Everyone wants to cut down on their energy consumption. If you make a habit of turning off lights when you’re not in a room, run your air conditioning sparingly, and resist the urge to just soak in the shower, you’re likely already making some progress. When you’re a homeowner, you know that every choice you make has an impact on the energy efficiency of your household. If you’re looking for more areas to save, we can suggest something you may have forgotten: your roofing. While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for ways to cut back on household energy consumption, your roofing actually has a major impact on how much you spend.
We get plenty of people asking us about what kinds of materials might fit their energy needs. Due to the wide usage of composition shingles, many people are curious if they are in fact efficient. The short answer is: yes! There are plenty of composition shingles designed with energy efficiency in mind, and many of them even meet the specifications to earn an ENERGY STAR® rating. If you’re thinking about installing composition shingles on your roof, or already have them and want to learn more, we have your back. As your local roofing experts, we’re happy to help bridge the informational gap. Here are some of the factors that make composition shingles energy-efficient, along with the benefits that come after.
Heat and Cold Resistance
The most important thing your roof can do to be more energy-efficient is to better insulate your house. The better the insulation on your house, the less energy you’ll need to spend in order to keep it within your ideal temperature range. At the end of the day, it’s a battle on many fronts. If you want to keep your home operating at maximum efficiency, you’ll need to ensure your walls have modern insulation material and your windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent air from leaking in or out of the house. It’s not just up to the roof to keep the elements out of your home, but it makes a significant impact on how much you spend on your energy bill.
In order to best insulate your house, your roof needs to prevent heat exchange from the interior of the house to the exterior. Preventing heat exchange is a problem year-round, as you’ll need to worry about the cold getting in during the winter just as much as the heat getting in during the summer. Many modern composition shingles are manufactured with this in mind, giving them the properties needed to be effectively heat-resistant. Particularly, those that have earned an ENERGY STAR® rating are a great option.
The Color Makes a Difference
The physical material your roofing is made from is a factor when it comes to energy efficiency, but did you know that the color can make a difference as well? Part of the reason that composition shingles are so popular is that there’s a huge variety of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to emulate other kinds of roofing without having to deal with the hassle or cost that they might entail. Some styles are more energy-efficient than others, however, and it’s worthwhile to consider how your aesthetic choice might have an effect on your energy consumption.
The long and short of it is that darker colors make for less energy-efficient shingles, while lighter ones are more efficient. The reason for this is simple, it ties back to the principle of sunlight refraction. Darker colors absorb most of the sunlight that hits them, converting the solar energy into heat. If you’ve ever walked down the street on a summer day and suddenly understood the phrase, “It’s so hot, you could cook an egg on the sidewalk,” you’re already familiar with the concept.
Unfortunately, not everyone considers this when deciding what they want for their roofing. If you go with a lighter color design, you’ll be able to increase your energy efficiency by increasing the reflectivity of your roof. Keeping the worst of the summer sun out of your home will allow your home air conditioner to work a little easier, meaning you won’t need as much energy to maintain your indoor climate.
A more energy-efficient home has a direct impact on your wallet, in more ways than one. The first place you’ll feel it is, not surprisingly, in your energy bill. If you’re using less energy, you’re drawing less power from the grid. If you’re drawing less power from the grid, there’s less to be billed for. In addition to the savings on your future bills, the federal government offers tax credits to individuals who invest in making their homes more energy-efficient. If you’re worried about any additional sticker price on more energy-efficient composition shingles, don’t be. The tax credits offered can cover up to 10 percent of the cost of new roofing materials.
The goal of these credits is to incentivize more homeowners to update and utilize housing materials and appliances that meet energy requirements to drive down energy usage nationwide. This goes hand in hand with the ENERGY STAR® ratings, as a rating is aimed at helping people earn these tax credits. Many of the composition shingles on the market can meet the standards needed to qualify for both the rating and the tax credit.
So, are composition shingles energy efficient? Yes, they can be. Like so many other things, it comes down to your choice. If you want to use composition shingles for your roof, but also want to cut back on your energy usage, you just need to shop around for the right kind. Still curious about how to make your roofing more energy-efficient? Give us a call. Our expert roofers will be able to answer any questions you might have.