The Best Roof to Cool Your Home

The cost of living in Colorado keeps going up. Everything from food, transportation, housing, and energy cost more than it did the previous year. Many homeowners and business owners in Colorado are wondering what they can do to lower their spending, and that includes with their utility bill.

There are many ways to lower your utility bill. Most people turn towards their windows, making sure they are newer, energy-efficient, Low-E, double-pane windows. However, you should also question your roof. Do you have the best roof to cool your home? Most roofs in Colorado are not energy-efficient. Most homes in Colorado have a traditional asphalt shingle roof, which isn’t the coolest roof. In fact, traditional asphalt shingles are among the least energy-efficient.

To determine which roof is best to cool your home, we have to look at the numbers, the Solar Reflectivity and Heat Emittance numbers, to be more precise. Solar Reflectivity has to do with a material’s ability to reflect the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths of the Sun. Heat Emittance has to do with how well a material releases heat. Solar Reflectivity and Heat Emittance are both rated on a scale from .0 to .1. The higher the number, the more solar radiation it reflects and the more heat it releases, the more energy efficient it is.

solar reflectivity heat emittance illustration

Why Have a Cool Energy-Efficient Roof

Non-energy-efficient roofs reflect heat poorly and hold more heat than cool energy-efficient roofs. What’s more, non-enerfy-efficient roofs heat your attic and home more. As a result, it takes more energy from your air conditioner to cool your home. This translates to a higher utility bill. An energy-efficient roof, on the other hand, reflects heat better and releases stored heat better. Also, an attic is cooler under an energy-efficient roof, therefore a home is also cooler, assuming your windows are also energy-efficient. Which means your AC is working less to cool your home and you’re also spending less money on your utility bill.

Roofs That Cool Your Home the Best

  • White Asphalt Shingles
  • Concrete Tiles
  • Clay Tiles
  • White Stone-Coated Steel Shingles
  • Standing Seam
house with Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Shingles in white

White Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roof in America. They’re cheap, compared to other roof coverings, relatively quick to install, and available everywhere. If you’d like to have a roof that’s cooler than most asphalt shingles and less expensive than cooler roof coverings, white asphalt shingles are the cheapest way to go. However, they’re not readily available in our area. White asphalt shingles are more readily available in Southern states, such as Arizona, where the temperatures are higher. That said, you be able to get white asphalt shingles here in Colorado, but we might have to have them special ordered/delivered.

close-up of concrete barrel roofing tiles

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are a little cooler or energy-efficient than white asphalt shingles. Not by much, however. Most concrete tiles have an SR value of about .22. They’re also more expensive and heavier than traditional asphalt shingles. One advantage of concrete tiles is that they’re recyclable in our area. Asphalt shingles are not. Also, concrete tiles last longer than asphalt shingles. However, they’re not the best roof to cool your home.

close-up of clay roofing tiles

Clay Tiles

When some people think of a cool roof, they think of clay tiles. A lot of clay roof tiles are Cool Roof Rated, such as Westlake Royal Roofing’s ClayLite (SRI .31) in Chaparral Blend or their 1-Piece S Tiles in Bermuda Blend (SRI .42). These clay roof tiles are available nationwide and are recyclable in Colorado. Most clay roof tiles are more energy-efficient than white asphalt shingles. In fact, even the dark brown 2-Piece Mission clay tiles from Westlake Royal Roofing are cooler than white asphalt shingles. Still, they are not the best roof to cool your home in Colorado.

sample of pine crest stone coated-steel shake in dover white

White Stone-Coated Steel Shingles

Stone-coated steel shingles are becoming more popular in Colorado. They’re more durable, long-lasting, cost less long-term, and are recyclable in our area. White steel shingles are also cooler than white asphalt shingles. White stone-coated steel shingles have an SR value of .41. As mentioned above white asphalt shingles have an SR value of .20. Another nice feature of stone-coated steel shingles is that they resemble traditional asphalt shingles in appearance. This is great if your HOA frowns upon sheet metal roofs. Unfortunately, white stone-coated steel shingles still aren’t the best roof to cool your home.

a new metal roof on a new house
Standing Seam metal roof

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing seam metal roofing is a concealed fastener sheet metal roofing product. It’s somewhat thin sheets of painted tin that we form and cut in our yard in Greeley, Colorado. The length of each sheet is based on measurements we take from your roof. These measurements are cut to within an inch for a precise fit. The ‘standing seam’ term comes from the inch-or-so tall seam between each sheet. These sheets lock into the previous sheet and are secured down with fasteners (screws). Screws offer better holding power over nails, which are used to secure asphalt shingles.

Light-colored standing seam roofs have an average SR value of .60 or better. Even medium gray color standing seam sheet have an SR value of .44. This is better than white asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and white stone-coated steel shingles. Therefore, they are the best roof to cool your home in Colorado.

infofgraphic showing roofing options for solar reflectivity and heat emittance

The Bottom Line

When most people think of a roof that cools their home, they think of a white roof, such as white asphalt shingles. However, a roof doesn’t have to be white to be energy efficient. In fact, even a dark colored standing seam metal roof is more energy efficient than a light colored asphalt shingle roof. White asphalt shingles only have a Solar Reflectivity rating of around .20. That’s on par with a black standing seam metal roof. Flatiron Steel’s Charcoal colored metal roofs have an SR value of .27. That’s better than white asphalt shingles. Most homeowners opt for a tan colored roof. Flatiron Steel’s Sierra Tan has an SR value of .36. That’s a lot cooler than white asphalt shingles. What’s more, a standing seam metal roof will last longer than a traditional asphalt shingle roof.

If you’re interested in a lower Summer utility bill and a cooler home, call us at 970-395-0406 or text us for a free roof inspection or estimate. Roof financing is available.