Homeowners, did you know that dark color roofs consume more energy than that of a light color one? Research has shown that almost 90% of roofs in the United States were not designed properly. These roofs are made of dark non-reflective materials that absorb heat and causes the surface of the roof’s temperature to increase more than normal.
Isn’t this a very uncomfortable position to be living in, especially during hot summer days when the temperature escalates? But there is good news, according to a report generated by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) “several experiments on individual residential buildings in California and Florida show that coating roofs white reduces summertime average daily air-conditioning electricity use from 2–63%”.
With this knowledge, new and existing homeowners are now turning to energy saving roofing systems to help control the temperature in their buildings. Although it may be challenging to install an energy roof, it will work out best in the long run because overtime you will see a decrease in your utility bills.
The topics covered in this article will strengthen your knowledge on the benefits of having an energy saving roofing system.
Here are the topics:
- What is an Energy Saving Roofing System?
- What does it mean to have an Energy Roof?
- Benefits of having an Energy Saving System
- What are the choices available?
- Cool Roofing System
- Type of cool roofs
- Green Roofing System
- What can I plant on a Green Roof?
- How to find an Energy Saving Roofing System?
What is an Energy Saving Roofing System?
Unlike standard roofs, this roof is design so that it can reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat. If there are no air conditioner units in a building, an energy saving roofing system will keep the entire building cool thus providing a cooler indoor environment.
What does it mean to have an Energy Saving Roofing System?
Without an energy saving roofing system, these 5 things, amongst others, will happen: –
- The use of more energy
- Excessive and uncomfortable indoor heat
- Higher utility bills
- Air pollution
- Increase roofing maintenance cost
Having an energy saving roof means that your roof will be able to block the heat of the sun instead of absorbing it. If your roof absorbs the heat from the sun it will slowly transfer the air inside the building and the hot air will warm up the interior of the building, causing you discomfort. So, because of the heat, especially during the summers many homeowners turn to air conditioners, which are very costly and use a lot of energy.
Therefore, having an energy saving roofing system like will result in less energy cost and a more comfortable atmosphere.
Benefits of having an Energy Saving Roofing System
If you ae planning on installing an energy efficient roof, most likely, you will not be disappointed because there are several benefits that can be derived from such amove. Such benefits include, but not limited to: –
- Cooler Temperature
Energy saving roofing system will keep the overall temperature of your building cooler, leaving you feeling more comfortable, especially on warm days. During winters, a good system will also keep you warm, thus helping to reduce the energy cost of heaters.
- Savings on Utility Bills
The Cool Roof Rating Council estimated that homeowners who have installed an energy saving system, save between 7% to 15% on utility bills. This is amazing news, because it’ the aim of everyone to save money from their utility bills.
- Environmental Friendly
They are also a cost-effective way to help preserve the environment because a decrease in the consumption of energy will have a positive impact on the planet. Moreover, it will require less use of air-conditioners which will reflect in less demand for energy.
- Low Maintenance Cost
Most energy saving roofs do not require high maintenance because they have a longer life span than other normal roofing system.
- Better Air Quality
Air quality will improve because there will be little pollutant in the atmosphere. In overpopulated cities, carbon monoxide and other gases will be tremendously reduced, which will result in a cleaner atmosphere.
- Tax Rebate
Your energy saving roof can earn you tax rebates as well. There may be some stipulation but it is good to consider signing up for the rebate option if you are thinking about installing a cool roof. You can also talk to your roofing contractor and he will be able to provide you with more information about the rebate option.
What are the choices available?
The material that is used for an energy saving roof is different from that of a conventional roof. However, there are various choices available, but cool roofing seems to be the preferred choice.
Cool Roofing System
Don’t be alarmed if you should come across the term “cool roofing”, it’s the same as an energy saving roof.
Although cool roofing seems to be a new technique it has been around for a long time and is said to be one of the most popular and effective energy saving roofing system. They vary in style and are designed to match the structure of the building and enhance the durability of the roof by reducing heat.
Types of cool roofs
They are many different types of cool roofs, for example: –
- Low-Sloped Roofs
One outstanding feature of a low -sloped roof is that of its flat roof line that provides high quality drainage. It is also a suitable energy saving roofing candidate because it has a large surface area.
