How much can white or green roofs do to fight climate change? That depends on the region, says a new study, finding that white roofs offer less benefit in Northern areas than Southern ones like Fort Worth.
However you view global warming, it’s still a hot topic these days and so is saving money. But how do white roofs make a difference? If you live in a state that gets half as hot as it does here in Texas, then you know not to wear black when the sun is out. But when it comes to choosing your roof style, aesthetics usually trump tree hugging, and if you’re like most Americans, nothing looks as good as a dark colored roof. But let’s take a look at what it does to your wallet: A dark roof means higher electric bills. It’s not “maybe” or “might” – it absolutely does. Of course, along with that comes a higher carbon dioxide emission from the power plant having to pump out the extra electricity. The good news? There are plenty of options out there (maybe one that even YOU would like!) for giving your house a new sun-reflecting top that will make your wallet and the weatherman thank you.
The Benefits of a White Roof
By choosing a reflective roof, you can your energy consumption by 20% in hot times of the year. Hashem Akbari from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Heat Island Group in Berkeley, California says that transitioning to reflective roofing and pavements in the world’s urban areas would offset the equivalent of emissions from the planet’s 600 million cars for the next 18 years. What’s more is the average house in the United States is more than 2000 square feet, which would save more than 1 ton of carbon dioxide per year. White roofs can help to lower smog levels in urban areas because it causes a drop in temperature despite all the paved surfaces. Some naysayers think that a white roof wouldn’t work out in a colder climate. This is incorrect according to Akbari. “The amount of heat savings you may lose in the winter would be, at maximum, 30% of the summertime savings,” he says. “If you need cooling in the summer and heating in the winter, no matter where you are, a white roof will most likely save you money.” This is because the winter brings shorter and cloudier days, plus inclement weather like snow causing a covering on the roof.
Cool roofs refer to roofs made up of carbon footprint-reducing materials. They come in several lighter shades, not just white and there is not much of a cost difference on the different shades. Here are a few ways to save on the install of a new cool roof:
- Only replace your roof with a cool roof when it’s time for a new roof because of age or maintenance.
- Instead of completely replacing your roof, just cover your roof with a white roof coating. Coatings protect and seal and increase the life of your current roof. The cost is $0.50 to $1 per square foot and the lower energy bills will get that paid back to you in no time!
Before you begin calling your local roofer about installing a new cool roof, let’s discuss some resources a little further to aid you in your decision-making process.
There are several resources you can use as an aid in your cool roof purchasing process. There is a Solar Reflectance Index developed by the Heat Island Group that measures the reflectance and thermal emittance of a cool roof. Reflectance and thermal emittance are the properties by which a cool roof is measured. Reflectance is the ability of the product to reflect energy away from the roof. Thermal emittance is the roof’s ability to radiate the absorbed heat. Both of these properties should be high. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Cool Roofing Materials Database and the Cool Roof Rating Council contain information about whichever type of cool roof you might be considering. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency for rebates and other helpful details. It may also be worth it to contact your utility company to see if there are any programs in place in your area specific to cool roofs.
To find out how to get a white roof for your home or business call the roofing contractor Fort Worth trusts at Old Pro Roofing! We’ll help you decide what cool roofing options are best for you and we’ll include a free quote.
Call (817) 929-7663 today to get started saving money and enjoy your nice, cool, Fort Worth roofing.