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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Pick Out an Efficient Shingle Color

When you are building a new home or trying to make your existing home more energy efficient, you will likely pay a great deal of attention to things such as appliances, insulation, windows, and doors.  One thing that many people overlook, however, is the roofing that they choose.  While many people take the time to choose the best roofing type for their home, few understand that the color you choose can have a significant impact on your energy efficiency.  This article aims to take a closer look at choosing the right shingle colors for your home, no matter where you live.

Simply put, the shingles you choose will determine the energy efficiency of your home.  The color you choose can make a difference in the temperature of the upper portion of your house by between twenty and forty degrees.  This means that by taking the time to choose the right color, you can reduce your cooling bills by twenty percent or more.  One thing that people learn quite quickly when researching shingle choices in terms of energy efficiency is that white is by far the best choice for preventing heat absorption while black will serve to aid in snow removal for people who live in colder areas.

With these two things in mind, it is also important to realize that the color of your shingles will certainly affect the look of your home.  For people living in hot areas, while white shingles are the most effective at preventing heat transfer, they are not always the most attractive combination with your home.  If you are seeking heat reflection, choosing grey shingles or ones with flecks of white in them will help you get excellent reflection without installing a roof that can be seen from miles away.
For people living in colder areas, the goal is to find darker shingles.  These will absorb a great deal more heat, which can help keep your home warmer during colder months and can help facilitate the melting of accumulating snow.  There are many different colors of dark shingles, and you will find that you can choose black as well as dark grey or even a deep green or blue.  The choice you make should depend largely on the color of your home, and as long as you choose dark shingles, you will see excellent results.

Imitation clay tile shingles are in the medium range. They work fairly well in both warm and cold climates and have a very appealing look

A medium grey asphalt shingle does well in both climates.

Light colored metal roofing is really efficient but not much has been developed that is acceptable on homes.

Cedar shingles work very well for both climates. They don’t reflect much heat but they don’t absorb much either like ashlar shingles do. They have a very appealing look on most houses. They are more expensive than asphalt shingles so you don’t see them much in subdivisions with smaller homes as the home builders are trying to save every penny they can.

While white shingles do the best job of reflecting heat it’s very difficult to find a house that they look good on.

In short, the color of shingles that you choose should be based on both your location and your home.  Light colored homes will certainly be better served with lighter shingles, but you will find that there are many variations of both light and dark shingles to help you get the best model to suit your house.  Energy efficiency is important for many reasons, and can make a significant difference in your utility costs.  With the price of energy rising rather rapidly and a great deal of talk about depleting fossil fuel supplies, there has never been a better time to pay attention to the color of your new shingles.


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