The Hue Connection: Exploring the Impact of Roofing Color on Energy Efficiency

The Hue Connection: Exploring the Impact of Roofing Color on Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency. Power usage savings. With the cost of living skyrocketing (and spiraling out of control), many homeowners struggle to find sensible ways to save on heating and cooling expenses. Budget-conscious and cash-strapped homeowners are more stressed than ever in this world of inflationary pressures. They are constantly searching for common-sense avenues to conserve financial resources. Reducing utility bills with sensible roofing solutions can be extraordinarily difficult in today’s economy. Interestingly, one way to derive meaningful HVAC savings is to choose a roofing color that promotes energy efficiency. Most homeowners don’t know how an asphalt shingle roof’s color impacts energy consumption. Today’s technological advances incorporate different materials to make them increasingly reflective.

Does Roofing Color Affect A Home’s Energy Efficiency?

Most professionals and insiders in the roofing industry will tell you that a roof’s color has a material impact on a home’s overall energy efficiency. However, many contributing factors affect precisely how much a roof’s color influences the heating and cooling consumption inside a house. Depending on the home’s geographical region and corresponding climatic conditions, a roof’s color may have more (substantial) or less (negligible) impact on a home’s energy efficiency.

As part of this detailed analysis, a homeowner should pull in the following information when comparing roof options:

  • The composition of the roofing material
  • The reflectivity of the roofing material
  • The home’s ventilation
  • The attic and roofing insulation

These considerations significantly affect how much energy efficiency your home realizes. Choosing a roofing color that offers greater energy efficiency is undermined by having poor ventilation or inadequate insulation.

How An Asphalt Shingle Roof’s Color Impacts Heat Absorption

The general consensus in the roofing industry is that a lighter-colored roof provides greater energy efficiency than a darker-colored one. Typically, white, tan, and beige asphalt shingles yield more benefits than black, gray, or brown ones. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, white roofing provides the most energy efficiency because it reflects 60-90% of sunlight.

Reflectivity is crucial in determining a roofing color’s energy efficiency factor. A roof that helps prevent the sun’s heat from seeping through the roofing material into the attic and home enables the home’s interior to maintain a consistent interior temperature. Excess heat absorption into a home produces an imbalance that requires a substantial increase in air conditioning usage.

In warmer months, you probably would not wear a dark-colored shirt to the beach if you wanted to stay cool. You would choose a light-colored shirt to avoid the effects of the sun’s rays. The same holds for asphalt shingle roofing. Estimates indicate that a dark-colored asphalt shingle roof is 10-20 degrees warmer on a hot summer day than a light-colored one.

That said, what if your home is located in a cooler climate? Or what if your home is situated in a neighborhood with many shade trees preventing direct sunlight on your roof? Is it critical that your home use a lighter-colored asphalt shingle roofing? Or can you “get away with” a darker-colored one? Does it even matter? As a homeowner, these questions are worth asking.

Because a darker-colored roof tends to absorb considerably more heat than a lighter-colored one, the benefit of added heat to a home’s interior in a cooler climate suggests that a darker-colored roof is the better option. Likewise, if the home’s roof rarely, if ever, incurs direct sunlight, the need for a lighter-colored roof becomes lessened (if not eliminated entirely.)

How Asphalt Shingles Have Become Increasingly Energy-Efficient

As roofing material technology has evolved rapidly in the 21st Century, asphalt shingles deliver more energy-saving benefits to homeowners than at any previous time. Engineered to produce higher solar reflectance and thermal emittance properties than previously, modern asphalt shingles help reduce a home’s cooling load during warmer months. Consequently, a homeowner can achieve genuine energy savings on their utility bills.

Solar reflectance is defined as the percentage of solar energy the roof reflects away. It is represented by any heat not absorbed by the roof and transferred into a home’s interior. Thermal emittance is described as the relative ability of the roof surface to radiate absorbed heat outward. Asphalt shingles with a higher thermal emittance permit less heat transfer into the home. The ultimate objective is to reduce heat absorption.
COOL (as classified and rated under the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC)) roofing shingles utilize modern technology via solar-reflecting granules to reduce the heat transferred from outside to a home’s interior. With comfortable inside temperatures and less reliance on air conditioning units and other cooling devices, a savvy homeowner takes advantage of energy savings while positively benefiting the environment.

Choosing A Knowledgeable Contractor To Provide The Right Roofing Advice

If you own a home in Northeastern Illinois, make your first call to 3JM Exteriors for any roofing needs. We provide decades of unsurpassed roofing expertise that addresses your greatest concerns and delivers optimal solutions. To learn more about our exceptional roofing services or to schedule a complimentary consultation at your home, contact 3JM Exteriors today.

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