Is My House a Faraday Cage?

A lot of people can’t get phone reception inside my house. My cheap $20 Nokia works just fine, but iPhones won’t work and my room mate’s Samsung barely works—he has to stand next to a particular window to get reception. The house is a mobile home with aluminum siding. About ten years ago I redid the entire house with vinyl siding and added a layer of extra polystyrene insulation. The insulation panels are lined on one side with a reflective foil. Here’s what the house looked like before I started. Here’s a close-up of the extra insulation. The foil side is against the preexisting aluminum siding. Here’s the house as it was nearing completion. The entire exterior surface of the house is now covered with insulation panels. At first I rejected the notion that the house was acting as a Faraday cage because all phones ring. But then I realized that an incoming signal from a tower is stronger that an outgoing signal generated by a phone. So is all that metal on the outside of the house causing the interference?

the metal is reflecting the signals from the phone. you can find positions where the signal makes it out through openings either directly or through reflections.

I don’t know about your house but mine certainly is. It’s primarily stucco, meaning the walls are plaster over wire mesh. We can only get digital TV reception on the side of the house facing the local stations’ transmitting towers. The back bedroom is hopelessly blocked to TV reception.