According to the Federal Trade Commission, cooling and heating your home takes almost half of your total money spent for utility bills. To put it another way, energy costs of many British families are rising through the roof, literally. For combating the winter cold and summer heat, the roof is the best shield. A roof with poor insulation and low-efficiency, therefore, can cause massive air conditioning or heating costs, by allowing large amounts of heat during the summer, and releasing large amounts of warmth during the winter.
Hence, if you decide to spend a bit of your money in order to build an efficient roof, you will save huge heating or cooling costs in the coming years. Keeping your house warm during the winter and cool during the summer, an energy-efficient roof can withstand UV radiations as well, which enhances its overall life.
The best roofing materials show good solar reflectance, which basically means that the energy of the sun is reflected back, rather than being absorbed by the roof. These roofs have the ability to reduce roof temperature by as high as 30 percent. The ability to release any absorbed solar energy is very high too, which is termed as high emittance.
Addition of insulation can enhance the energy efficiency of a roof too. When the temperature is low, insulation materials with high R-value (the resistance capacity of transfer of heat of the insulation) trap lots of heat inside a house, causing lower heating bills.
How to Pick the Right Roof
The government has the Energy Star program, which promotes energy-efficient product use. Be sure to buy roofing products that have Energy Star label. Only products that have very high reflective capacity are stamped the Energy Star, and such products have the ability to reflect great portion of sun rays. This decreases the roof temperature by surprising 56 degrees in some cases.
Note that light colored roofs reflect heat, whereas dark colored ones absorb heat. So if the area you live is warm, you can simply use light color for coating the roof if you don’t want to build a totally new one, in order to decrease costs of cooling, and vice versa. Surface temperature of roofs can be reduced by 50 to 80 degrees by roof coatings alone!
The options for selecting roofing materials are almost endless. Metal, wood, asphalt, tile, concrete are just some examples. Concrete or clay tile roofs are generally expensive when installed, but can save money if the big picture is considered, because these roofs are energy-efficient in all conditions. It is best to avoid aluminum roofs or unpainted ones, because releasing energy is not the strongest point of these roofs. Note that the new photovoltaic or PV cells can not only protect the house, but can also produce electricity using sunlight.
When it comes to saving money, choosing the proper materials is not enough. Make sure that you find a contractor having a license that offers good warranty for materials as well as for work. Good amount of experience on the contractor’s part when it comes to installation of energy-efficient roofs should be considered too.