Roofs That Help Keep Your House Cool

Short Answer: In Colorado, the best roofs that help keep your house cool are standing seam, corrugated/PBC, and clay tiles. Keep reading to learn more.

With the climate getting warmer in most parts of the country, you might be wondering what you can do to help keep your house cool when it’s hot outside. Energy efficient windows definitely help. Closing your blinds or curtains as soon as the sun comes-up is a good idea. This helps keep the sunshine out, which translates to keeping some heat out. You should also make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic.

Folks forget about their roof, however. Most commercial buildings have been enjoying the cooling effects of their roofs for some time, since their single-ply membranes are often white, which reflects heat away. But what about those with steep sloped roofs, such as those on your house? Roofs that keep a house cool are often either composed of a light-colored material, such as the granules on shingles, or are painted a light color, such as some metal roofing.

So what’s a roof that helps cool your house? Below are Energy Star rated and/or Cool Roofing Rating Council (CRRC) approved roofing materials that we provide. These will help to cool your house when it’s hot outside.

new standing seam metal roof in fort collins


Standing seam and corrugated sheet metal are the coolest roofing materials for Colorado. If you’re looking for the roof that cools your home the most, these are it. This is because they reflect more solar radiation than any other roofing material. If you don’t like the sheet metal look and prefer something more traditional, consider Westlake Royal Roofing’s Barrel-Vault stone-coated metal tiles in Dover White. These white tiles don’t reflect as much solar radiation as sheet metal, but they reflect way more than traditional asphalt shingles. If you’re looking for a roof that not only helps to cool your home, but also stands-up to hail and high-winds, and lasts the longest, metal roofing is what you want.

new stone-coated metal tile roof

As with any energy efficient home, make sure you have adequate insulation, and energy efficient windows. A lot goes into an energy-efficient home. A metal roof reflects heat away from your home, which helps to reduce your utility bill in the warm Summer months. As our climate is getting warmer, this is becoming more important. Oddly enough, the color of your new metal roof doesn’t have to be a highly reflective color, such as white or galvanized :-).

We manufacture our own standing seam metal roofing panels in dozens of colors. What’s more, we form and cut our metal roofing panels to the inch for a precise fit. Flatiron Steel also has many metal roofing products that are Energy Star rated, such as their PBR Metal Roofing Panels and their 3′ Tuf Rib Metal Roofing Panels.



Clay roofing tiles are a natural ‘cool’ roofing product simply because they breathe. The material itself is porous which allows air to move through them. The space beneath the tiles also let warm air move up your roof and out through the ridge cap at the top. All the while letting rain or melted snow flow over the top of your clay tiles safely to your gutters. