Green Home Lighting Avon Lake OH
N. Olmsted, OH
N. Olmsted, OH
Green Home Lighting
In our quest for energy efficiency, sometimes the simplest things get overlooked. Consider the color of your roof. It stands to reason that if white reflects heat, roofs - at least in warm climates - should be white or light-colored. Yet houses throughout the Sunbelt are roofed with the same dark-gray shingles that you'd find on a house in Minneapolis or Poughkeepsie. Now, a study by the Florida Solar Energy Center confirms that those warm-weather homeowners would be better off with light-colored roofs.
The four-month study, conducted by the FSEC for Florida Power & Light, found that while a dark-gray roof reflects 8 percent of the heat associated with sunlight, a white shingle roof reflects 25 percent. Even better was the solar performance of white concrete tile and white galvanized metal roofs, which reflected 66 to 77 percent. That reflectivity keeps money in your pocket during the cooling season. The FSEC calculates that a 1,770-square-foot house could be cooled for 20 percent less if roofed with white, S-shaped tile. The white galvanized roof produced cooling savings of 23 percent, or $128 a year. These findings confirm what earlier builders already knew. Before air conditioning spread throughout the South, many homes had white tile roofs, which helped keep them habitable through even the warmest months. Functionality eventually fell victim to fashion, however, and gray shingles grew popular as air conditioning became standard.
The FSEC says its study is the first to judge roofing performance on identical homes during realistic weather conditions. The houses in question were identical neighboring buildings constructed by Habitat for Humanity in Fort Myers, Fla. If you decide on a white roof, it's important to keep a few things in mind. First, standard white shingles are the least reflective of white roofing materials, and as they age and get dirty they become even less efficient. Keeping them clean will help. You may also want to use premium shingles, which are coated with more reflective granules. Better yet, investigate tile and metal; they may cost more, but their performance may make them the best buy. And what if you have a flat roof? Check out white acrylic roof coatings. Applied like paint, these elastometric coverings can reduce cooling costs by more than 20 percent and extend the life of the roof. When it comes to an efficient roof, the best advice may be to lighten up.