If you are actively, or soon may be, exploring the best alternatives for a roof replacement project, the options now include roofing elements that provide all of the traditional protection of an innovative shingle roof with the added benefit of providing energy cost savings. This energy-saving design in roofing shingles is found in solar reflective shingles.
The true solar reflective shingles are backed by the Energy Star seal and have incredible roof shingle warranties. Choosing the solar reflective shingles will certainly provide ongoing savings on energy costs and, in many cases, will provide an immediate payback in the form of Federal Tax Credits for as much as $500!
Solar reflective shingles, sometimes referred to as Cool Shingles or Cool Roofing, are available from the leading roof shingle manufacturers. Many manufacturers use 3 M’s Cool Roof Granules, which is an integral component in the manufacturing and performance of reflective shingles. The top roofing companies sell and install solar reflective roofing shingles for both new roof installations and replacement roof projects.
Solar Reflective Shingles Vs. Solar Shingles
Solar reflective shingles are not the same as Solar Shingles. Solar roofing shingles are a solar energy option that utilizes the existing photovoltaic technology used in conventional solar panels. Obviously, Solar Shingles are much more expensive than Solar Reflective Shingles, and the system is expensive to install. Solar shingles are part of an overall solar energy system and require specialized installation.
High-performing reflective shingles are branded with the well-known Energy Star label, which signifies that the product is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as a product that provides measurable energy conservation. The Department of Energy stated that Energy Star reflective roof products could lower energy demands by 10-15% during peak air conditioning usage times.
Solar reflective shingles accomplish this by reflecting solar radiation, which helps reduce the heat load into your roof, attic, and home. Many homeowners take this energy-saving concept to a higher level by also installing a radiant barrier in their attic space.
Combining reflective roof shingles with a radiant barrier system will provide a huge, positive impact on your home’s energy consumption. For people who are ultra-environmentally conscious, because reflective shingles allow air conditioning systems to work less, it means less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
How Do Solar Reflective Roof Shingles Work?
Solar reflective shingles use a specially designed granule (the small pieces that make a shingle seem rough textured). This composition of this new granule has been improved to reflect as much as 30% of solar radiation (heat rays), which, in turn, keeps this heat out of your home or other structures.
A cool roof essentially reflects some of the sun’s heat back into the atmosphere instead of allowing it to move into your home. Reflective shingles provide both solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance refers to the amount of solar energy (heat) that is reflected by the roof. Thermal emittance refers to the relative capability of the roof’s surface to radiate absorbed heat.
You can consult with a roofing company to see examples of reflective roofing, get free price quotes, and learn more about product specifications and warranties. As part of your roofing consulting service, your roofing company representative can show you information on improving your home’s roof ventilation, flashing, and aesthetics.
Reflective shingles are available in a wide range of styles and colors, making them workable for almost any residential roofing project. The installation of traditional shingles or reflective shingles is equal. The upgrade cost for reflective shingles is far offset by savings in lowered energy bills.
Benefits of Reflective Roof Shingles
A new roof or replacement roof, when using reflective shingles, means that your home or business will be better prepared for the hot summer temperatures. The immediate benefits of reflective shingles are lower utility bills related to air conditioning, improved indoor living comfort, less wear and tear on your air conditioning system, and having a great-looking roof.
A long-term benefit is that by reflecting the heat and UV rays that physically damage most materials, reflective shingles last much longer than traditional asphalt shingles or laminated shingles. In other words, the asphalt binder in reflective shingles won’t dry out as quickly and, therefore, will not buckle, develop cracks or become brittle as quickly as common residential roofing shingles.