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What Is The Best Color Roof For Energy Efficiency

The Benefits Of Cool Roofs

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With traditional roofs, sunlight is absorbed by the roofing materials and converted into heat. A cool roof functions differently by reflecting sunlight , and releases the heat , rather than absorbing it. This is done by applying reflective, cool coating for the roof or special reflective granuleswhether it is a new installation or an existing roof.

Cool roofing typically has a comparable cost to conventional roofing products. But choosing a cool coating for the roof during a replacement or new installation is often the most affordable route to go.

Practically any roof material can be made with cool roof options, though metal roofs can be a stand-out choice. Metal roofs by nature reflect sunlight, but do not have as strong thermal emittance properties. However, a layer of thermal coating can increase both reflectivity and thermal emittance in metal roofs.

Homeowners will find several benefits of installing a cool roof:

  • Energy and utility cost savings
  • Increased property value
  • Slowing the formation of smog
  • Reducing local utility demand

Benefits Of Having An Energy

There are many benefits of having an energy-efficient roof. The most apparent one is the instant savings that you get on your heating and cooling costs however, some of the other major benefits include:

  • Increased property and resell value
  • Eliminates the broiler effect
  • Low-maintenance
  • Longer service life

Pro Tip: When considering a color for your energy-efficient roof, keep in mind that lighter shades of gray or white tend to show algae and dirt more than darker colors like dark gray, green, red, or blue.

Benefits Of Energy Star

  • Energy Star-qualified shingles come in a variety of colors, including dark colors, even dark browns and grays. They are designed with special granules that make them more reflective than standard asphalt, so they absorb less heat. Surface temperatures can be as much as 100 degrees Fahrenheit lower on roofs with qualified shingles. That can translate into a 10 to 15 percent reduction in the amount of energy needed to cool the building during peak cooling periods.

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    Roof Color Suggestion For Hot Climates

    In very hot climates , however, roof color definitely affects the cooling load of a house.

    Roof color choice also may affect shingle life in those climates.

    For instance, an attic under a black-colored roof can be 30 degF. hotter than a white-roof attic in Florida, according to the Florida Solar Energy’s Phil Fairey.

    Light colors would be in order there.

    How To Match A New Roof Color To Your Homes Existing Siding

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    If you are re-roofing your home and looking at how to match roof shingles to your house color, there is one rule to follow: stick with the basics. The most popular colors of roof shingles are shades of black, brown, gray, and red.

    Today, variations of black, brown, gray, and red roof colors are available in a variety of different roofing materials.

    Bring samples of roofing shingles home with you and hold them next to your siding to see which classic color complements your home best.

    Try experimenting with lighter shades for a brighter look, or darker shades for a more dramatic effect.

    If you are looking for a more upscale look for your roof, consider installing designer or architectural shingles instead of 3-tab singles, which have a much flatter appearance.

    Keep in mind that if you are installing a metal roof, your color pallet is slightly more limited than if you are installing asphalt shingles.

    Also, the colors are often brighter and bolder on a metal roof, especially on standing seam or corrugated roofing.

    Average Roof Replacement Cost in US:

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    Arizona Roof Color: What’s Best For Energy Efficiency

    The best roof color for energy efficiency is white.

    White has high solar reflectance and is what wed consider the coolest color for a roof in Arizona.

    According to the Cool Roof Rating Council , Black surfaces in the sun can become up to 90° F hotter than the most reflective white surfaces.

    Because white reflects more heat, a white-colored roof will help:

    • Increase comfort at home by reducing the heat transferred into your home
    • Cut cost by reducing the need for air conditioning

    You may be thinking, But I dont want a white roof! Well, thats fine! Fortunately, you have a variety of options to choose from. Just be sure to keep the following tips in mind.

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    1. Cool Roofs vs. Traditional Asphalt Shingles and Dark EPDM Rubber

    Dark roofs make houses hotter, light roofs make houses cooler. To achieve the Cool Roof benefits, a specialist applicator can coat your roof with solar reflective materials/coatings that can be applied like paint or sprayed directly on the surface of the existing roof. Of course, this is often a one-season solution.

    More Info on Cool Roofs:

    Energy conservation wizards are currently working on tiles that will go from light to dark as needed they can cut the sunlight absorbed into your house by 80% when they are white and slice heating costs by 20% and more when they turn black.

    You can find a cool roof coating formulated with acrylic polymers, resins, fillers and titanium dioxide pigments for about $150-$200 for a 4.75-gallon container .

