The new trend of a “living roof” is the ultimate in energy efficient and environmentally friendly roofing. While this isn’t workable for everyone depending on their home, location, and budget, there are several more economical ways to help decrease your energy bills by making a few alterations to your roof.
Here are a few tips for an energy efficient roof.
Keep it cool
Lighter colored roofs mean a cooler home. Colors like light blue, off white, light gray, and other light, neutral colors reflect light instead of absorbing it. Darker roofs like black asphalt or dark wooden shingles absorb heat and make you home hotter, increasing your electric bill in the warmer months. Or, if you live in a warm climate, constantly. Reports show in New York City, a dark-colored asphalt roof can reach 150 to 175 degrees on a hot day.
Light colored roofs can be 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a darker color. To keep your roof cool, the easiest route it to have a cool roof coating installed. If you’re planning on having a new roof installed or are thinking about moving, choose a roof with a lighter color to keep your home cool.
Insulate from below
Insulation is usually prioritized in the attic and the roof is forgotten. Poorly insulated roofs will cause your house to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, increasing energy costs. Choosing the right insulation depends on the climate you live in and the type of roof. Foam and cellulose insulation are recommended for cooler climates. Leaving an air space between insulation and the roofing material is a good idea, regardless of what insulation material you chose. Air spaces prevent mold growth if moisture gets trapped in the insulation. Metal roofs in dry climates rarely require an air space.
Heat will get into your attic regardless of the efficiency of your roof. Quality ventilation will keep your attic cool. Ventilation systems with fans are recommended to keep your attic cool.