How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption by 15 Percent

Apr 12, 2017

How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption by 15 Percent

Energy efficient roofing materials qualify by having high solar reflectivity, thermal emittance, and insulation. These four qualities keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer seasons.

Solar reflectivity: The roof’s ability to reflect sunlight away as much as possible. According to Energy Star, reflective roofing materials can reduce a roof’s surface temperature by up to 30 percent.

Thermal emittance is a roof’s ability to radiate the absorbed heat back into the environment, reducing the passage of heat into the home.

Insulation is the roof’s capacity to trap the heat it absorbed from the environment.

The Cons of Inefficient Roofs

Higher Cooling bills: Especially in the Southwestern states where heat is a recurring problem year-round, cooling a house without a roof doing some of the work is a problem. Homeowners effectively increase their cooling costs by 7 to 15 percent without an energy efficient roof.

Uncomfortable Living: It may take constant air conditioning throughout most of the summer for indoor living conditions to be tolerable.

More Frequent AC Maintenance: The AC unit will need a checkup more often and will likely malfunction due to overuse.

Shorter Roof Longevity: After a lot of exposure to heat and ultra-violet rays, the roofing shingle is likely to peel, crack, wear and tear over time, reducing the roof’s life and forcing you to renovate sooner than expected.

Methods of Making Your Roof Cooler

It used to be that cool roofs must be composed of a cool color in order to work, but nowadays things changed with the roofing material being the main factor behind the cooling effect. Materials like asphalt, metal, and composite are slowly making a statement for homes trying to be more efficient with their energy consumption during times of excessive heat.

Cooling your roof can be done by applying a cool roof coating or installing an energy-efficient roofing material. Either way, your home is bound to reduce your energy bills (especially in the summer), make your home more comfortable, and make your roof last longer.

Cool Coating for Your Roof

Coating solutions often come in brighter colors to optimize their performance at reflecting sunlight, deterring heat, and reducing the amount of heat passing through into the home, but there are dark color alternatives if the roof is sloped and needs to match the texture and color of the rest of the home.

Reflective foil: Placing a reflective foil below the roof’s sheathing will be a good barrier against heat conduction, stabilizing the indoor temperature and keeping things comfortable.

Acrylic coating usually comes in the form of EPDM, Hypalon, and PVC for their elastomeric – the quality of regaining an original shape after pressure from an object has been removed - properties. Where paint only provides a thickness of 0.003 inches, acrylic coating can give a thickness of 0.015 to 0.06 inches, keeping your roof thoroughly protected from the elements while upping its thermal emittance. The acrylic coating is applied to the roof like paint, making it effortless for DIY enthusiasts to apply it.

Silicone coating shares the same thickness quality as acrylic only it’s easier to apply since one single coat will provide a protective layer of 0.04 inches, which is plenty.

The Right Choice of Roofing Material

Certain roofing materials bear this quality of structural cooling by using high thermal masses to reduce the heat transfer from the outside in. Concrete tiles, for instance, have an excellent thermal remittance trait because of their naturally intrinsic high thermal mass. The same benefit can be found in the following roofing materials:

Composite Asphalt Shingles

This is not to be confused with organic asphalt, which has its good qualities but it won’t hold up well in areas with a lot of heat stress. Go for fiberglass composite asphalt shingles to make your resistant to the sun’s UV rays in this money-saving move. Asphalt is the second most affordable material after flat roof membranes, so you’ll be saving money on cooling bills and the product’s purchase.

Wood Shake or Shingles

Wood can deliver the reflective properties needed for a ‘cool roof’ but does even more so with its beautiful appearance. Like asphalt, it isn’t a good reflector on its own but it can be treated to be as such with resistance to termite damage, heavy rainfall and Class A fires to go with it. Plus, if you want to turn heads and attract home buyers down the road, wood roofs not only improve the resale value of your home, they’re second to none in the aesthetics department.

Reflective Metal Roofs

Metal roofs, specifically ones that are granulated in texture, will have you using at least a third less air conditioning in hot climates. The more emissive it is, the more your cooling bills will drop.

These bad boys are good at reflecting up to 90 percent of the sun’s radiation back. And they can even recoup three-quarters of the cost when it’s time to sell the house and move out.

For more information energy-efficient roofs, their labor and installation costs, and their benefits check out What You Need to Know About the 5 Roofing Materials.

Any of these materials will have you saving 10 to 15 percent in energy bills come the summer season. While you may end up spending slightly more on heating in the winter, it wanes in comparison to what you’d be saving in the summer.

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