There are many kinds of shingles out there, and most brands carry several unique styles. When you start comparing different types side-by-side, you might see that some have the Energy Star seal while others do not. While the sight of the seal is comforting, you might be wondering if your GAF shingles on your home fit the bill.
Are GAF Timberline shingles approved by Energy Star? We’ve got everything you need to know below.
What Is Energy Star? Why Does It Matter?
Energy Star is a symbol that has been government-backed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The symbol was designed to assist consumers in making better decisions to save money on appliances, roofing, windows, and so on.
This matters because, not only does it save you money, but it ensures that the product, whether it be windows or shingles, is more effective than products that haven’t received a decent Energy Star rating.
For roofing materials, the most important attribute is solar reflectiveness. When shingles and other materials are reflective, the light and heat is directed away from the roof and can lower the overall temperature. For a single building, Energy Star roofing should lower cooling demands by 10-15 percent.
What Are GAF Shingles?
GAF is a well-known roofing material company and has one of the most preferred type of shingles available throughout North America. The reason for this is that GAF Timberline HD shingles have received an Energy Star rating. Whether you choose the Cool Series or another type, any of the Timberline series has undergone a special process for reflecting the sun’s rays.
GAF shingles also include fiberglass, making them more environmentally-friendly than other brands. Additionally, the company continues to research methods for prolonging the life of their roofing materials. Advanced Protection technology is but one example. GAF shingles undergo testing to ensure that they are durable, weather-resistant, and flexible.
Are Reflective Cool Shingles Worth The Money?
Once cool roof technologies were released and Energy Star tax credits were created, a few groups decided to launch case studies to see if it was worthwhile. One case study  looked at the various versions of GAF Timberline shingles, such as Timberline Prestique Lifetime and the Cool Series Lifetime.
In a cost comparison, the case study concluded that the Cool Series Lifetime shingle by GAF is worth double the cost of a regular 30-year shingle, costing around 60 percent higher. However, with the tax credit, the cost is reduced greatly.
When looking at the effectiveness of GAF Timberline Cool shingles by climate, the study found that northern climates would save around $23 a year on air conditioning with reflective cool shingles. However, the savings in the summer months would be offset by the winter months, since the shingles do not keep heat in. Southern states, on the other hand, would see around $47 in annual savings.
In the end, the study stated that when considering the cost, effectiveness, and savings, the Timberline Cool Series has a strong value and is worth the additional cost for homes affected by hotter climates.
Benefits of Cool Roofs
Aside from the research, there are other noted benefits of reflective cool roofing, such as:
- Less need for air-conditioning. Using a cool roof technology can reduce the demand on air-conditioner units by 40 percent in warmer climates. (However, in cold climates, the heating load penalty may offset the savings.) Overall energy savings run around 20 percent.
- Longer lifespan of shingles. Cool roof shingles will last longer than regular shingles, since they do not expand and contract as much as temperatures fluctuate. Absorbing less heat also means the shingles resist water and UV light deterioration better.
- Decreased heat island effect. Nonreflective shingles can heat the air, creating the heat island effect. This may raise the cooling demands on a building or even vehicles in an affected area, may contribute to smog, higher ambient temperatures, and also health conditions.
In order to get these benefits from your GAF Timberline HD Cool Color shingles, be sure to consider the application, the local climate, amount of insulation, and the kind of roof being replaced. Maintenance is also necessary to ensure the Energy Star-rated shingles function properly.
Generally, cool roof shingles like GAF Timberline HD are most cost-effective when:
- Obsolete, inefficient HVAC equipment has been replaced
- Roof is installed as new construction or is replacing the entire roof system of a current building
- The building is low-rise and has a flat roof
- There is a lack of or no current roof insulation
- The climate is generally sunny and hot most of the year (excluding winter)
So, are GAF Timberline HD shingles Energy Star approved? They are, and they come with a number of benefits for buildings that are exposed to heat and have little insulation around the roof. Even homes that struggle to stay cool in the summer can benefit from reflective cool shingles.
Now that you know more about Energy Star and GAF Timberline shingles, you should read up about roofing maintenance and repair or another blog of ours.
Have questions? Drop us a line by filling out the contact form. We’ll get back to you soon.