Know Which Roof Material Saves the Most Energy

If you’re a homeowner in the market to replace a roof or considering roof material options for a new home, energy conservation should be one of your primary concerns. It’s estimated that U.S. homeowners spend $40 billion annually to air-condition buildings. That’s one-sixth of all the energy used across the country. You can save 30 percent of your energy costs just by using the right materials.

The roof affects the heating and cooling of your entire house. Roof temperatures in cities can reach up to 175 degrees. With those extreme temperatures, your air conditioning has to work extra-hard to adequately cool your home. Spaces without air conditioning, such as garages, can become stiflingly hot.

Reducing energy costs is a green move since consuming less energy reduces carbon emissions. It’s also a cost-saving move, as the less energy you use, the lower your energy bills will be.

The Cool Roof

Whatever material you choose, go for what industry insiders call a “cool roof.” Cool roofs are made to reflect the sun’s rays, rather than absorbing them. Reflectiveness can be achieved via color, sheet coverings or treated tiles or shingles.

Cool roof materials will reflect more than 65 percent of the sun’s rays, while conventional roofs reflect just 5 to 15 percent. The fewer rays your house absorbs, the cooler it will be.

The best way to get a cool roof is to lighten the color. The principle is simple: dark colors absorb more heat. Lightening the color of a roof can lower its temperature by 50 to 60 degrees.

If you’re looking to make your house cooler, it is also advisable to insulate the space beneath the roof. Insulation will make your house cooler, regardless of the materials currently used on the roof. Insulation combined with energy-efficient roofing materials will maximize energy savings.

Finally, in thinking about cool roofs, consider your climate. While roofing materials vary in their energy efficiency, the most efficient may not be appropriate for the area where you live. Clay tiles, for example, can shatter in a hailstorm.

Roof Materials: Which Is Most Energy-Efficient?

Here are the roof materials to think about for maximum energy efficiency.

  • Green Roofs

Green roofs, sometimes called “living roofs,” are exactly that. The roof area is covered with greenery, either grass or plants, protected from the house by coverings that allow irrigation. Green roofs are best for flat surfaces. Like gardens, they lower temperatures on the roof, which can lower temperatures throughout the house. They are both functional and aesthetically pleasing and help a building improve their energy efficiency. In addition, they create a pleasant outdoor space.

  • Slate and Clay Tiles

Both slate and clay tiles can be treated with reflective coatings. The lighter the color, the better the energy efficiency. As noted above, clay can shatter in hailstorms, so is better used in warm climates. Slate is a harder material and can be used in any climate. Slate and clay’s energy efficiency extends to their afterlife. The material can be repurposed once it’s no longer needed for roofing, which also saves energy.

  • Metal

When you think “metal,” you may think “hot.” After all, your car’s trunk is metal, and it heats up on a hot day, right? Well, think again. Metal roofs can be treated to be reflective and can be purchased in lighter colors that ensure energy efficiency. These properties make steel, copper and aluminum roofs all good candidates for low heat absorption. They are best for warm climates.

  • Sprayed Polyurethane Foam

While sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) is synthetic and therefore may not sound like the most environmentally conscious product when compared to green roofs and clay, it provides excellent insulation, protecting your house from heat. SPF has been proven to save energy costs by up to 58 percent. SPF is made of chemicals which are sprayed on the roof and solidify after application.

  • Thermoplastic Olefin/Polyolefin

Thermoplastic olefin/polyolefin (TPO) is an ethylene propylene rubber coating that provides flexibility and durability, as well as energy efficiency. The advantage to TPO is that it works in all weathers, is durable against ozone, and resists algae and tears in the material.

Roof materials can make a big difference in the amount of energy consumed in your household. Choose cool roof methods such as light colors and coatings, and consider your climate when selecting energy-efficient materials.


Blog Source: CONTRACTORS | Which Roof Material Saves the Most Energy?


I’m Joseph, and I started this blog as a way to share ideas with others. I wanted to create a space where people could share their thoughts and feelings, and where we could all have a good laugh. Since then, the blog has grown into something much larger than I ever imagined. We have posts on everything from humorous essays to comics to interviews. And our weekly columns cover sports, video games, college life, and software.
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