As with many home renovation projects, you can view roofing work as an unfortunate expense or an opportunity to improve your home. The average roof lasts less than two decades, making roof replacement an expense that many homeowners will have to face multiple times. While there is no avoiding the initial expense of installing a new roof, you can help to make the most of your purchase by taking this opportunity to increase your home's energy efficiency. Since roughly a quarter of your home's heat loss occurs through the roof, your potential savings can be significant.
Color and Heat Transfer
Dark roofs are a popular choice, but they can also lead to high HVAC costs. The color of an object is a result of the wavelengths of light that it reflects. A dark object appears dark because it absorbs a higher number of wavelengths and, as a result, more heat energy. By contrast, a white object looks white because it is reflecting most wavelengths of light away from itself and absorbing less energy. When you install a dark roof on your home, you are allowing more of the sun's energy to be absorbed by your roofing material and ultimately to be transferred into your home.
The takeaway is simple: lighter roofing materials will save you money. If you are re-roofing your home, then you can choose lighter tiles that reflect more light. If visions of horrifying white rooftops are dancing in your head, don't worry; lighter gray tiles will make a meaningful impact as well. Lighter coatings and panels exist for roofs that do not require full replacement, as well.
Mass and Energy Efficiency
In addition to color, the weight of your roofing tiles can impact your energy costs. The more massive a material, the more heat it can absorb and the longer it will take to cool down. While it is true that heavy roofing materials will take longer to heat up, they will also take longer to equalize with the surrounding air once they are no longer directly exposed to sunlight. A metal roof is a lightweight, energy-efficient option that will quickly shed heat once it is no longer being warmed directly. Combined with a reflective coating, metal roofing offers an efficient opportunity for reduced energy usage.
Putting Your Options Together
Everyone wants to reduce their energy bills and save the environment, but no one can deny that there is also an aesthetic component to roofing. Choosing the right roof for your home is about weighing your options and making the right choice for your home. A combination of color, material, and attic insulation can work together to control costs and reduce your home's environmental impact. Now that you know the effect that these choices can have, you can work with your roofing contractor to arrive at the right solution for your home.
For more information, contact a company like Par One Construction, Inc.