The average American spends at least half of their regular utility bill on heating and cooling. Energy costs are one of our biggest payments, and most of us would like to do everything we can to save on those costly energy bills. Believe it or not, one of the biggest ways you lose energy is through your roof. If you’ve ever been up in your attic in the middle of the summer, you know that it can get pretty toasty up there. All of that heat that comes into the attic through the roof forces your air conditioner to work harder, and costs you considerably more in energy bills. If you’re looking to give your air conditioner and your wallet a break, an energy efficient roof is something you should be considering for long-term savings.
What do you need to know?
Before you go out and buy any roof that is labeled energy efficient, there are a few things to consider:
Reflectance – When you go out looking for an energy efficient roof material, make sure you ask about reflectance. Having a highly reflective roof material means that instead of absorbing heat, the material will bounce it off back into the environment, potentially reducing the surface temperature of your roof by as much as 30 percent. Lower surface temps means less heat is getting into your home, so the higher the reflectance the better.
Reflectance is generally measured on a scale from 0 to 1, where 1 represents the highest level of reflectivity. While you’re shopping, look at the options that feature a decimal point that leans closer to 1.
It is important to note that over time, your roof will become less reflective due to normal wear and tear, as well dirt buildup on the roof. Unfortunately, your roof is always exposed to the elements, however, most reflectance numbers take this deterioration into account and are based on performance after three years of service.
Emittance – While you’re out choosing an energy efficient roof, make sure you look for options with high emittance as well. A roof that is highly emissive means that instead of trapping and keeping the heat that your roof absorbs, it releases is back into the environment. Also measured on a 0 to 1 scale, 1 represents a higher ability to shed heat, rather than to retain it.
What are the benefits of energy efficient roofing?
You Save Money – The first, most obvious benefit is your energy savings. The less heat that your roof transmits into your home, the less that you’ll have to spend on cooling your home in the summer months. Those savings can run anywhere from 7% to 15%, which is a pretty big savings when you consider that you save that much on every energy bill you get, once you install the roof.
Extended Roof Life – Another great benefit to an energy efficient roof is that since it reflects and sheds heat, it’s less susceptible to damage from the sun. A lot of heat can damage roofs, especially asphalt roofs that degrade relatively quickly in sunlight. A roof that reflects and sheds that heat will last longer, meaning that you’ll have to replace or re-shingle your roof less often.
Increased Comfort – Even if you don’t use air conditioning, or if you only use it sparingly, an energy efficient roof can boost the comfort level of your living space. When heat isn’t reflected off of a roof, it gets trapped in the home, most specifically in the upper floors. That can make living and sleeping in those second floors practically unbearable when it’s very hot out. Since an energy efficient roof discourages heat from remaining in your home, you’ll have less of a chimney effect, meaning the entirety of your home will remain at a more comfortable temperature year-round.
Since energy costs are becoming so high, it’s getting easier and easier to find ENERGY STAR labeled roofs that boast massive energy efficient qualities in just about every material. Whether you want a metal roof, or would rather stay with a more classic asphalt option, there are energy efficient options out there for you.
If you’ve decided that an energy efficient roof might be right for your home, give the experts at Werner Roofing a call. We use Sheffield Metal Coolr® materials for metal roofs, and top of the line GAF shingles for asphalt roofs, guaranteeing that we can find you an energy efficient roof option that fits the look of your home, and saves you money on those utility bills. Give us a call today at 616-844-5382 or request your free roofing estimate online!