In addition to aesthetics, homeowners often ask our Ready 2 Roof experts if roof color makes a difference in attic temperature and energy efficiency. In fact, the color of your roof can affect the temperature in your attic by 20 to 40 degrees, but shingle color is only part of the picture.
Together, proper roof ventilation, adequate insulation and your choice of roofing material make an even bigger difference. We’ve covered the roles proper ventilation and insulation play in attic temperature regulation, so here’s a little science behind roof color and dispersion of heat.
Light colored roofs reflect light and disperse–or let go of–heat more efficiently. Therefore, lighter shingles are better suited to warm climates. Darker shingles absorb light and hold heat more efficiently, which means makes ice and snow melt. Therefore, darker shingles are better suited for colder climates.
The United States Department of Agriculture conducted a study comparing black shingled and white shingled roofs in various climates. The study found that, on a sunny day, wood roofing panels under white shingles were ten to fifteen degrees cooler than the same panels under black shingles, proving that shingle color does make a difference.
Bear in mind that the main purpose of a roof is protection from the elements, not regulation of attic temperature. The main purpose of ventilation is to circulate air through the attic. And the main purpose of insulation is to keep heat from the attic from entering the interior spaces below. These three elements work together to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
The effects of shingle color on attic temperature are secondary, but definitely something to consider when weighing options. Homeowners will also want to consider how roofing color looks with the exterior features of a home as well as personal preference.
Our manufacturer certified contractors at Ready 2 Roof can answer all your roofing questions and help you decide which color and materials are best for your home. Contact us today for a free consultation and no-obligation estimate.