Homeowners are becoming more and more aware of the importance of energy efficient homes and buildings. Between increasing energy costs, society becoming more environmentally aware, and realizing our own part in energy waste as individuals, desire is growing to find ways to keep homes energy efficient. From installing adequate attic insulation to choosing efficient roofing materials, there are many measures you can take to create an energy efficient roofing system in order to save money and benefit the environment.
Energy Efficient Homes Save Money
Improving the energy efficiency of a home through proper insulation, sealing, and weatherization, as well as installing efficient technologies can help reduce your home energy bill by a significant amount (up to 30% in some cases). A properly insulated, energy efficient home keeps the heat inside, resulting in less heating fuel being used in the winter season. Efficient homes also help keep electricity costs down in the summer months by keeping cooler air inside. This helps the home stay cooler and use less energy for air conditioning. In the long run, this will have a significant impact on your utility bills.
Stimulates the Local Economy
In addition to saving you money every month, energy efficiency also stimulates the local economy. The money you spend every month on natural gas and electricity supports large companies outside of your community. Utilizing the services of local contractors to increase the energy efficiency of your roof not only reduces your energy bill, but also supports business owners and keeps your money within the local economy.
Energy efficient homes keep warmth inside during the cold months and cool air in your home during warm months. When a home is well sealed and insulated, it minimizes the presence of drafts, cold spots, or rooms that don’t get warm in the winter months. This results in a more comfortable living environment and space.
Energy efficiency is also good for the environment. Electricity plants, natural gas deliveries, and heating oil cause pollution in the air and greenhouse gas emissions. When you reduce the amount of dependence on these energy sources, you are playing your part in helping reduce emissions into the environment.
Determine If Your Roof Is Losing Energy
There are some common signs that your roof could be causing your home to lose energy. Higher than average energy bills, lots of icicles hanging off of your roof, ice dams on your eaves during cold winter days, noticeable melt zones after a light snow, or extreme temperature fluctuations all warrant an investigation into the cause of energy loss.
Make sure you conduct a thorough investigation to find out exactly why your roof is losing heat. There are many potential causes of energy loss, and pinpointing the specific problem your home is having will take the guesswork out of solving the problem, and result in a cost-effective solution. The best way to do this is to hire a professional roofing company to inspect your roof and assess the situation. You can also hire a professional energy auditor to perform an energy check of your home. This will help you account for any and all ways that your home is losing energy.
Ways To Increase Efficiency
Once you have identified the problem, depending on the cause, there will be multiple ways to achieve greater energy efficiency within your home:
Install Adequate Attic Insulation
A relatively simple solution to increase energy efficiency in your roof is to make sure you have adequate attic insulation. Poorly insulated attics allow too much air from inside the house to escape from the attic, which means that the heater or AC unit has to run more than necessary to maintain a stable, comfortable temperature during hot and cold months. Installing adequate insulation will reduce the amount of heat that escapes, which in turn decreases the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Homes built before 1970 are more likely to have inadequate insulation, so if this applies to your home, it may be worth looking into. But no matter what year your home was constructed, ensuring that proper insulation is installed will make a big difference in energy use.
Make Sure Ventilation Is Adequate and Well Functioning
Ventilation is another important factor to consider when attempting to increase the energy efficiency of your home. No matter how energy efficient your roofing system is, heat will still rise to your attic. Ventilation consists of a series of intake and outtake vents that facilitate a consistent airflow, allowing the heat that accumulates to escape. When your roof has proper ventilation installed, it reduces the energy needed to cool your home and attic, and in turn, reduces the overall energy your home uses.
Consider Energy Efficient Roofing Materials
If you are in the planning phases of building a home or are in need of a roof replacement, consider choosing energy efficient roofing materials. Shingles are the most common roofing material, but in many cases, they are not the most energy efficient option.
Metal roofs have reflective capabilities, which reduces the amount of heat that is absorbed and transferred into the attic space in the first place, and can reduce cooling costs by as much as 40% in summer months.
Tile roofs also reflect sunlight and heat back into the atmosphere, reducing the energy use of a home. The density of the material provides additional insulation for the roof during the extreme temperatures of summer and winter months.
Choose Cool Roof Technology
Cool roof shingle technology is an option for energy conscious homeowners that decreases the amount of heat transferred from the outside air into the home’s interior. Owens Corning Duration Premium COOL Shingles are shingles equipped with solar reflective technology in the granules that helps the home stay cooler during hot seasons. When the sun hits the roof, a significant portion of the energy will be reflected back into the atmosphere, before it even has a chance to affect the temperature of your roof and attic.
Choose A Lighter Color For The Roof
If you do choose shingles as your roofing material of choice, consider the color that you choose. Today, there are a variety of colors to choose from such as beige, light grey, and white, as well as richer tones like blue, green and red. A study done by the USDA found that black shingles tended to be 5-10°C warmer than white shingles during summer afternoons. This is because a lighter color will absorb much less heat and energy than a dark grey or black roof. This will go a long way in helping your roof achieve energy efficiency because they will keep the roof cooler overall.
Choose The Right Roofing Company
Insulation, ventilation and roofing material choices have a huge impact on your home’s energy costs, but so does the roofing company that does the work. If a roof isn’t installed or repaired correctly, it will become more susceptible to drafts, temperature fluctuations, humidity issues and water intrusion. Even a brand new roof that is optimized for maximum energy efficiency can fail to achieve that goal if the installation job isn’t done right.
Cenvar Roofing is a company of certified roofing experts that is well-respected within the industry. We believe that energy efficiency is the way of the future, and have experience installing energy efficient roofs of all kinds throughout Virginia. Whether you are looking for a professional roof inspection, or a roof replacement, we would love to help you increase the efficiency of your home. Schedule your free estimate today!