So you’ve decided that you want to be environmentally friendly and install an energy efficient roof on top of your home, one that will not only save on your heating and cooling bills, but will also allow you to help Mother Earth. You have many options to explore in the energy efficient/green realm, which can admittedly make decisions in this area a bit difficult. What we want to talk about today is the idea of a “cool roof” and why it may be right for you and your family, or even your business.
A cool roof uses light color membranes in place of dark roofing, qccording to the United States Green Building Council. This decreases the Urban Heat Island (UHI) impact, while also increasing the reflectivity of sunlight and reducing heat within the building, thus cutting down on energy demand.
While the technicals can seem a bit complex at times, think of choosing a cool roof much as you would the type of clothes you might wear on a hot day. If you wear light colored clothing during the summer months, you’ll generally remain cooler and absorb less heat from the sun.
Roofs work in much the same way, and a roof that uses highly reflective tiles or shingles will remain much cooler than roofs with standard or dark colored shingles. In fact, research has shown that cool roofs remain around 50 degrees cooler and save energy by using less air conditioning in the summertime.
What are the benefits of cool roofs?
Well, there are many as you might imagine. Some of the more popular benefits of installing and maintaining a cool roof include:
- Reducing energy bills
- Decreasing roof temperature, thus extending its life
- Improving indoor comfort in non air-conditioned areas like garages and covered patios
Why not a green roof?
Green roofs are ideal for urban buildings, as well as smaller commercial buildings. But they don’t make a whole lot of sense for residential homes, as they’re costly and difficult to maintain.
The primary use of green roofs is to manage storm water, which is ideal for large businesses. They also provide good insulation and can greatly reduce the UHI.
But again, green roofs are much more expensive to install than other energy efficient roofing options.
Should I install a cool roof?
As with many things in life, it often comes down to cost. There’s no debating whether or not a cool roof is good for the environment and will save on your energy bills. It most certainly will, on both counts.
But if you’re looking at it from purely an economic standpoint, you’ll want to determine whether the cost will justify the energy savings you’ll enjoy once the roof is installed.
You’ll want to consider several factors, including:
- Your home’s climate and environment
- How well insulated your roof is
- What type of roof you have
- The efficiency of your current heating and air conditioning system
Believe it or not, a cool roof doesn’t cost much more than a standard roof. That is, if you’re installing a new roof or replacing an existing one.
But the costs can be a bit prohibitive if you’re talking about converting a standard roof into a cool roof, as there’s going to be much more involved in the process.
You’ll need to pay for things like upfront installation, maintenance costs, specialized materials and labor costs, among other things.
So you’ll need to weigh how much you’ll save in energy bills, as well as any rebates and incentives you’ll receive, in relation to what your final costs are going to be.
Do cool roofs really work?
Well, we wouldn’t be telling you about them if they didn’t. Cool roofs reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofs, keeping them much cooler and allowing less heat into your home.
So yes, they definitely work and will definitely save you money on your energy bills, particular during the winter months.
And they have the added benefit of being good for the environment, which is always a good thing.
About The Author
Joel Kite is a licensed roofing contractor in San Antonio Texas. For more than 20 years, Joel Kite and his company have been providing roofing services throughout South Texas. To learn more about Independence Roofing please visit https://independenceroofingsa.com