Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against extreme weather. Whenever extreme weather conditions arrive, be it in the summer or winter season, your home’s cooling and heating costs surge as you try to keep the indoor living environment as comfortable as possible.
If you are concerned about your home’s rising air conditioning cost, then it might be time to consider improving on the structure’s energy efficiency; and the roof is definitely first in line.
Read on below to find out how you can make your roof more energy efficient, and combat the rising monthly energy bill.
The best way to ensure that your home’s roof is energy efficient is to have one installed in the first place. If your roof has been in use for decades, and is fast approaching its useful life limit, it’s best to have it replaced with an energy efficient alternative as compared to conducting extensive repairs and additions to make it more energy efficient. Although the initial installation cost might seem to be exorbitant, the long term savings, on repairs and energy bills, you stand to make at the end of it all will more than make up for it.
Today, you will find a variety of energy efficient roofing materials available for sale including Energy Star rated products, Metal and tile roofing.
Energy Star rated roofing is used to refer to a variety of roofing materials that are rated for their ability to keep roof surface temperatures as low as possible. This helps prevent the transfer of the heat to the structure below.
Metal roofing on the other hand refers to roofing materials forged from a variety of metals including steel and aluminum among others. Metal roofs are known for their natural ability to reflect heat, keeping it from making its way into the underlying structure. In addition to being energy efficient, metal roofs are also known to be stand up well to the elements and tend to be durable given the fact that they are flame retardant, fire and even insect proof.
Tile is also considered to be one of the most energy efficient roofing materials available out there as well. This highly durable roofing material not only comes with an energy efficient level of thermal resistance but also facilitates heat transfer to the roof deck through the thermal barrier created by the ventilating effect of the spaces left between tiles.
Each of the above energy efficient roofing materials is definitely more expensive than other traditional materials that have average or poor energy efficiency. However, their durable nature combined with the energy savings brought about over the long-term will definitely offset this cost.
Having a new energy efficient roof installed may not be a practical solution for every home or property owner out there looking to make worthwhile energy savings; this is where cool, or energy efficient roof, coatings come in.
Making your property’s roof more energy efficient may be as simply as coating the roof surface with a reflective coating. This process involves having a thin film or sheet of reflective paint spread over the entire roof surface.
Roofing materials that tend to retain a higher percentage of the sun’s heat can be coated with these coatings to make them more energy efficient. To demonstrate how the coatings work, just consider how uncomfortable you can get when wearing a dark t-shirt on a hot summer day. Dark colored roofing materials absorb and retain a lot of heat, pushing surface temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The application of cool roof coatings can reduce these temperatures by s much as 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Radiant Heat Barrier
Working on the lower surface of your roof will also go a long way in improving its energy efficiency. A radiant heat barrier can be installed in your property’s attic, to further enhance the energy efficiency of the roof
The barrier prevents the transfer of heat through electromagnetic means, such as through the photons in the sun’s rays. The barrier is designed to reflect heat back to its source, out through the roof or back into the house, to ensure attic temperatures remain within reasonable levels. It is made of a thin film of reflective material mounted opposite sides of a substrate.
In most cases aluminum is used in making the reflective material while the substrate can be anything from plywood sheets and plastic films to cardboard and many more.
To ensure that it works, the barrier must be installed in a way in which the oncoming radiant heat makes perpendicular contact with it. The installation of the barrier depends on the local climate. In warmer climates the barrier is installed on the attic’s ceiling, or right under the roof, between the roof beams. In colder climates however, the barrier is installed on the floor of the attic.
Properly ventilating your attic will help further boost the energy efficiency of your roof. It is worth mentioning that even the most effective energy efficient roofs will allow some level of heat transfer into the attic. A heat build-up in the attic not only means higher cooling costs but also comes with the risk of inflicting roof damage from below. An effective attic ventilation system will definitely help remove hot air from the attic whenever there is a significant build up.
Properly installed attic ventilation systems can have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of the roof by maintaining the best attic temperatures depending on the season. In colder climates these systems tend to be quite effective. In hot and humid climates however, the ventilation system may need to be paired with an attic fan to provide the necessary effect.
Making your home’s roof energy efficient not only works to save the environment by reducing the amount of energy required in cooling or warming it up to comfortable levels, but also creates substantial energy bill savings. These, combined with the need for fewer HVAC system repairs due to the lighter load placed on it, equate to more cash in your pockets in the long run.
If you have been thinking about improving your roof energy efficiency but haven’t gotten around to it, call in a commercial roofing specialist to learn more about how you can have this done.