How to make your roof more energy efficient
It’s common for homeowners to go the extra mile or spend the extra dollar on the more energy-efficient home improvement options. It’s easier on the environment — and many times, easier on the wallet, too.
Energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers are standard these days. You don’t need to search for these products; they are available in any department store. Plus, no one really doubts the validity of their lower energy usage or questions why it’s a good idea to seek out these home energy savers. We buy them to save money in the long run.
But energy-efficient roofs? That requires a little more explanation.
Sure, a roof is not technically an operating piece of machinery, but it can save you—or cost you—a great deal of money if it doesn’t help you conserve energy. An energy-efficient roof not only protects your house from the elements but also keeps air-conditioned or heated air contained within your home, reducing energy costs.
Unlike an appliance, you don’t simply stroll into the roofing store and buy the right roof. A roof is actually a system of layers that requires proper installation from skilled professionals to reap all the benefits.
Read: Understanding the whole roof system
Getting the Job Done Right
Choosing quality materials for your roof is certainly important. If the job is done poorly, however, performance, longevity and home energy savings will be reduced. Poor roofing installation can result from hiring a contractor that employs unskilled, unlicensed workers, or cuts corners to save his own money.
When choosing a roofing contractor, do a little research to ensure you are working with a top-quality company. Make sure the contractor employs licensed roofing professionals and offers insurance and a solid warranty to back its service.
Read: How to choose a roofing contractor
Benefits of Proper Installation
Ensuring that your roof is installed properly is key if you’re looking to maximize your home’s energy efficiency. Proper installation will improve your roof’s ability to vent warm air, extend the life of your roof and will protect your home structure. Here’s how:
Improves the Ventilation
Ventilation in general can be defined as the circulation of fresh air around a closed space. When we’re talking about ventilation in a roofing system, we’re talking about air ventilation in the attic. An energy-efficient roof is a roof with superior ventilation.
“When a roof is poorly installed, it does not have the proper ventilation,” says Yanni Avramidis, Vice President of Operations for Long Roofing. “On a 100-degree day, that attic can be as high as 140 degrees. Your upstairs is going to be hotter, requiring your AC has to work even harder. With proper ventilation, it could bring the heat down to about 115, keeping it much cooler upstairs.”
A qualified roofing contractor knows that roof ventilation systems vary from home to home. There are several factors to consider, such as the code requirements, regional climate and roof designs.
Extends the Life of Your Roof
When your roof is installed by skilled professionals using quality, durable products, it simply lasts longer. Not only are you saving money on utility costs, you are saving more in the long run with an energy-efficient roof that lasts substantially longer than a traditional roof.
A typical asphalt roof lasts on average 10-15 years. But now you can opt to install roofs with a much longer lifespan. We offer an impressive 50-year warranty on roof replacements.
“We are one of the few companies to offer such an extensive warranty,” says Avramidis. “We are able to do this because we are confident in our quality of our products, our workers and our brand.”
Protects Your Home Structure
An improperly installed roof can result in damage to your attic, walls and foundation. When the roof performance and longevity are compromised due to improper installation, the energy efficiency of the entire home is reduced.
An energy efficient roofing system is not only good for your wallet, but also good for the environment. An environmentally friendly roof helps to conserve energy and reduce pollution and waste.
If one homeowner can reap the benefits of home energy savings from one roof, imagine the total impact globally. According to Eco Building Pulse,“properly insulated roofing systems have a potential energy savings of more than 700 trillion Btu each year.”
Long Roofing offers a solar reflective asphalt roofing shingle that radiates heat far more effectively than a traditional shingle. The shingle’s advanced colored granules work to reduce “thermal shock,” meaning that you’re saving energy and cooling the temperature of your roof.
Lowering the temperature of the roof does more than lower your utility costs. A cooler roof can benefit the environment by mitigating the heat radiated into the atmosphere and reducing air pollution. This is especially important in larger cities.
Home Guides further explains, “Heat islands are urban areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. A city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8 to 5.4 degrees warmer than its surroundings. Heat islands affect community-wide energy demands, air conditioning costs, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and water quality. Cool roofs play a vital role in reducing the environmental and economic impact of large cities.”
As simple as it sounds, installing a long-lasting roof is one of the most impactful environmentally responsible roofing choices you can make. Installing a roofing system that lasts twice as long as a builder grade roof uses substantially less material and produces half the waste.
Eco Building Pulse reports that, “Roofing waste accounts for over 40 million tons, or 5 percent of all solid waste generated annually in the United States. Improved use and reuse of roofing materials offers one of the best opportunities to reduce landfill waste throughout the world.”
More and more companies are responding to societal demands for environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Companies like CertainTeed consider the entire lifecycle of the product and its effect on the environment. The lifecycle assessment considers the product processing, distribution, maintenance, and disposal.
Is Your Roof Energy Efficient?
A well-constructed roof made of high quality materials is energy efficient, cost effective, and environmentally responsible.