When it comes to roofing, the material you choose can put a cap on otherwise astronomical heating and cooling bills. The right material for your roof will depend on your climate, budget, and aesthetics.
We’ll break down a few of the most common energy-efficient roofing types and their best applications.
ENERGY STAR® ratings
Energy-efficient roofing materials should bear the ENERGY STAR® mark. This rating system measures how much of the sun’s ray can be reflected, reducing energy consumption used to cool a home.
These ratings are meant as a guide and should not be taken wholly at face value. Energy savings will also be affected by home design, insulation quality, and climate.
Chances are, if your roof hasn’t been replaced in recent years it’s made of asphalt shingles. A standby of the roofing industry, asphalt shingles have varying ENERGY STAR® ratings. Choosing a lighter color asphalt shingle can further reduce energy use by absorbing less sunlight than their darker counterparts.
Compared to the other roofing materials in this list, asphalt shingles are a more affordable and low-maintenance choice for most homeowners. Storm damage and algae growth are a downside of asphalt shingles, though special coating and proper maintenance can prevent these issues.
The darling of the roofing industry, shake is typically chosen for its visual appeal but has some surprising energy-saving benefits. The natural wood allows for beneficial air circulation in a home, lowering cooling costs.
Wood rot and mold makes the material less ideal for wet, humid climates. Homeowners that choose shake shingles should be aware that it will require more maintenance than asphalt, metal, and slate.
Coined as the “forever roof,” metal roofing requires little maintenance, withstanding all of the elements well. Available in sheets and tiles mimicking other roofing materials, metal roofing is budget-friendly and simple to install.
Though it comes in at a higher cost, slate roofing is a stunning addition to any home. With the higher price tag comes cold-weather insulation unmatched by any other material and a lifetime of well over 100 years (you read that right).
The proper installation of a slate roof is the number one factor of its efficiency and lifespan. Homeowners who desire the gorgeous architectural treasure of a slate roof should heavily research the company they choose to install it for them.