One of the hottest new topics in roofing is the advent of the Cool Roof. No, this is not a roof with a giant Metallica sticker attached and nor is it intended for an igloo. Rather, these inventions are roofs designed to save the homeowner energy and contribute to a greener environment. You do not have to pay much attention to the news to understand that "green" is the hottest trend in construction and consumable resources right now. If you are jumping on the bandwagon for personal reasons or you just want to be a trendsetter in your community, here are the things you should know.
The Cool Roof
First of all, you should know what you're getting into. You may not be able to find many roofing contractors in your area entrenched in putting up environmentally friendly construction, so it will help to know what you're talking about. A Cool Roof basically reflects to materials that are designed in such a way that they reflect more of the sun back into the air, rather than absorbing it into the home. This cuts down on the greenhouse effect and will make it far easier (and cheaper) for you to cool your home with air conditioning. If your monthly electric bill is climbing by the year, it might be something to consider.
There's no question that, as a country, we spend a lot of money on air conditioning. Perhaps too much. Every time we turn that thermostat down, we are using up a non-renewable energy resource. Occasionally, this is going to have consequences (if you do not consider some of the global oil business ramifications "consequences"). As such, the EPA is interested in getting people to use less. But you can not just tell someone to turn his air conditioning off. People want to be comfortable. A Cool Roof can reduce surface temperature considerably and the best of them have been shown to reduce cooling demands in the home up to 15 percent. These are significant numbers.
Whether or not it is worth it to purchase a Cool Roof is dependent on a number of factors. If you are a heavy air conditioner user, it will be more worth it than to someone who rarely goes beyond switching on the ceiling fan. However, it also depends on how much you spend on the materials. Check around with area roofing contractors and see what you might be looking at. Compare the costs with how much you would typically spend. Try to find the best price. If you are a smart shopper, the usual savings may be worth spending a bit more up front.