Cool Roofing 101
What is a Cool Roof?
A cool roof is one that is designed to maintain a lower roof temperature than traditional roofs while the sun is shining as sunlight is the primary factor affecting the temperature of a roof. Just as wearing light-colored clothing can help keep a person cool on a sunny day, cool roofs use solar-reflective surfaces to maintain lower roof temperatures. A cool roof under the same conditions as a traditional roof can stay as much as 50 degrees cooler.
Cool roofs do not have to be white. Colored roofing materials can be made to reflect sunlight; the lighter the color, the greater the solar-reflectance. For example, a conventional dark roof might reflect 20% of incoming sunlight, a cool dark roof could reflect 40% and a cool light roof could reflect 80%.
What are the benefits of a cool roof?
- Reduction of energy bills by decreasing air conditioning needs;
- Improvement of indoor thermal comfort for unairconditioned spaces;
- Extension of roof service life;
- Improvement of air quality;
- Reduction of peak electric power demand;
- Reduction of power plant emissions; and
- Decelerating climate change.