“With a roof right over our heads,” sang Bob Marley, but most of us rarely give any thought to the roof over our heads. And yet the roof of your building is one of its most important components, providing shelter to all who live and work under it, and saving the building from the worst ravages of weather and time. New technology means that roofing materials are also increasingly ecofriendly. So whether you’re looking for commercial or residential roofing, you can not only ensure shelter for yourself, your family and co-workers, but also make your building more environmentally responsible.
How roofing materials impact energy consumption
Very simply, the materials used for your roof can affect your home’s energy consumption and your heating and cooling bills. Roofs, along with attics and windows, are the sources of air leaks that lose heated or cooled air, pushing up heating and air conditioning costs. Apart from leaks, the materials used for roofing can reduce the need for air conditioning.
By using ENERGY STAR rated roof products, you can reduce the need for air conditioning by 10 to 15% even during peak usage hours. That’s because cool roofing materials reflect back sunlight, and absorb less heat from it. A roof made of new ecofriendly roof materials reflects more than than 65% of the sunlight that falls on it, and as as result, absorbs 3.5% or less of the heat from the sun.
This reduces air conditioning costs dramatically, compared to conventional roofing materials which reflect only 5 to 15% of the sunlight that falls on them, causing them to absorb 85 to 95% of the heat from the sun.
Environmentally responsible roofing solutions
Reduced energy consumption is better for the environment, because it reduces the overall emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Simply choosing the right roofing material could result in as much as a 30% decrease in your home?s energy needs. If you’re looking for roof repair or roof replacement, picking energy efficient materials can reduce your energy bills by as much as 40%.
The new highly reflective metal roofs can also reduce the overall urban air temperature by up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit, further reducing the need for air conditioning. Reflective roofs can be made even more effective by using cool colored metal paints, which can result in 20 to 90% of the heat and sunlight being reflected.
Double the savings with solar panels
General contractors and commercial roofers have taken to the new environmentally friendly technology in a big way and can advise you on installing solar panels, which further reduces the carbon footprint of your building. Solar energy has many benefits: it’s a clean and renewable source of energy, costs are going down and the technology is becoming more efficient rapidly, and the savings on energy bills are already becoming legendary.
It is estimated that the carbon footprint of the average home can be reduced by 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by installing solar panels. The average home also sees a reduction of $84 in the monthly electricity bill.
It’s also easier than ever before now to install solar panels on commercial or residential roofing. The costs have dropped by 60% since 2011. Until the end of 2016, property owners can avail of a 30% federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) by converting residential or commercial buildings to solar energy.
With so many new options, a residential roofing contractor can help you choose the ones that best fit your needs and budget. No matter what you choose for your residential roofing repair or replacemnt, you’ll be reducing your energy bills and helping the environment.