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Cool Roof to Cut Down your Energy Bills

Jul 12, 2012

If you’ve ever had the need to enter your home’s attic on a summer’s day, the first thing you’ve probably noticed is how hot it is up there.

It’s no wonder. Most homes have roofs that are covered with dark colored shingles.

This may be done to enhance the look of the house but having a large, dark, light absorbent surface facing toward the sun is a magnet for those solar rays that will be drawn into your home and force your cooling system to work overtime to cool things down.

Considering the fact that around 40 percent of the average monthly utility bill is spent on heating and cooling, reducing your home’s heat absorbent properties is a step toward cutting those bills in half. If you are considering replacing your older or worn out roof, you have an opportunity to choose a ‘cool roof’ design.

A cool roof is one that is designed to have:

  • High solar reflectance: The ability to reflect visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths.
  • High thermal emittance: The ability to radiate absorbed or non-reflected solar energy.

In addition to reflecting heat away from your house, a cool roof will also have side benefits such as:

  • Reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emission.
  • Improved health and comfort of occupants of a home.
  • Extended roof service life.

There are several types of cool roof products, each with distinct advantages. Cool roof designs are rated by a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI), which is determined by a roof’s ability to reject solar heat as shown by a small rise in temperature.

A RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor can advise you on what type of roof would be best for your home. The cost of installing a new cool roof design is about the same as other comparable roofing materials.

Even in you choose a design that costs slightly more, you will quickly make up the difference in cost savings. In addition to saving on your monthly utility bills, many states offer tax breaks or rebates on material costs if you choose Energy Star approved materials.

Creating an energy efficient home does take some planning and knowledge of best practice. That’s why it pays to find a certified RESNET Home Energy Professional who can guide you through the decision making process, and make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible.