Record high temperatures over the last few months indicate a hot summer ahead. Escaping from the heat into an air-conditioned home may be the best form of relief, but if your roofing is not up to snuff it could be causing inefficient energy use. This could cost you by significantly increasing your energy bills.
Importance of Energy Efficiency
When energy is used, it typically emits greenhouse gases into the air. As the name would suggest, these greenhouse gases heat up the atmosphere (like a greenhouse). Over time the gases accumulate and can cause the entire planet to heat up, leading to rising sea levels, disastrous storms and more. Every step taken to reduce the energy you use helps combat this problem, which is why maximizing the energy efficiency of your home is so important.
Aside from limiting the emission of greenhouse gases, an energy efficient home can save you hundreds in energy bill costs. Your air conditioner uses energy to cool the home by keeping it at the desired temperature. When heat enters the home, the air conditioner works harder to combat the rising temperature and therefore uses more energy. You can take a few steps to seal in the cool air and keep the heat out by making changes to your home’s roofing and windows.
In the summer, your roof sits in direct sunlight all day. When your roof heats up your house heats up with it. Asphalt roofing absorbs the heat and keeps it in the home, but there are ways to combat this. Dark shingles are especially heat absorbent, while lighter shingles are better at keeping the heat out, so if your home gets a lot of sunlight consider a lighter shingle color.
The ultimate roofing option for preventing heat absorption is metal. Metal roofing materials such as steel, aluminum or copper actually reflect the heat from the sun, so practically no heat is absorbed. Certain coatings and treatments can help improve solar reflectivity and re-emit any heat that does enter the home.
Metal roofing is usually made from mostly recycled materials and has a long lifespan, so energy is saved on transportation and manufacturing. When it is time to replace the metal roof, the entire system is completely recyclable.
Ventilate Your Home for Proper Air Circulation
Improving the ventilation of your home also helps maintain its desired temperature. Cleaning air filters regularly helps to ensure the air is moving properly with limited obstruction. Make sure vents are installed properly and in the best places. If you are not sure, call Able Roof and a contractor will inspect them.
The installation of your roofing can also affect the way air circulates in your home. There should be an appropriately sized gap between the roofing material and underlayment to trap extra heat. Air can get trapped in ridges and soffits, so these areas should have vents.
New low-e glass technology uses a special coating to filter the sun’s rays as they hit the window. Similar to a thermos, low-e glass uses a thin layer between the panes to reflect heat-causing infrared rays while allowing in sunlight. The coating reduces the emissivity of the glass, which is why it is called ‘low-e.’
Similar to low-e glass windows, gas filled double-pane windows keep heat out using a filter between the panes. Instead of a microscopic coating, a heavy gas such as argon is used. The heaviness of the gas compared to the air around it makes it able to block out the heat and maintain a cool temperature in the room.
Seal Up Windows with Polyurethane Insulation
When new windows are installed, make sure they are sealed with polyurethane insulation. This is a high-tech foam insulator that can trap air in the home to retain consistent temperatures. Unlike other window sealants, the polyurethane insulating foam won’t bend or change shape so the seal remains air-tight. The unique material has strong bondage capabilities, making it able to adhere to practically any surface.
Modernize your home and prepare for the summer heat by installing energy-efficient components. Choose roofing that reflects the sun to avoid unnecessary heat absorption, and making sure it is properly ventilated to improve air circulation. Replace windows with low-e or gas filled double pane options to enjoy the summer sun without letting in the heat-causing infrared rays. Seal the windows up tight with polyurethane insulating foam to trap the cool air in. These new installations will give your HVAC system a break, lower your monthly energy bill and decrease the harmful carbon emissions.
Able Roof offers you the best in roofing and exterior repair and replacement. If you want to make your home more energy efficient this summer, call for a free estimate. We do roofing, windows, siding, insulation, gutters, and more.