Painted rooftops reflect the heat instead of absorbing it, reducing the need for air-conditioning and cutting greenhouse gases.
Cool roofs are coated with special reflective pigments that help reflect heat instead of absorbing it. This will help keep your home cool and protect your roof from harmful ultra-violet rays. A typical roof will absorb 95% of heat energy which means houses will get too hot in the summer and require cooling systems. With cool roofs, 80% of solar energy will be reflected away from the house in order to keep the temperature at an acceptable level. This will, in turn, reduce the need for air conditioning and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. As such, cool roofs will definitely play a role in combating climate change.
Cool roofs also have a synergistic effect where they can help reduce the temperature of entire areas if placed in close proximity to each other.
We are already seeing cool roofs become more and more popular especially in areas where the effects of climate change have been significant. Under the 2019 Climate Mobilization Act, New York City mandates that new roofs must feature reflective surfaces similar to that of cool roofs. The New York City Housing Authority also expects that almost all its buildings will implement cool roof solutions in the next few years.
In addition to the environmental advantages of cool roofs, they also help save on electricity expenses by reducing reliance on air conditioning. On hot summer days, cool roofs can reduce air-conditioning costs by 10 percent to 30 percent, according to NYC CoolRoofs.
The cost of installing cool roofs also isn’t as expensive as one might think. Cool roofs could cost up to 20 cents more per square foot when compared to traditional roofs. Still, the savings thanks to cool roofs greatly outweigh the upfront costs. Cool roofs also have advantages over standard roofs in the long run as they provide a protective layer that makes them last longer. Finally, installing cool roofs may allow you to qualify for money-saving rebates from utilities or government programs.
Cool roofs are a step in the right direction thanks to their environmentally friendly properties and ability to help combat climate change. Hopefully, they become much more common and widely used in the next few years, especially in areas where Summers are unbearably hot.