Thermadeck News


ThermaDeck Radiant BarrierBilly Ellis Roofing ThermaDeck garners U.S. DOE Acclaim
Fort Worth, TX – October 1, 2010: Billy Ellis Roofing, LLC revolutionizes energy efficiency, and is invited by the U.S Department of Energy to demonstrate revolutionary product ThermaDeck, at 2010 U.S. Science & Engineering Expo in Washington, D.C.ThermaDeck Radiant Barrier


Billy Ellis Roofing ThermaDeck garners U.S. DOE Acclaim
Fort Worth, TX – October 1, 2010: Billy Ellis Roofing, LLC revolutionizes energy efficiency, and is invited by the U.S Department of Energy to demonstrate revolutionary product ThermaDeck, at 2010 U.S. Science & Engineering Expo in Washington, D.C.

Heat is the enemy of energy efficiency. Minimizing the effects of heat on your home, and particularly your attic, is CRITICAL to enabling energy efficiency. Heat travels three ways:

  • Conduction: Heat passes through objects from direct contact, due to the object’s ability to conduct (or pass along) heat. The more conductive an object, the easier that object passes heat.
  • Convection: Convection currents circulate heat, which in turn can “cook” an object or area, much like a convection oven cooks a chicken.
  • Radiation: Radiation is the transfer of heat through emittance. In other words, the lower emissivity or heat emittance of an object, the less the object will radiate heat to adjacent objects or spaces.

To successfully counter the effects of heat travel, your attic needs three things:

  • Insulation to limit the effects of conduction, as insulation has a low conduction value. Air is a great insulator, as air does not effectively conduct heat. Many insulation products utilize air to reduce heat conduction.
  • Ventilation is used to evacuate heat, utilizing the convection currents as an aid to assist in this process.

As heat rises along a surface, the rising heat is convection current.

If cool air is drawn into the space where convection currents are moving, the convection current can actually COOL the roof! HOW?


  • Radiant Barrier reflects the radiant heat before it passes through the decking and into your attic.

ThermaDeck is the ONLY product that stops heat travel all three ways, and the patent proves it! The ThermaDeck patent was granted as an INSULATION, VENTILATION, AND RADIANT BARRIER solution!  SO HOW DOES IT WORK?

Here is an example of the power of combining Radiant Barrier and Insulation:

FACT: Aluminum reflects up to 97% of the radiant heat from the sun. However, the aluminum will get extremely hot.

For example, have you ever touched a foil-wrapped baked potato fresh out of the oven? It will burn your hand. Instead, if you pick up the potato with a hot pad (insulation), the potato will not burn the hand.

The same holds true for an attic when the radiant barrier is not insulated. The surface temperature of the aluminum will transfer into the attic (by conduction), diminishing the effectiveness of the radiant heat barrier.

However, when the radiant barrier is properly insulated, the surface temperature is transferred very slowly. If the heat is not evacuated, however, it will eventually pass into the attic.

Air does not convey heat effectively by conduction, therefore it is a good insulator. ThermaDeck combines the insulation benefits of a one-inch airspace and one-inch-thick polystyrene to stop any measurable heat from entering the attic by conduction.

One of the best examples of polystyrene’s ability to stop conduction of heat is to compare coffee in a metal cup with coffee in a foam cup…you can literally “feel” the difference!

Now add Ventilation, and experience the ThermaDeck difference!

We have already told you how ThermaDeck combines a Radiant Barrier and Insulation to counter the effects of two of the three ways heat travels: Conduction and Radiation.

  • Radiant Barrier reflects the radiant heat (rejecting radiation).
  • A combination of one-inch airspace and one-inch-thick polystyrene limits the transfer of heat from outside into your attic (rejecting conduction). But what about the CONVECTION currents?

Ventilation is the true innovation of ThermaDeck. ThermaDeck leverages the naturally occurring convection currents (caused by the movement of heat as it rises) and actually cools the roof, unlike ANY product ever before!

As air moves in any direction (in this example the hot air rises, so the direction of the air is up), there is a siphon effect, or vacuum effect behind the air movement, which causes the air behind the current to be sucked in the same direction.
A real-world example of this is if you have ever stood on the side of the road as a large truck passed at a high speed; the great rush of “wind” you felt as the truck passed was partially caused by the size of the vehicle, but the “gust” of wind was actually the air behind the truck being sucked toward the truck by the siphon or vacuum effect.

The way ThermaDeck uses this siphon effect is revolutionary. The air under the soffit of your home is shaded by the soffit itself. Logically, air in the shade is cooler than air in direct sunlight, even if only slightly cooler. Several soffit vents are cut into the soffit to draw this cooler, shaded air up into the one-inch airspace. To allow air to enter the one-inch airspace, a channel is cut through the roof decking and ThermaDeck, directly connecting the soffit vents to the one-inch airspace.

The top peak or “ridge” of the roof is vented, (via conventional ridge vent systems) allowing the rising hot air to evacuate. As the hot air rises and leaves the vented ridge, the cooler air is drawn from the soffit vents into the airspace to replace it, cooling the roof.

So now you know all the tools ThermaDeck uses to reduce heat transfer, in all three ways heat travels: Conduction, Convection, and Radiation. So what does it look like when all three tools of ThermaDeck (Radiant Barrier, Insulation, and Ventilation) work together seamlessly?

  • Heat from the sun beats down upon the surface of the roof.
  • The roofing material is heated up.
  • The one-inch airspace is heated by conduction and radiation via the roof material. The airspace acts as insulation, limiting the effect of conduction.
  • ThermaDeck’s Radiant Barrier immediately begins to reflect the radiant heat before it passes into the attic, limiting the effect of radiation.
  • ThermaDeck’s one-inch-thick polystyrene reinforces the effect of the Radiant Barrier and further insulates against the transfer of heat into the attic.
  • Now, the hot air, unable to continue into the attic through the ThermaDeck, is trapped in the one-inch airspace, and begins to rise through convection. These convection currents moving toward the vented ridge of the roof create a siphon or vacuum, drawing the cooler air behind up and into the soffit vents.
  • The heated air is evacuated through the vented ridge at the top of the roof, and the cool air is drawn into the airspace to replace the evacuated air. The movement of continuously cooler air through the one-inch airspace actually keeps the surface roofing material cooler, prolonging the life of the roof. The rejection of heat from penetrating the ThermaDeck and entering the attic results in attic temperatures approximate to outdoor temperature, drastically reducing the attic temperatures in the summer months by up to 80%.

As you can see, when the radiant barrier is properly insulated and ventilated, the surface temperature will not have time to heat up the attic. The heat naturally moves upward through a vented ridge system, effectively moving up and out before it can reach the attic.

Ventilation is all about proper location. The location of the soffit vents make a way for air to flow up and out of the vented ridge instead of entering your attic. By adding extra soffit vents, with the help of the ThermaDeck design, air is allowed to pass in and through a one-inch airspace between the decking and the polystyrene foam backer.

The hotter the outdoor temperature, the greater the flow of hot air evacuated by the ThermaDeck system, and out of the vented ridge. Basically, the higher the temperature, the better ThermaDeck works!

With traditional attic designs, heat was allowed to enter the attic. Although moving the hot air through your attic helped slightly, something was missing. Billy Ellis would not accept that the heat had to enter the attic. Thus, he put his focus on keeping the heat outside where it belongs, and ThermaDeck was born. The rest is history!