Green Living Outside The House Roofing

Roof Replacement Can Help Lower Your Utility Costs

You may be unaware that roof replacement can reduce your heating and cooling costs significantly. The great news is that improving the energy efficiency of your roof doesn’t have to be expensive.  Just making a few small improvements can create a big difference.  Not only for the energy usage of your home but also the cost of your energy bill.

1) Keep Your Roof Cool
Having a cooler roof requires using shingles that are lighter in color rather than traditional black asphalt or dark wood shingles.  Lighter shingles saves energy by reflecting light and heat away rather than absorbing them. The problem with dark roofs is that they conduct a much higher temperature down inside the home during hot weather.  This makes all the rooms in your home hotter and forces your air conditioner to work harder than it should.  Studies have shown that just this one tip alone can decrease your energy bill significantly.  Also shingle replacement can be an alternative to complete roof replacement.

Another benefit of using lighter shingles is that your roof will be 50 to 60 degrees cooler than roofs that are dark-colored, which reduces the cooling load on your home.  This is how you able to save energy and reduce your utility costs.  The cheapest way to cool your roof is to place lighter shingles on top of the existing shingles. If you have a flat-top roof place sheets of fiber-reinforced white PVC membranes on top of your black asphalt roofing material.  Do a search on the internet for the Cool Roof Rating Council’s Rated Products Directory. This directory can provide you with all the performance data you need about various roofing products.  Roofing products are rated for how good that they reflect the outside elements.  The higher the number, the more reflective the product is, which means a cooler roof.

2) Install or Replace the Insulation Under the Roof
Insulation is usually one of the first things people think of when they set about making their homes more energy-efficient.  Per the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the attic of your home should be your the top priority.  Installing insulation is easy and provides immediate benefits.  When insulating your attic, it is important to remember the roof.  This means attaching insulation on the bottom surface of the roof.  Your roof is your heating and cooling system’s biggest nightmare.  A roof not properly insulated will require more use of the central air unit.  Having a well-insulated roof can almost negate the need to use your system and reduce your gas and electricity bill.

The material you choose to insulate your roof with depends heavily on what style of home you have and the weather climate of the area you live in.  Homes that have open beams, typically found in homes with cathedral ceilings should consider installing a radiant barrier.  This is a simple reflective film that wraps around beams of the roof and reflects heat rather than absorbing it.  Do not leave air space between the insulation and the underneath roofing material.  If you have a metal roof, do not leave air space or moisture can get trapped in either the structure or the insulation.  Moisture could cause mildew or mold to grow.

3) Build a Roof That Lasts
Replacing the roofing on an existing residence is a good opportunity to build a roof is energy efficient.  There are plenty of green roofing materials that are on the market that can help you do this.  You want to have a roof that lasts a long time, improves your home’s energy efficiency and maintains your comfort.  The ideal roofing material will depend on where you live.  However, many experts agree that wood shingles are not energy efficient.  Mostly because they wear out very quickly and could have you replacing your whole roof every 10-15 years.

The benefits of installing sustainable green roofing materials could result in a 30 percent decrease in your energy costs.  All our experts recommend that you use reflective coatings to make your roof cool.  Make sure the roofer you hire can advise you on the best roofing materials to use.  Especially for your type of house and the local weather climate.  However, it is also a good idea to have a grasp of the basics before talking to a professional.

If you live near the coastal areas of the United States, select roofing materials that can withstand the salt and is effective against very high winds.  Also, if you are taking your roof down to the rafters, install a sheathing with a radiant barrier.  This is a laminated sheet of aluminum that will reflect heat away from your home instead of absorbing it.

Roof replacement with materials that are energy efficient can extend the life of your home.  Following these few tips can help make your home more comfortable and reduce the strain on your pocketbook as well.

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