Made of reflective paint, tiles, or shingles, a cool roof can stay more than 30 percent cooler than a standard dark roof by reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat. So it can help you lower your air-conditioning costs and conserve energy. Pretty cool, huh?
When many buildings in a community have cool roofs, it can lesson what is called the “urban heat island effect,” which is the phenomenon of buildings soaking up the sun’s radiation and then re-radiating that heat after sundown. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lowering the amount of energy used to cool buildings “reduces local air temperatures; lowers peak electricity demand, which can help prevent power outages; and reduces power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury.”
Many types of cool roofs are the same price as standard roofs and some utility companies offer rebates. Beyond that, you’ll enjoy savings from a lower air-conditioning bill year after year. You can also receive up to $500 in a federal tax credit for a cool roof. Learn more about this federal tax credit.
Cool Roof Types
There are many different cool roof systems for both existing and new roofs. They all use thick coatings with reflective pigments. Some also offer restorative features and water protection. The Cool Roof Rating Council is a nonprofit organization that was created to conduct third-party tests and give accurate ratings on cool roof systems. You can search their online Rated Products Directory to compare options and find the cool roof that meets your needs. Check it out – it’s free!
Cool Walls, Too
You can also use reflective paint on your exterior walls to cool your house – especially if you live in a warm climate. These “cool paints” are on the Federal Energy Management Program’s Promising Technologies List, which prioritizes technologies that help save energy but are underused.