Homeowners are faced with a lot of decisions to make when it comes to building a new house or home renovation projects that utilize modern building materials. From the design of the house to what type of energy-efficient roof to install, there are many important choices to make to ensure maximum protection of the structure and an energy-efficient home. There are several types of energy-efficient roofing materials available in today’s market that can reduce your heating and cooling costs.
When it comes to choosing the best energy-efficient roofing material for your home, there are many factors to consider, such as the features and aesthetics you want, as well as the cost for materials and installation. This guide is going to take a look at the energy savings over the long run, some of the best energy-efficient roofing materials currently available for residential roofing applications, and some of the benefits of having an energy-efficient roof.
Can Your Roof Actually Pay You Back?
The answer is yes. Although the cost of installing a new energy-efficient roof is expensive at best, you will instantly see a reduction in your heating and cooling costs. Depending on the type of roofing material that you chose, your roof can pay for itself in as little as 5-10 years. After that, it’s just extra money in your wallet.
While energy savings is always a positive takeaway, installing an energy-efficient roof also increases your property and resell value. Essentially, your investment has the potential to immediately pay you back if you’re looking to sell your home soon because today’s home buyers are looking for homes with energy-efficient roofing materials that are appealing, colorful, and full of character.
Modern Types of Energy-Efficient Roofing Materials
There are several types of energy-efficient roofing materials from which to choose. If you want an authentic energy-efficient roofing system, it’s essential to know whether or not the product has the US Department of Energy’s stamp of approval with an Energy-Star logo, which is typically located somewhere on the packaging. This logo means the roofing material that you’re considering meets government standards for being eco-friendly and is an energy-efficient product.
Here are some of the best roofing materials currently being installed in the US for energy-efficient residential homes:
Metal roofing systems offer a wide range of styles and color choices, and they currently provide the best heat reflection ratios in the industry. Although metal is rather expensive and requires professional installation, it’s one of the best choices for an energy-efficient roof.
Most metal roofing systems have a service life of 50 years or more and are virtually maintenance-free. Although the cost of materials is expensive, metal roofs can be installed rather quickly, saving money on installations.
The raw materials contained in roofing tiles have a natural thermal resistance to heat. The most commonly manufactured roofing tiles for residential structures include ceramic, porcelain, concrete, slate, cedar, glass, and asphalt. Ceramic, slate, and concrete tiles are the best choices for having reflective properties that make them truly energy-efficient.
Regardless of the material, all tiles are installed individually, which creates natural airspace for air to flow around them, reducing the amount of heat transferred to your attic. A concrete tile roof can last 50 years, while ceramic and slate have a service life of 100-150 years if properly installed.
Asphalt shingles can be energy-efficient if you select the right color for your specific geographical location. Dark colors such as black and brown are not Energy-Star rated because they absorb heat instead of reflecting it. Asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles, and if you’re on a budget, asphalt shingles are the most affordable option for an energy-efficient roof. They do, however, require routine maintenance and inspections.
Since asphalt shingles do not have reflective properties found in other materials like metal, ceramic, slate, and others, proper installation and ventilation are paramount. Experts recommend installing an ice&water shield instead of traditional tar paper over the entire roof before the shingles are applied. Adequate ventilation in the attic and roof is also essential when considering asphalt shingles. Most asphalt shingles can last 15-30 years if properly installed.
Other Energy-Efficient Roofing Options
There are some other options for an energy-efficient roof. Solar-powered tiles are a great choice if you’re looking to make your home free from utility bills or live off the grid; however, the upfront costs are rather expensive. If you have a low slope or flat roof, a green roof may be a viable option. A green roof uses a membrane to stop water from entering the structure and is covered with soil and plants if desired. Green roofs are also expensive to install, but they are very energy-efficient.
The best and most affordable option is a cool roof. A cool roof works with existing roofing materials by applying special reflective coatings that are generally white in color. It works in the same manner as a thick paint that protects your roof from chemicals, ultra-violet light, and the elements. Cool roof products are available for a variety of residential roofing applications.
Benefits of Having an Energy-Efficient Roof
There are many benefits of having an energy-efficient roof. The most apparent one is the instant savings that you get on your heating and cooling costs; however, some of the other major benefits include:
- Increased property and resell value
- Eliminates the broiler effect
- Utility and tax incentives
- Longer service life
Pro Tip: When considering a color for your energy-efficient roof, keep in mind that lighter shades of gray or white tend to show algae and dirt more than darker colors like dark gray, green, red, or blue.
The Final Verdict
Today, there are more energy-efficient materials available to the average homeowner than ever before. According to most homeowners and experts in the field, a metal roof is the best material for an energy-efficient roof. On the other hand, some of the other energy-efficient materials discussed above also provide adequate protection and energy-efficiency qualities.
Your choice in roofing materials could also depend on where you live and the weather conditions to which your roof is subjected; therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a home energy audit performed by a professional. For more information about energy-efficient roofing materials, please fill out the contact form.