Some of the cool roofing system techniques that are used for low-sloped roofs are: –
- The use of a foam material to top the surface of the roof for insulation purpose. This is a very dependable type of cool roofing technique that has been in used for several years and does not require high maintenance. It is also referred to as Foam Roof.
- A paint-like finish can also be used as another cool roofing technique. This is done by using cool paint coatings, which in most cases are energy star rated and doesn’t necessarily have to be white paint, to help minimize the effect of the sun. This technique can be added to a lot of existing roofs such as asphalt, metal, or any other single-ply roofs. It is also referred to as Coated Roof.
- Mod-Bit or Modified Bitumen is a durable asphalt roofing system that has a long proven track record and can be used in either cold or warm temperatures.
- Steep-Sloped Roofs
Steep-sloped roofs are mostly used among homeowners, but low-sloped roofs are mostly used on commercial buildings. The cool roof techniques for steep-sloped roofs differs due to the way they are built. Materials that are used on a sloped roof for cooling are like asphalt shingles, tiles, shakes, and metal roofing.
A study conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the University of Southern California revealed that some cool roof materials will increase ozone and fine particulate pollution levels.
Our advice therefore, is that you use only certified roofing materials for your energy saving roofing system. There are more than 3,000 ENERGY STAR®-rated cool roofing materials available that the EPA has authorized. You can visit the ENERGY STAR website and choose from the list based on type of building, roof, and location.
Asphalt shingles and metal roofs are amongst the favorite materials for cool roof installation. Asphalt shingles are made from fiberglass and has a very low solar reflectance. Because they are inexpensive and easy to install they are widely used by homeowners.
Metal roofs are long lasting, light-weight, water- resistance, and can be re-cycled. A metal roof will keep a building cooler than a normal roof because it has a solar reflectance of over 60%.
The cost for installing a cool roofing system is said to be pretty much affordable but depends on the slope of your roof and the type of material that you chose to use. But as we all know, cost tend to vary based on certain conditions. If you have a sloped-roof then you can expect to pay anywhere between $0.65 – $1.70 per square foot, while single ply membrane may cost anywhere between $2.00 – $3.50 per square foot.
It is best if you compare prices from different manufacturers before deciding on a purchase.
Green Roofing System
Green roofs are roofs that are covered with vegetation and soil, meaning, roofs that you can plant either vegetables or anything of your choice. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), green roofs reduce heat transfer through the roof of a building, improve indoor comfort and reduce heat stress associated with heat waves.
What can I plant on a Green Roof?
It’s up to your choice and taste. It also depends on your location and the effect you will get from the direct sunlight on your plants. You can turn your roof into a vegetable garden, or even a flower garden. The main aim is that whatever you chose to plant will assist to keep your building cool and that your roof is well maintained.
There are various factors that must be taken into consideration to arrive at the cost of installing a green roof. Such factors are: –
- type of roofing membrane
- drainage system
- use of fencing or railings
- type of plants
- amount of plants
Therefore, a simple green roof may cost up to $12 per square foot, while a more elaborate one may cost approximately $30 per square foot. It was reported that prices may increase within the U.S. market due to a high market demand, so act now if you need to install one.
It is important that a green roof is maintained so that the aesthetic of your building will always be pleasing to the eye. There are three main stages that should be taken into consideration for maintenance.
- Nursing Maintenance – as the name suggest, you will take care of the young vegetation by ensuring that it gets sufficient water, especially in dry season. If plants are missing, replant them as necessary and remove unwanted weeds from the vegetation.
- Development Maintenance – this is the stage in which you will make sure that you support the vegetation until it is fully mature to be left on its own.
- Up-Keep Maintenance – remember that you will have to make sure that your roof is neat and tidy, so you will need to have frequents check to make sure that your roof is not congested by unwanted plants or weeds.
How to find Energy Saving Roofing System?
The first place you should look for an energy saving roofing system is on the Energy Star Roofing website. There you will get all the information regarding energy saving roofing products. According to the website, Energy Star certified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning needed in buildings, and can reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent.
You can also contact the manufacturer of the energy saving roofing system that you are interested in and ask for detailed information about the product. Your roofing contractor may also be able to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask him for his advice.
New advancement in roofing technology is providing new ways and means to eliminate heat from homes and businesses. Considering an investment in an energy saving roofing system will be a wise move because in the long run you will cut down on large utility bills as well as having a cool and comfortable indoor experience, especially during the summer.