Is your roof cool? No, we don’t mean hip. We want to know if your roof is literally cool or hot, because at American Home Contractors, we know the answer could make a difference in your life.
Whether you realize it or not, the color of your roof and material it’s made out of can be costing you financially and creating discomfort in your space. When you think about it, it makes sense that roofs could experience heat gain. They receive direct sunlight and are the most exposed portion of your home.
If your roof is heating up, how does that affect your life and what does a cool roof have to do with that?
What Is a Cool Roof?
In a simple sense, a cool roof is a reflective roof. Dark colors as well as certain materials absorb heat, causing the rooftop surface to become upwards of 150 degrees Fahrenheit on warm, sunny days. Cool roofs on the other hand help reflect the heat that could otherwise be absorbed, creating a surface that can be 50 degrees less than a typical asphalt roof.
The heat absorbed by your roof can transfer into your home, causing a need for greater amounts of air conditioning. It only makes sense that a cooler roof surface will cause less heat transfer and keep the interior of your home cooler.
To achieve a cool roof, homeowners can have shingles made of a reflective material and lighter color installed on their roof. Or they can have cool roof coating added to existing shingles. These additional reflective coatings or new shingles can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays.
Does a Cool Roof Make Sense in New Jersey?
A cool roof sounds good in theory, but as a New Jersey homeowner, you might be thinking that you have to heat your home more than cool it, so this won’t apply to your home. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When making the decision for a cool roof, it is important to factor in heating degree days and cooling degree days. These terms are determined based on a 65 degree Fahrenheit day. Days that are over 65 degrees are considered cooling degree days, while days over 65 degrees are considered heating degree days due to the need to cool and heat the home respectively. In areas where the cooling degree days outweigh the heating degree days, a cool roof is a no-brainer. But even in a state like New Jersey where heating degree days are more common, a cool roof can still be a benefit, because heating and cooling degree days should not be the only deciding factor.
If a black asphalt roof absorbs heat, and some of that heat makes its way into your home, it will help reduce heating costs. But while you may find yourself turning up the heat a majority of the year, here are some facts that may put the heating versus cooling aspects of your New Jersey home into perspective.
- While cooling a home utilizes electricity, most New Jersey homes are heated by natural gas (nearly 80%).
- Typical electricity costs almost four times as much as gas.
- New Jersey has the 10th highest electricity rates in the country.
- The price of electricity has steadily increased over the past 10 years.
- Electricity tends to be most costly in the summer when it is in the greatest demand.
- Summer days, where cooling a home is necessary, have longer sun exposure than winter days, which require heating.
- Residences’ electricity is more expensive than industrial and commercial buildings.
So while New Jersey may have more heating degree days than cooling degree days, it costs far more to cool your home than to heat it. A cool roof will, therefore, save you during your most expensive months.
Other Benefits of a Cool Roof
Savings are not the only benefit to installing a cool roof on your home. Doing so can also:
- Potentially extend roof life by reducing extreme heat on its surface.
- Decrease the urban heat island effect. This occurs in a populated location where many buildings’ roofs absorb heat and actually increase the environmental temperature in the area.
- Help prolong your air conditioner’s life by reducing the need for usage and strain on your unit.
How to Install a Cool Roof
There are three ways to achieve a cool roof on your home.
- You can have your roof completely replaced by a professional roofing contractor. They will install a specified cool roof on your home.
- Your roof can be retrofitted with a material that makes your current roof more reflective.
- A contractor can re-cover your current roof with a reflective roofing material, creating a cool roof.
You Can Save Money Starting from Your Rooftop
Having a well-installed cool roof can be a major benefit to your pocketbook, from reducing cooling costs to potentially extending roof life. So when the time comes for a roof replacement, a cool roof should be a top consideration, especially when installed by a GAF roofing contractor.
Our American Home Contractors team seeks to install only the highest level of products on New Jersey homes, like GAF roofing materials. We have helped thousands of New Jersey homeowners update their exteriors so we know how beneficial a quality cool roof can be to your home. And our goal is to see a roof installed that works for you. Call us now for a free quote.