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Energy efficient roofing: types, pros, cons and costs

Learn more about your energy efficient roofing options. You might not need Energy Star rated material depending on your location.

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Energy efficient roofing comes in many forms. Photo by christing-O- on Flickr.The Federal Trade Commission reports that nearly 50 percent of the average homeowner's utility costs go toward heating and cooling their home. Energy efficient roofing can help you to reduce your energy bills. Energy-efficient roofs are designed to reflect light and repel heat, keeping your house insulated from warm outdoor temperatures.

There are several different types of energy-efficient roofing. The one you choose will most likely depend on the climate where you live. Some ideas:

    • Aluminum and steel roofs are durable and fire resistant. They also do the best job of reflecting sunlight and keeping the heat out of your home.
    • Giving your roof a protective coat of a cool-color coating ups its efficiency.
    • Clay or slate tiles also increase your roof's efficiency.
    • Recycled shingles and spray-on polyurethane foam roofing can also make your home more energy efficient.

Connect with contractors! Get free quotes on energy efficient roofing in your area!

Most of the traditional roofing types used today are only able to absorb between 85 and 95 percent of light and heat. Energy-efficient roofing materials and Energy Star roofs can often reflect 65 percent or more, making a drastic difference in the temperature of your home.

Cool-color tiles can usually reflect 25 to 70 percent of light and heat. While cool-color metal roofing reflects between 20 and 90 percent. Giving your existing roof a light-color coating can also reduce its temperature by 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take your area's climate into consideration when choosing energy-efficient roofing. While clay tiles can do a good job of insulating your home, the tiles can shatter when hit by hail and are generally only used in very warm climates.

Shingles are a good choice for your home, but they are not the best choice for the environment since they contain toxic chemicals. If you choose to use shingles, make sure to use sustainable roofing by way of reclaimed and recycled materials to help reduce waste.

If you live in a warm or subtropical climate, invest in the best energy-efficient roofing materials you can afford. Metal or tile roofing prices will vary. They will usually cost two to three times the amount you would spend on traditional asphalt shingles, yet you will see a return on that investment in no time.

A professional roofing contractor will be able to take a look at your existing roof and give you a firm estimate of the costs. When you are ready to make a move, use Reply! to find a qualified roofing contractor in your local area who can give you a firm roofing cost and recommend the best roofing brands.

A good contractor who specializes in residential roofing will be able to perform any necessary roof repair. He can also give you a roofing estimate before doing the install. You and your contractor can also discuss the type of roofing warranty that comes with the job.

Installing energy-efficient roofing will help you to save money on your energy bills and allows you to downsize your current home-cooling system, especially if you choose roofing materials that are Energy Star rated. Using the right materials can increase the life-span of your roof and help the environment as well. 

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Photo credit: christing-O- via Compfight CC.