Posted March 30, 2015 by Gabriel Posternak

How To Improve Your Home’s Energy Performance: Roofing

If you are planning on doing any remodeling or construction on your home in an effort to have a more energy efficient home, then the best home improvement project you can consider is your roofing situation. If you have a home energy performance assessment done, chances are that there will be recommendations for some more energy efficient roofing options.

It’s oh so true that we often overlook the roof of our houses when thinking about energy. You shouldn’t make that mistake! Think about remodeling it and if you choose to do so, remember these five tips to improve the roofing energy performance in your home:

  • Light Reflecting Roofs – If you remember correctly, lighter colors reflect sun better than darker colors. That’s why you see so much white in the summer and black in the winter. This also applies to your roofing situation. The lighter the shingles on your rooftop the more light is reflected and heat pushed away as compared to darker asphalt or black top on your roof. You can save money and energy by choosing lighter color roof shingles. While it sounds simple, it is truly effective.

reflective-roof

  • Consider other Material Options – When you pick other materials such as a metal roof, you stand to save a considerable amount of money over time. While a metal roof is more expensive from the onset, it can save you a substantial amount of savings in energy. Repurposed wood when treated with the proper reflective materials or even tile roofs may also be options you should keep in mind.
  • Think Green - You may wish to consider a simple plant roof or go more extensive and create an entire garden for a green roof top. These roof tops can keep your home warmer in winter and even cooler in warmer months. While, of course, this is a unique and different approach to roofing and you would have to check with your community’s codes, it may be worth looking into for your roofing needs.

green-roof

  • Insulate – By insulating the attic underneath the roof, you have the opportunity to keep air inside the home and not allow it to escape through the roof. Air sealing and insulation are important steps to avoid an increased heat flow, main responsible for changes in indoor temperatures.
  • Single Layer Roofing – Some older homes may have had an additional layer of roofing put on it at some time or another. This may have occurred before coding was as stringent as it is nowadays. Having only one layer of roofing either on your original roof or even a Dutch roof will equate to a major savings on your home energy. Double layers of roofing during the summer will cause you to run your air conditioning longer and higher.

While these are five options for creating a greener and more energy efficient roof, they vary in price and in style as well. As an individual and a homeowner, you should explore which options will save you the most over the duration of time you plan to stay in your home.

For some homeowners, you may be staying in your home a little longer, while other homeowners may be in their homes for a shorter period of time. So, it is important to compare and contrast the expense and the savings of your new roof.

For more information on your savings, visit www.rsc.ornl.gov.

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