd

Flood Tech 3

PO Box 97

Freeway Construction

1402 North Capitol Street NW

FSI Renovations

404 Crown View Drive

G C Construction LLC

9201 Gilmore Dr

General Remodeling Group

11722 Newbridge Crt, Reston, Virginia 20191

Georgetown Floorcoverings

3233 K St NW

Glickman Design Build

14516 Pebblewood Dr

GMG Services Corp

7138 Little River Turnpike

HAS Construction LLC

3421 14th Street NW

Home Breakthrough LLC

606 Swallowtail Dr



Home Depot - Silver Spring

2300 Broadbirch Dr

Home Energy Medics

817 22nd St S

Home Perfection Contracting LLC

8116 Arlington Blvd. unit 240


27530 Persimmon Ln

House Doctors

3308 Mt Vernon Ave



Indoor Air Quality Medics

3039 P.S. Business Center Dr

Intex Plastering

1111 Army Navy Dr.

James A Trow

PO Box 152

James A Wheat & Sons Inc

7834 Beechcraft Ave

James McDonald Roofing

14625 Baltimore Ave

Jav Remodeling

1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd

JCabido Remodeling

11502 Nevis Dr

Jeeves Handyman Services

21515 Waters Discovery Terrace

JES Foundation Repair

1741 Corporate Landing Parkway

JW Home Improvement

1390 Chain Bridge Rd

Kargmans Inc

10429 Reisterstown Rd

Katchmark Construction Inc

3856 A Dulles S Ct

L.R. & Sons Contracting

325 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Lakewood Home Builders Inc

10008 Pouring Rain Pl

Landis Architects/Builders

7059 Blair Rd NW

Leska Restoration LLC

4330 Linthicum Rd

Live Green LLC

4318 Curtis Rd

Live Green Plumbing

310 60th St NE

Loayes Painting

PO Box 1201

Lofft Construction Inc

616 Kennedy St NW

MacKay Home Improvements

10125 Colesville Rd

Maggio Roofing Co

6476 Sligo Mill Rd

Magna Construction

2405 Benning Rd NE

Martillo Contractors,LLC

1700 Elton Road Silver Spring


5204 Sherier Pl, NW

Max Insulation

611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

Max Insulation

611 Pennsylvania Ave SE

MJ Home Services LLC

4367 Hollins Ferry Rd

MLM Home Improvement

11130 Dewey Rd.

MoldGone LLC

2508 Locustwood Pl

Mole Construction Inc

43828 Dodge Terrace #102

Mozer Works Inc

210 Hodges Ln

Mr Basement

832 Oregon Ave

MTA Builders

36 Big Acre Sq

My Hunny Do

PO Box 6091

Network Contracting Services


Orbe Construction

19114 Old Baltimore Rd

Oscar Construction Inc

9620 Lafayette Avenue

Patriot Painting

10640 Heron Ridge Ct

Pro Home Services

7301 Mill Run Dr

Professional Home Solutions LLC

5509 4th St NE

Quality Air Services


Quality Insulation

229 Windridge Acres Ct


2504 Irving Street NE

Roof Solutions Inc

9325 Fraser Ave

Rumialdy Development, LLC

1815 Monroe St.N.E.

Sam and Sons Services

5649C General Washington Dr

Savant Contractors INC

1624 A Street NE

Shanco Companies Inc

7609-H Airpark Rd

Surdus Remodeling

20195 Wynnfield Dr

The Gorham Development Group

902 K Street NE

The Home Doctor

6418 Grovedale Rd

The Home Wise Pros

327 E Ridgeville Blvd

The McGill Group, LLC

1776 I St NW

Thomas Martins

15045 Clementine Way

Triangle Home Services Inc

3197 Atlee Ridge Rd

Universal Maintenance

65173 Seventh Road

Universal Windows DC Metro

6309 Georgia Ave
Washington D.C

USA Insulation

7554 Rickenbacker Dr



Wall to Wall Construction, Inc

1101 30th St NW

Ward Pest Control Inc

400 N Washington St

Western Cary Building Products

1901 Park 100 Dr Ste 200

Western Pest Services

202 Perry Pkwy

Young Kim

1520 New Jersey Ave NW

Shop Local Insulation Services in Washington DC

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