How to Make Your Roof and Home More Energy Efficient
Did you know that heating and cooling expenses account for almost half of the typical homeowner’s utility bills? It’s true. And guess what—your roof plays a huge role in how much you’ll need to spend to maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature inside your home.
Whether letting in too much heat in the summer (and making your air conditioning work harder) or letting out too much warmth in the winter (and making your heating system work harder), roofs built with insufficient attention paid to energy efficiency make everyday life more expensive.
But what if you could fortify your first and best defense against the summer heat and winter chill? What if you could heat and cool your home without sending your utility bills through the roof? What would a more energy efficient roof and comfortable home mean to your utility bills, peace of mind and quality of life? King Quality answers all these questions and more.
First things first: Energy-efficient materials.
Energy-efficient roof materials do one critical job: reflect ultraviolet sun rays away from your roof, thereby reducing scorching hot roof surface temperatures. Highly reflective shingles — like the ones featured in the Energy Star-certified Timberline Cool Series — can drop roof surface temperatures as much as 100 degrees (or 30 percent). Cool roofs help to reduce temperatures in your attic and help save on air-conditioning costs.
The right material for your roof depends on the type of house you inhabit and where you live. An ideal roofing product will reduce heat transfer and last longer than 15 years. Generally, the more durable the material, the better.
Metal, clay and concrete roofs cost more than asphalt roofs but will save you money in future utility bills. Wood shingles degrade faster than traditional shingles while unpainted metal and aluminum roofs release less energy than other types of roofs.
A certified contractor can help you select the best energy-efficient material for your home.
Cool your roof with colored coatings.
The color of your roof also creates a world of difference. The temperature on top of your roof (and down in your home) is directly dependent on your roof’s ability to reflect or absorb light and heat. In the same way that wearing a white shirt on a hot summer day keeps you cool (and wearing a black one makes you perspire), color has a major impact on maintaining a comfortable temperature.
A white roof—best for warmer weather—reflects light and heat, reducing the cooling load on your home. A white roof saves you energy and money while making the air inside more comfortable. At King Quality, we know all about white roofs. We recently put a white coat on the roof of the Jefferson Animal Shelter on Route 112 in Port Jefferson, cooling off the building for the animals inside. It’s a pleasure playing our part to make a difference in our community.
A black roof—best for colder weather—absorbs light and heat, conducting hotter temperatures down into your home, making the rooms hotter and your air conditioner work harder. (Food for thought: a black roof can reach 150 to 175 degrees on a hot summer day and transfer that heat into your home.)
Highly popular and cost-effective, colored roof coatings can save you money on utility bills and make your home more comfortable. A light-colored and highly-reflective coating can lower the surface temperature of your roof by 50 to 80 degrees and significantly shrink your cooling costs.
For new roof construction or a replacement project, swap dark shingles with lighter-colored versions. Manufacturers rate energy-efficient roof coatings for their solar reflectiveness (or ability to reflect or absorb the sun’s energy): the higher the number, the more reflective the coating, and the cooler the roof.
Insulate from below. Ventilate from above.
An energy-efficient roof and home depend on attic insulation. But don’t forget about roof ventilation. The right number of soffits, ridge and off-ridge vents allows your attic to breathe. Together, this one-two punch keeps the cool air in and the outside air out to burst that heat bubble hovering above your home.
Hot and cold air can make its way into your home through the roof. High-tech solutions from home foam and cellulose insulation to simple options such as fiberglass and cotton batting can better handle shifts in temperature without driving up energy costs.
Focus on R-value, which measures the insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer. Higher R-values better trap heat inside your home during winter to help lower your heating costs.
Radiant barriers are the best type of insulation for an optimal level of performance from a cost versus value standpoint. Their reflective film reflects heat, rather than absorbing it. Radiant barriers can make a huge difference, especially in homes with cathedral ceilings and cooler climates.
A poorly insulated roof makes your HVAC system work harder to heat and cool your home, whereas an insulated and energy-efficient roof can almost negate the need for heating or cooling. Insulate and ventilate your roof to shrink your electricity bills and home’s emissions while lowering the odds that moisture, mildew or mold will ever become a problem.
Find the right contractor
A certified contractor can walk you through the process of selecting the best insulation, ventilation, roof coating and materials to promote an energy-efficient roof and home.
Reach out to the licensed specialists at King Quality today for green roofing solutions backed by full warranties on both materials and workmanship.
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