    If rather than applying it yourself, you would prefer to hire a professional, expect to pay anywhere from a few to several thousands of dollars to properly apply a liquid roof coating. You should know that most liquid roof coatings are only suitable for durable membrane-based flat roofs and aging metal roofs.

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    Color Compatibility: Warm Or Cool

    Amy Wax is a nationally known color consultant based in Montclair, New Jersey. Says Wax, “Choosing a roof shingle is not nearly as complicated as it seems, but it is a long-term commitment. So, I think people have to do a little homework and consider the implications of the roof color they choose.”

    “Generally, if I’m choosing a roof color, I start with, ‘Is the color of the home in the cool family or the warm family? The colors should complement each other,” says Wax. If you have a house that has a lot of brick, warm-colored stone elements, or is painted in taupes or beiges, I would choose a roof that is predominantly on the brown side. But if your home is painted in cooler blue or green or gray tones, I would recommend choosing a roof that is also on the cool side, meaning more gray or black than brown.”

    With careful selection, it’s possible to get the best of both worlds, says Wax. “The most flexible is a roof color that has both warm flecks and cool flecks in the coloring. So, it has a little bit of warm, some speckles of cool, and the shingles themselves are gradated so that you have the benefit of both warm colors and cool colors. Then you can change your house color at any time and it won’t matter.”

    The earth tones of these GAF Timberline® HDZ shingles in Shakewood complement the limestone brick façade of this Tudor-inspired home in Texas. Photo: Courtesy of GAF

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    Ideally, the color of your roof will complement and elevate the look of your home. Here are simple, but time-tested design tips to consider.

    You can also check out our comprehensive guide on the best House and Roof Color Combinations.

    1. With permanent house siding, be extra careful about your roof color

    There are many beautiful roof and house color combinations. On a stone or brick home, it is critical to pick a color that will match well, as you dont have the option to repaint your siding.

    In case of a metal roof, you also will not be replacing it any time soon.

    Consequently, try to avoid very dark or bright shades , as you dont want it to be the first and the only thing that stands out about your house.

    You should also steer clear of overly earthly colors such as brown, as these make the entire house look heavy and boring.

    Instead, your best bet would be something custom. Take a careful look at your brick or stone, and consider some complementary shades.

    2. On a traditional style home, stay away from bright, bold hues

    Most traditional style homes work well with both neutral and darker colors. For example, a brown metal roof is usually a very beautiful and safe choice. Unusual or very bright tones may look off -putting on a traditional style home.

    Here are home styles that call for special colors:

    French Country: these homes look amazing with the green bluish shades that imitate slate

    3. A light color roof makes the house appear taller

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    Which Is Better: Light Color Roofs Or Dark Roofs recommends lighter-colored roofs for houses in warm and hot climates. However, they note that light roofs may increase energy costs in cooler climates.

    Think about how a dark roof affects a home during spring and fall. Outside temperatures are cooler in the fall and winter, so you probably want a little extra heat inside to stay warm at night. A dark roof brings some of that desired warmth indoors naturally, allowing you to run your furnace or boiler at a lower setting.

    Theres no straightforward answer to which is better, light roofs or dark roofs. Ultimately, the best roof color for your home is the color you like best.

    You dont have to say goodbye to your dark roof unless you want to reduce your summer cooling bills. Plus, advances in roofing materials and color selection mean you can likely find a color you like in a roofing material that suits your homes climate.

    Although light-colored roofs have definite advantages, your best bet is to consult local roofing specialists. They can recommend the best roof colors if you want to switch, and they know reliable solutions to enhance energy efficiency or prevent ice dams if you like your current roof color.

    As you consider changing roof color or material, keep your Home Owners Association restrictions in mind. Some neighborhoods have rules stating which colors or materials you can use on your roof. Check the HOA guidelines before making any final decisions about roof changes.

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    Not everyone can have a living roof, but most people can have a green roof fairly easily. And the great news is that improving the energy efficiency of your roof doesnt have to be costly. Small improvements can deliver a big difference, not only to your homes energy usage, but also to the size of your energy bill.

