When you ask most homeowners what they can do to make their home more energy-efficient, you’ll likely get a ton of answers. Buy lower-energy appliances, some might say. Others might say to seal off air leaks around your doors and windows. Others may say to run your heater or air conditioner less often and use different heating or cooling methods instead. However, few people realize that one of the single best things they can do to improve their home’s energy efficiency is to improve the energy efficiency of your roof.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: your roof covers the entire area of your home, is responsible for keeping heat out in summer and in during winter, and keeping you protected from the harshest elements that Mother Nature can throw at you. Thus, problems in your roof could very easily lead to higher costs when it comes to energy, as other systems need to compensate.
Here are four ways you can make your home more energy-efficient by taking better care of your roof.
Improving Attic Ventilation
Unless your attic is finished and has been transformed into a living space, most people have no climate control in their attic. That means without proper insulation, your attic can quickly build up into a giant ball of heat during the summer months. This ball of heat makes it immensely more difficult for your air conditioner to cool your home, and usually leads to significant temperature differences in multi-story homes. While it’s not feasible to cool your attic, you can keep it at a consistent, ambient temperature that’s easier to overcome with proper attic ventilation. Studies have shown that optimizing your attic ventilation can help you save a ton of money on your energy bills by balancing out the temperature throughout your home and requiring you to run your air conditioner less.
Insulate Your Roof
One of the reasons why so many people lose so much energy through their roof is simply because their roof and the rest of their home aren’t separated through a quality layer of insulation. Insulation is designed to keep the heat in your home during winter and out during summer, as well as keep the area in your attic separate from the rest of your home. However, if your attic isn’t properly insulated, your home will suffer from this unwanted heat transfer.
Insulating your attic is getting easier and easier as well. While fiberglass sheets are still a popular choice, blown-in insulation is also remarkably effective, and spray-foam insulation has been shown to be one of the best choices for insulation on the market today. You can even buy a spray-foam insulation kit from your local hardware store as well, if you have the skills and tools to apply it yourself!
Using a More Reflective Material
The material your roof is built from is an important factor in your overall energy efficiency. Certain types of materials are better at rejecting heat than others—that’s an obvious fact. So taking that into consideration when replacing your roof could be a big benefit. Selecting a roof material that’s better about heat rejection can help your entire home remain cooler, which saves you money on your energy bills. Asphalt shingles and other dark-colored roofs generally aren’t great at this, but lighter colors like clay or concrete tiles (which are also much more heat-resistant to begin with) will help you save energy.
Keeping Holes & Vents Sealed
There’s almost no such thing as a roof which is free from some sort of a hole or gap. These are necessary for daily life—plumbing vents, chimneys, and even attic ventilation all protrude from your roof and play a vital role in making your home work properly. However, these protruding stacks need to be properly sealed in order to prevent air leaks which drive up your utility bills. This is done with flashing, a metal or rubber material that’s precisely fitted to your outcropping that seals off these areas and prevents them from forming leaks for air or water.
Because of the harsh nature of the job flashing has to do, flashing will generally only last about two or three years before wear and tear lead to cracks and weaknesses. It’s important to have your roof regularly inspected, including the flashing, so that way you can have any worn-out areas replaced properly and keep your roof sealed.Need your roof inspected? Call our Colorado Springs Roofers at Divine Roofing, Inc. at (719) 497-1005 today!