What to look for when exploring efficient roofing options
There are several types of roofing materials or roof types that are commonly used in Arizona. The most common for pitched roofs are: tile or shingle. For flat roofs: rolled roofing systems and foam.
So what should someone look for when wanting to choose an energy-efficient roofing material? The easiest way is to look for ENERGY STAR® roofing materials. The Energy Star logo on the roofing materials packaging indicates that the product is certified to be an energy-efficient roofing material. Energy Star determines roof materials’ energy efficiency by their solar reflectance and emittance.
For example, roofing energy-efficient shingles use granules that reduce the amount of heat that is transferred into the material while shingles that aren’t designed to be energy efficient absorb more heat. The surface temperature difference between energy-efficient roofing material with the special granules and non-energy efficient materials can be up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another important thing to take into consideration on choosing your energy-efficient roofing material is the color. Darker colors tend to absorb the sun’s energy and transmit the heat into the building below while lighter colors tend to reflect the sun more efficiently. So it is important to not only choose the color material that you like but also choose lighter tones.
If your roof and attic do not have the proper ventilation then it does not matter what material you use on top of the roof. Improper ventilation will negate the benefits of the energy-efficient roofing material that is used on your roof. In fact, roofing material manufacturers will automatically void material warranties if the roof/attic is not ventilated according to code.
There are many different types of vents that are used depending on the type of roof you have. Here is a roof vent calculator tool if you are wondering how many vents you need. This photo is used to illustrate what a shingle roof turbine vent looks like. Turbine vents help increase energy efficiency by exhausting hot air from the attic.