The Value of an Energy Efficient Roof


It's no secret that white and light colored surfaces stay cooler than dark surfaces because they reflect light.  Anyone who has ever touched a black car on a hot sunny day knows just how hot the car's surface is.  But when you touch the white car parked next to the black one, it's much cooler.  That's because the sunlight is reflected off the light surface and back into the atmosphere. 


The same thing happens on the roof.  A white or light colored roofing system reflects a high percentage of the sun's rays, so much less light is absorbed by the material (as heat), and then transferred into the building's interior.  In fact, the surface temperature of a white reflective roofing system usually stays within 10o F or 20o F degrees of the ambient temperature.


By contrast, a black or dark colored roofing system absorbs a high percentage of the sun's rays.  This is evidenced by the fact that the surface temperature of a black roof in the sun can reach temperatures of nearly 200o F.   When this happens, the entire roofing assembly -- the roof membrane, insulation and roof deck -- all get hotter as that heat tries to make it's way into the building envelope. 


As the heat enters the building envelope, your air conditioning units have to work a little harder and run a little longer just to maintain the building at the desired temperature.  And over time, this can, and often does, add up to lots of wasted energy and money. Over a 10-year period, a 100,000 square foot facility in Miami can save more than $200,000 in energy costs with a white reflective roof.


According to the EPA, approximately one-sixth of all electric energy generated in the U.S. each year is used to air-condition our buildings -- that's a cool $40 billion worth of energy. 

Unfortunately, the cost is actually much higher when you consider the natural resources used, and the impact on our environment. 


But the good news is that you can do something about it.  By installing a white reflective roofing system, you can cut your energy consumption, help to save natural resources and also help to improve the local environment.


You help the local environment by not contributing to Urban Heat Islands.  These heat islands occur in areas where there are lots of dark, heat-absorbing, surfaces (such as in a city or metropolitan area), and a lack of shade trees.  This combination creates a "hot spot" in the affected area that can be 8 to 12 degrees (F) warmer than the surrounding countryside.  And with these hot-spots come reduced air-quality, and higher incidences of respiratory ailments.


Several Programs on the Market


During the past several years there have been several programs introduced to promote the used of more energy efficient construction materials, including commercial roofing systems. One such program is the EPA Energy Star Roof Products Program.  This program established a minimum base level of reflectivity that a new roof, and the same roof three years later, would have to meet in order to be considered "Energy Star Compliant."  Many of the roofing systems that Atlantic Roofing Services offers meet this requirement.


Two other organizations that are heavily promoting the use of white reflective roofing are the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.  Of particular note, the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Program has received lots of attention lately among the architectural and design communities.  This program is perhaps more stringent than the EPA program in that roofing materials do not comply with the LEED guidelines unless they meet the EPA Energy Star reflectivity guidelines of 65% PLUS they must have an emittance rating of at least 90%.


Let Atlantic Roofing Services of Florida show you just how much you can save with a white reflective roofing system.  Click HERE for a free energy savings estimate.