A cool roofing system is a system that delivers higher solar reflectivity. Giving the roof the ability to reflect the visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, reducing heat transfer to the building while radiating non-absorbed, or non-reflected solar energy.
Historically, cool roofing systems have been either white or some other lighter shade color. Cool roofing has typically referred to commercial roofing products like TPO. However, in recent years Solar Reflectivity has been developed by some of the leading roofing shingle and tile makers achieving EnergyStar® qualified levels of solar reflectivity even in dark colors.
Cool roofing can also enhance roof durability and reduce both building cooling loads and the urban heat island effect.
Most of the roofs in the world (including over 90% of the roofs in the United States) are dark-colored. In the heat of the full sun, the surface of a black roof can increase in temperature by more than 100 °F over the ambient temperature, reaching temperatures up to 190 °F. This increase in surface temperature can contribute to:
- Increased cooling energy use and higher utility bills;
- Reduced indoor comfort;
- Accelerated deterioration of roofing materials, increased roof maintenance costs, and high levels of roofing waste sent to landfills.
- Higher peak electricity demand (the maximum energy load an electric utility experiences to supply customers instantaneously, generally experienced in summer late afternoons as businesses and residences turn up their air conditioners), raised electricity production costs, and a potentially overburdened power grid;
- Increased air pollution due to the intensification of the “heat island effect”
- Any building with a dark colored roof will consume more energy for air conditioning than a “cooler” building – a strain on both operating costs and the electric power grid.
- Reduce energy use: A cool roof transfers less heat to the building below, so the building stays cooler and uses less energy for air conditioning.
- Reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions: By lowering energy use, cool roofs decrease the production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improve human health and comfort: Cool roofs can reduce air temperatures inside buildings with and without air conditioning, helping to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths.
Talk to Alpine Roofing Construction today about the many Cool Roofing options available to help reduce your carbon footprint and your energy usage. or click HERE for more information from Energy.gov.