Homeowners across the nation are noticing a steady climb in their monthly energy bills. With the heat of the sun beating down on your roof, it comes naturally to want to make and energy efficient home, and that can start with your roof.
But what kind of home upgrades can you make to your roof to lower the amount of energy it consumes? What changes can you make as a homeowner to lower your carbon footprint while keeping your home temperature comfortable?
Take a look at the following eco-friendly roof upgrades you can make to create an energy efficient home:
1. Install a cool roof
If your home’s roof is darker in color, or if it is put together with traditional black asphalt or wood shingles, you may want to consider opting for a different roof design. Cool roofs use reflective paint or tiles or shingles that are reflective to provide a cooling effect. These roofs are not only lighter in color, but they effectively reflect light and heat away from your roof rather than absorbing it which makes an energy efficient roof.
Known as the albedo effect, you can tap into some big savings from simply lightening the color of your roof. While the temperature outside is reaching triple digits, a roof can often get even hotter. With a cool roof, your roof could stay 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a traditional dark-colored roof.
By decreasing the heat your roof conducts, it’ll lead to a decreased temperature in your attic. This in return allows your air conditioning system to work at a fraction of the time it would usually work.
2. Insulate the attic
If painting your roof with reflective paint is out of the question, then your best bet to create an energy efficient roof may be adding extra insulation to your attic. While this isn’t the roof per-say, your attic plays a detrimental part in the temperature of your home.
By adding more insulation to your attic, you place a layer of protection to keep the heat out of your home. This will allow you to keep those winter nights warmer, and keep those summer nights cooler. It’s a great long-term investment that has proven to work time and time again.
3. Install a green roof or solar panels
Contractors located in all regions of the United States have noticed an influx of green roof installations, which utilize plants and vegetation to keep your roof cool. If you want an eco-friendly footprint and a cool house, consider a green roof installation for your home.
Not only this but having the extra garden on your roof would give you major bragging rights to the local garden community.
4. Upgrade to sustainable roofing
When it’s time to re-roof your home, you may want to consider installing your new roof with sustainable roofing materials. This means investing a little more in your new roof upfront so that it will last you twice as long years down the road.
Talk to your local roofing contractor and see what kind of materials they recommend in your particular region. For instance, if you live near the coast you’ll want to install a roof that can withstand high winds and salt spray. If you live in San Antonio, Texas, you’ll want to have your contractor install a laminated sheet of aluminum. This will help your home reflect heat instead of absorbing it during those hot summer days.
5. Enable proper wind flow
If you’ve never taken this into consideration, you may want to schedule an inspection of your attics ventilation system. If air vents are placed in the wrong location, or if there are not enough of them, hot air could be getting trapped in your attic.
As a result, this causes your home to heat up and stay heated over a longer period. By placing vents at both the base of your attic, the top and in the front and back of the house, you allow adequate wind flow to promote a cool house.
6. Install solar panels
If planting shrubs on your home’s roof is out of the question, there are ways to work around this while still lowering your carbon footprint. Try installing solar panels on your home’s roof. You’ll not only get major eco-friendly tax credits, but you save money on monthly utility bills.
Not only this but by installing solar panels on your roof you add value to your home without taking up any property. The location gives them optimal exposure, and keep them close to utility connections for easy setup.
Making any of these adjustments to your home’s roof can add up to significant savings on your electricity bill. Whether you choose to install a cool roof or solar panels, upgrading your roof can have a positive impact on both the environment and your wallet. Which of these eco-friendly upgrades would you like to make to your roof?
Originally published 9/13/17. Last updated 12/21/18.