Why Get An Energy-Efficient Roof?
You may have noticed that attics and top floors are always very hot in the summer. At times, the temperatures can get so hot that they remind you of a sauna. The heat makes it uncomfortable for anyone who goes into these areas, and it can also raise your electric bill.
As the temperature goes up, the air conditioner has to work harder to maintain a comfortable environment. That equals more running time for your air conditioner and much more electricity usage. Proper ventilation can help with this problem, but the most comprehensive solution is to install an energy-efficient roof.
How Does An Energy-Efficient Roof Work?
The most important quality of an energy-efficient roof is its ability to reflect heat. This ability keeps your home from absorbing heat and allows your air conditioner to run with less strain.
There are several ways to make a roof reflect heat. For one, you can use special reflective paint on your roofing material. You can also use a reflective sheet applied underneath the shingles. Sometimes, the shingles themselves are made with heat-reflective surfaces. Such shingles will usually be marked with the “Energy Star” logo and should thus be easy to identify.
In winter, you will have the opposite problem. Because all of your home’s warm air will tend to collect in the attic, the heater will have to warm the attic before it can warm the rest of the house. Anyone who has used a kerosene heater can tell you about this effect, as it is particularly apparent when using that kind of heater. The home will be warmed from the top down, but that can be a problem if your roof isn’t well-insulated.
The obvious answer is that you need insulation at the top of your home, preferably the kind of insulation that can reflect heat. Instead of reflecting it toward the outside, this will reflect it downward, which is (presumably) where you want it to be. Without this, the roof and its surrounding timbers will tend to absorb heat from the warmer air around them. Eventually, this heat is conducted to the outside, where it is wasted and lost.
Energy-Efficient Roof Materials
The most critical choice you will make when choosing a new energy-efficient roof will be your choice of material. There are quite a few roofing materials available, but your best options will probably be one of the following:
We chose to omit wood shakes because they are not quite as energy-efficient as the others. Also, they have to be treated in specific ways to resist water rot, and that makes them more expensive.
Asphalt shingles are the standard option. If you get the standard shingles, they will offer no special heat-reflective properties, so make sure that your asphalt shingles are made in the right way. Asphalt is very cheap, but it isn’t the most durable option. It tends to be easily damaged by high winds, and it can quickly grow mold and algae.
Ceramic shingles are also quite popular. They are made of fired clay, and clay is everywhere, so they aren’t particularly expensive. They look very nice, and they resist wind damage very well because of their greater weight. They aren’t very resistant to impact breakage, but they are completely fireproof and provide excellent insulation. Of course, they are one of the heavier roofing materials as well. Slate tiles and other stone roof tiles will have similar properties.
For those who want to reflect heat, the use of metal is a natural choice. Tin, aluminum, and steel are naturally shiny surfaces and can reflect sunlight and heat with great efficiency. Metal roofing also offers fire resistance with a lot less weight. Metal roofing can get expensive but is very long-lived.
What Is The Most Energy-Efficient Roof?
That title would have to be awarded to the solar shingle. These are roof shingles that double as small solar panels. While they don’t produce quite as much energy as a solar panel, they do produce energy nevertheless. Because these kinds of roofs will provide power, there is no doubt that they are the most energy-efficient choice.
Of course, these kinds of shingles are not particularly cheap. Several manufacturers offer solar shingles, but bear this in mind: If you are going to use solar shingles, you will also need some batteries in which to store the collected energy.
Does The Color Of The Roof Make A Difference?
Everyone knows that darker colors tend to absorb more heat, which is why fewer people wear black in the summertime. It naturally follows that the color of your roof will make some difference. A lighter-colored roof will absorb less heat, but that doesn’t always make it the right choice. For colder climates, you might want a roof that can absorb a small amount of heat. But, how much of a difference will it make?
This study might be of interest. Scientists studied the ability of pigeon feathers to absorb and retain heat, using both black and white pigeons as test subjects. As expected, the darker-colored birds retained heat much more efficiently than the lighter-colored birds. However, this difference became much less pronounced as the wind speed increased.
Energy-efficient roofs are a great way to lower your electric bill and increase the comfort of your home. They are relatively simple by design and mostly based on the idea of reflecting heat in specific ways. In the summer, it should reflect heat away from the house. In the winter, it should hold the heat that is already there. Not only will you save money, but you will also be doing a little bit to help the environment by lowering your overall energy consumption. If you have found this article to be informative and helpful, please fill out the contact form below to learn more.