A Look at the Energy Efficient Roofing Movement
In an attempt to combat the urban heat island effect, Los Angeles implemented an energy ordinance requiring all new and refurbished homes to have a cool roof. In other words, a roof designed to reflect more of the sun’s rays to keep the home or building cooler. Sounds good but, what exactly are the advantages of a cool roof, who should consider this more reflective option and can it really help keep your home, and ultimately your community, cooler?
We’ve gathered the essentials for you including what types of cool roofs are available (spoiler – they are not all white), how much you can expect in energy savings, best places to consider a cool roof, even how to cool your existing roof – ready to get started?
The Who, What, Where, Why and How of Cool Roofs
About one third of the unwanted heat in your home comes through the roof. This is hard to control with traditional materials. Enter the cool roof, an ingenious development in roofing that can save up to twenty percent on energy costs and help the environment too. Here’s what you need to know.
The EPA defines a coof roof as one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof.
Where Are the Best Places to Install a Cool Roof?
Cool roofs can be installed on virtually any building anywhere, but should they be? Researcher have found what they call a “winter heating penalty” that occurs in most temperate areas like the United States. However, in most cases the winter penalty is less than the cooling saving gained during the summer months. This means most people will save on their energy bill after having installed a cool roof. How much? We’ll get to that shortly.
In the meantime, if you live in climate zones one, two, three or four (and sometimes five) a cool roof is something you should seriously consider.
Calculating Cool Roof Costs Savings
Obviously savings will vary by location and seasonal weather patterns. Crazy hot summer? You’ll like see your saving to up. On the other hand, if clouds have blocked the sun for a week your energy consumption could remain on par with a traditional roof. That said, coolroof.org conservatively averages cool roof energy savings between seven and 15 percent. While, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggest that number could be closer to 20 percent.
There are also several cool roof calculators out there that can help you determine your potential energy savings. Two that we like are the Cool Roof Calculator from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Roof Savings Calculator by the Environmental Protection Agency.
How to Cool Roof Space?
So, now that you know how much you can save while helping the environment, you are ready to install a new cool roof. Well, good news, cool roofs can be installed on almost any roof, in any almost any roofing style and a cool roof does not necessarily mean a white roof. Cool roofs today come in a variety of color options.
Whether your roof is steep slope, low slope, or flat; metal, asphalt or tile; shingle, foam, or slate – we’ve outlined the cool roof options available to you. We also cover green roofs and show you how to cool your existing roof.
Who’s got a cool roof?
We don’t like to name drop but…
Still not sure? We break it down further in What is a Cool Roof?
Already have the perfect roof picked out? We can help you find someone to install it for you.