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What’s a Cool Roof and Why Do You Want One?

What’s a Cool Roof and Why Do You Want One?

According to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), “a cool roof is one that strongly reflects sunlight and also cools itself by efficiently emitting radiation to its surroundings.”  The roof stays cooler and keeps heat from being conducted below so the whole house stays cooler. The CRRC estimates that having a cool roof can save homeowners between 7 to 15% of their energy cooling costs. Cool roof materials also cost close to what regular roofing materials do, so installing one won’t be more of a financial burden than a full roof installation would be.

What Can Cool Roofs Do?

We all know that sunlight makes a roof hot. That roof heat transfers inside the home. A cool roof  is reflective of heat, returning it to the Earth’s atmosphere. This keeps your interior cooler.  There are two material properties that measure the ‘coolness’ of a roof’s surface. They are solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance determines how much solar heat the roof reflects. Thermal emittance measures how well the roof can cool itself by the release of thermal radiation. The higher the level of solar reflectance and thermal emittance a roof has, the cooler it is.

According to the US Department of Energy, a regular roof gets as hot as 150 degrees Fahrenheit in summer; whereas, a cool roof can remain 50 degrees lower.  Now that’s a big difference.

Cool roofing works by reflecting sunlight and releasing heat so the roof stays cooler. With less heat getting into the house, you won’t have to run your air conditioning as high if at all.

Characteristics of a Cool Roof

You can make your current roof or a new roof cool by utilizing the correct cool roof coating for your type of roof. Generally speaking, a cool roof is usually comprised of reflective shingles or tiles, a sheet covering or even reflective paint.  The materials for a cool roof are often white. Think of the difference you feel on a hot day if you’re wearing a black t-shirt or a white one. You’re much cooler with the white one because it’s less reflective of the sun. However, there are cool roof materials being made in darker coolers as the technology improves so if you don’t want a white roof, you can still have a cool roof.

Some Benefits of a Cool Roof

  • Reduce your utility bills with respect to air conditioning
  • Improving indoor air comfort for areas that don’t have air conditioning
  • Reduce local air temperatures – this is called the Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Lower peak electricity demand which can help prevent power outages
  • Decrease the size and prolong the life of your air conditioning system
  • Extend roof life and reduce maintenance costs
  • Help your home meet building codes
  • Reduce roofing waste added to landfills
  • Reduce air pollution

We, at 21st Century Painting and Roofing can help you with your roofing needs. We deal with both residential and commercial roofs. Call us today at 512-219-0342 to set up a service call. We’d be happy to help.