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    How Impactful Is Roof Color Regarding Energy Efficiency

    An energy-efficient roof can lower the energy bill of a typical residential home anywhere from 20-40%+. But how important is the color of the roof in making your home more efficient and reducing your energy bill?Roof color is not the only determining factor in how energy efficient a roof is, but it does play a significant role. Light-colored roofs help reflect solar radiation and heat away from your home so it cannot get into your attic. Therefore, roof color is more critical if your home experiences long exposure to direct sun throughout the day and year.Locations that experience regular cloudy weather, year-round cold weather, or have a lot of tree shade protecting the house from the sun need to worry less about roof color. Roof design, insulation, and ventilation play a much bigger role in those situations regarding energy efficiency.The color of your roof will matter much more in hotter climates or places with lots of regular sun exposure. Solar radiation heat permeating the roof to get into the attic is much more of a problem in these situations, so a lighter roof color is essential for energy efficiency.

    Things To Consider Before Picking A Roof Color

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    Here are seven things you should think about it before making a final selection for your roofing color.

    1. The climate in which you live. The color of your shingles can affect the temperature in your attic by 20 to 40 degrees. This can make a big difference in the heating or cooling cost of your home.

    Light shingles deflect sunlight and help keep temperatures down in hotter climates, while dark shingles absorb heat and help homes stay warm in colder climates. Dark shingles also help snow and ice on your roof melt faster.

    2. Coordinate the color of the roof shingles with colors found elsewhere in the bricks, wooden siding, stone, stucco or trim on your home.

    For example, a dark gray or black roof will look good with a gray or blue house, while a brown, cream or tan colored house will match better with brown shingles or a mix of cream and brown. Green, red, yellow, or other colors have more flexibility and can be accented by brown, gray, or black.

    3. Your architectural style and the colors of your home. Keep in mind that as a rule of thumb, dark colors make a home look smaller and light colors make a home look larger.

    4. Whether or not you want to make a statement. Depending on this factor, you can go ahead and pick an unusual color combination for your home or more subtle colors, if you want to be more traditional.

    5. Neighborhood considerations such as a homeowners association. Its also nice if your roof doesnt exactly match or clash with your nearby neighbors roof.

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    Architecture’s Influence On Roof Color

    “The roof should complement the style of the home so that they work together to create the best overall design,” says Wax. “When you drive up to the home, you should notice the architecture first, and the color second.”

    Monochromatic color schemes where the roof and paint color are similar shades accentuate the architectural and structural features of the home. Shown here: GAF Timberline® HDZ in Oyster Gray on the TOH Cape Ann TV project house. Photo by Jared Kuzia.

    The massing of the roofand how dominant it is in shape and scale as seen from the streetis another consideration. Says Wax: “For some houses there is as much roof as there is siding, viewed from the front of the house. I tend to not go with roofs that are too dark in that instance because it becomes too overpowering.”

    On the other hand, if you’re planning on installing solar, nearly black shingles, like GAF’s Timberline® HDZ shingles in Charcoal, complement the panels.

    Contact Brava Roof Tile Today

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    Is There A Difference Between An Energy

    The Department of Energy defines a cool roof as one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. So, basically any energy-efficient roof could qualify as a cool roof.

    However, the term cool roof is often associated with flat roofs or commercial installations. Cool roofs typically go over an existing roof by adding a reflective coating. Thats not as easy to do over a conventional shingles.

    In cities where most of the buildings and homes have flat roofs, cool roofs can make a big difference. They can actually reduce local air temperatures .

    What Color Metal Roof Is The Coolest

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    Many homeowners worry that a metal roof may make the inside of their house hotter by attracting heat.

    This is actually not true, because all metal roofs are actually a lot more energy efficient compared to asphalt roofs because metal repels sun rays and keeps the house cooler.

    However, if you want to ensure that you have a truly cool roof with the most energy efficiency, its best to select the lightest roof color coatings, such as: white, bare metal colors, light blue, light green, beige, light grey, peach, etc.

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    How Is Metal Roofing Energy


    A lot of metal roofings energy efficiency comes down to how the roof is installed. A study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy found that the system used to attach metal roofinga batten/counter-batten systemallows for airflow underneath which decreases the flow of heat. Since the roof is not directly nailed to the roof deck, the air gaps act like insulation and prevent heat transfer out of the home. The air gaps also help in the summer by preventing the heat of the sun from warming up the rest of the home. In fact, the researchers found that with a metal roof, the flow of heat decreased by 45%, causing a 25% reduction in cooling expenses.


    Even unpainted metal roofs reflect heat better than asphalt shingles. Pre-painted and solar reflective coated metal roofing products also reflect solar radiation effectively, and the color you choose to paint your metal roof can make it even more energy-efficient. The most energy-efficient metal roof color is anything in a light shade. Lighter colored metal roofs reflect more heat than darker colored metal roofs, reducing your energy costs in warmer months.



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