What Is a Cool Roof?

When you own a home or commercial building in Texas, you know just how much your energy bills can skyrocket during the scorching summer months. Fortunately, there are several exterior upgrades you can invest in to make your home or building more energy efficient and reduce your annual energy costs.

According to the Department of Energy, one of those upgrades — a cool roof — can help reduce annual energy costs in a big way by reflecting the sun’s heat and decreasing air-conditioning needs. And the best part is, opting for cool roofing materials won’t cost you substantially more than conventional materials if you’re already planning to replace your roof.

What exactly is a cool roof, and how can it benefit you? Let’s take a look.

What Is a Cool Roof?

A cool roof is a roof specifically designed to reflect more of the sun’s UV rays than a conventional roof. This design causes the roof to absorb less solar energy, which reduces heat transmission into the building itself.

On sunny, warm days, a conventional roof can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which will naturally result in considerable heat transfer into the building. Under identical conditions, a cool roof will remain up to 60 degrees cooler than its conventional counterpart. As a result, it’ll dramatically reduce the transfer of outdoor heat into the building.

What Are the Benefits of Cool Roofs?

Having a cool roof installed on your home or commercial building has several advantages. Not only will this type of roof reduce air-conditioning needs, but it can also:

  • Significantly reduce the overall temperature of the roof, which may extend its lifespan
  • Help undersized or aging air conditioners keep up with the building’s cooling needs, especially as outdoor temperatures continue rising year over year
  • Allow for downsizing of air-conditioning equipment, which can help cut annual energy costs
  • Increase occupant comfort and safety in buildings that do not have adequate air-conditioning or no air-conditioning at all
  • Qualify the building owner for tax savings and/or rebates from local utility companies

In addition to their many direct and significant benefits for building owners and occupants, cool roofs also benefit the environment by:

  • Cooling the air immediately surrounding a building, thereby reducing the formation of smog caused by temperature-dependent air pollutants
  • Reducing heat island effect in urban areas by helping to lower overall temperatures within congested areas
  • Reflecting more sunlight back into the atmosphere, thereby helping combat global warming
  • Reducing indoor cooling demand, thereby lessening the demand on local power plants and lowering power plant emissions.

What Types of Cool Roofs Are There?

There are several types of cool roofing materials on the market today, some of which offer more solar reflectance than others. There are also multiple ways to make a roof more reflective, which means it’s possible to achieve a cool roof through several different avenues. These include:

  • Pigmented and reflective polymer coatings, which can be applied to shingles, clay tiles, concrete roofing, and other roofing materials
  • Wood roofing, which is a naturally “cool” roofing material
  • Roof color choice of lighter, “cool-colored” materials will allow the roof to reflect up to 60% more sunlight than darker-colored roofing materials
  • Single-ply membranes that are manufactured with cool- or light-colored pigments
  • Reflective minerals that can be applied to certain roofing materials

How Much Does a Cool Roof Cost?

If you’re already planning to replace an existing roof, opting for cool roofing materials won’t cost you much more than what you’d pay for a conventional roof.

Generally speaking, you can expect Energy Star–qualified materials to run about $0.65 more per square foot than what you’d pay for conventional materials. Keep in mind, however, that materials and installation costs will vary depending on the roofing company.

But even with its additional cost, cool roofing can save you more money than conventional roofing, as it’ll yield energy savings year after year. In the long run, there’s a good chance you’ll recoup any additional installation expense over the lifespan of the roof.

Ultimately, installing a cool roof on your home or building is a highly cost-effective choice.

Curious About Installing a Cool Roof in Dallas or Fort Worth?

If you’d like to learn more about your cool roof options in Dallas or Fort Worth, our team at Alpine Roofing Construction would love to help! We’ve proudly provided residential roofing and commercial roofing services throughout the DFW metro for more than 20 years and hold a long-standing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

To learn more about your roofing options with our team, feel free to contact us today to discuss your project or get an estimate!

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