Hot summers are becoming commonplace in many parts of the country, and homeowners are looking for ways to gain relief not only from the rising heat but also from the rising cost of air conditioning. Fortunately, the new architectural trend of installing "cool" roofs on new construction is catching on all over the country.
You don't have to have a new house built to take advantage of this trend, however -- a good residential roofing contractor can provide your existing home with a cool roof and help you save substantial sums on summer air conditioning expense. Following are four things that you should know about cool roofs.
What They Are
A cool roof is simply one that has been designed to reflect the heat of the sun rather than absorb it. They are created using special paints and reflective roofing materials -- there are many different types available, so be sure to ask your roofing contractor about options that are best suited to your particular climate and location. The principle is the same as wearing light-colored clothing on warm spring and summer days.
Who They Benefit
Cool roofs benefit anyone who wants to remain comfortable indoors during the warm season without paying astronomical air conditioning bills. They may also help extend the life of your roof by keeping surface temperatures down, allowing you to save even more money, and you may also be eligible for a federal tax rebate if you have a cool roof installed. They also benefit your environment because they significantly reduce emissions caused by air conditioning as well as prevent potential for power outages by reducing peak energy usage.
Where They're Found
Cool roofs are beginning to pop up in communities all over the country that experience enough summer heat for residents to warrant maintaining an air conditioning system. They're found in residential construction, commercial structures, and in government buildings. In parts of the country where summer temperatures are high and residents run the air conditioning on a regular basis, cool roofs are being placed on the majority of new construction. (For more information on residential roofing, contact All American Roofing Incorporated)
How to Decide if They're the Right Choice
In order to determine whether a cool roof is the right choice for your particular situation, you need to explore whether the costs of having the roof installed will justify the utility bill savings. The U.S. Department of Energy has devised a cool roof calculator designed to assist homeowners to estimate the cost-effectiveness of having a cool roof installed.