Will a New Roof Save You Energy
Most homeowners don’t think about their roofs until it’s time to replace them due to age or an event that damages the roof. But what if you notice that your utility bills have become unusually high? Even if it’s intact, the age of your roof could be part of the problem.
Your roof is the first defense you have against hot or cold temperatures and other weather, and how well it’s cared for and how high it’s rated is key to helping with your energy bills. About half of all utility bills are spent just on heating and cooling, according to the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Energy.
So, will a new roof save energy?
Of course it will!
Here are five ways a new energy-efficient roof will help save you more money in the long run.
In the hot summer months, warm air could become trapped inside, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to cool your home. Same in the winter with cold air. Your new, properly-ventilated roof will save you some of that time and energy your air conditioner and heater currently use running longer or harder, saving you some cash.
Consider also that if the air circulates properly under your roof, your chances of finding roof rot and ice dams decreases. Fungi will cause rot; circulating the air properly will cut down on dampness, which is one of the requirements for its ideal living conditions. Ice dams are thick ridges of ice that you’ll find on your eaves in the wintertime. Warm air that escapes your home will melt the snow. That water will then refreeze when it reaches the cold air outside, creating a visible cascade of ice. Some of that escaping warm air may also become moist and may condense inside your house on the rafters or the inside of your roof, ruining any other insulation you might have.
Solar Reflection and Roof Color
Your roof color can help maintain the temperature of your home without running any devices at all. If you’re in a cooler climate, a darker roof will absorb and retain heat. Warmer climates typically have lighter-colored roofs to reflect the sun and stay cool. Roofs with solar reflectance can reduce the temperature on your roof by 30 percent, simply by reflecting the stored energy of the sun back into the environment. Look also for roofers who work with materials with high emittance. These types of supplies are effective at releasing absorbed solar heat without sending it back into your home.
If you currently have an older roof, the shingles on it might be outdated, so their rating might be lower. Lower-rated shingles might be able to protect against winds of up to 65 mph. That might sound impressive until you hear that new shingles can protect against winds of up to 130 mph! The higher the shingle rating, the less wind will come into your home, which reduces the energy required to warm you up.
If your shingles are compromised, you can probably expect to see some leaks inside your home as well. Even if there’s no visible damage to your old roof, you might see the effects of those raggedy shingles inside.
The US Department of Energy awards the ENERGY STAR® badge to roofing materials that are particularly energy efficient, and there are several different kinds of shingles, including ones made with metal, concrete, ceramic tile, asphalt, or composite materials. Shingles with the ENERGY STAR® rating meet the government’s highest standard for environmental friendliness.
Any energy-efficient roofing materials worth their salt will protect your home against ultraviolet (UV) radiation rays from the sun, which not only helps keep your heating and cooling bills low, but also extends the life of your roof. UV rays can break down the materials in roof shingles, especially in sunnier climates, so that the roof isn’t as effective at keeping the temperature where you want it inside the house.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, you might think that we would have dodged that bullet, but UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. The only thing that prevents UV light is shade from a direct, solid object. When the sun is out—such as in our lovely summer months—the heat combined with the UV rays evaporates the moisture and disturbs the oily texture of the shingles, leaving them brittle and prone to cracking. Consider also our wild swings in temperature between daytime and nighttime—when the cool of the evening comes up, those shingles will contract and then expand again in the daytime, leading to further degradation.
This may not be at the top of your list of things to investigate, what with you being so busy planning your new roof and thinking up questions for the experts at Interstate Roofing to answer for your peace of mind. However, why not consider checking on or replacing your insulation at the same time? Insulation is just as important to your energy-efficiency rating as the new roof. (Insulation is something we can add into any roofing project—just ask us!) New insulation will be more effective in maintaining the temperature of your home than if you just replaced the roof by itself. This also means that you won’t have to plan two different projects at different times.
Your insulation will need to be changed if there are certain rooms in your house that never become comfortable, no matter how much you run the air conditioning or the heater. Insulation that’s damp or wet is no good anymore, so it would be wise to check it out just in case.
Consider also that you can receive rebates from Oregon and Washington for upgrading the R-value in your home. R-value is a system of measurement for thermal resistance on buildings. Many states and regions require that a roof has a minimum amount of thermal resistance.
Consider all the benefits when replacing or upgrading your old roof with energy-efficient systems. It’s good for your health, good for your house, and good for your wallet! Contact Interstate Roofing to schedule your consultation today.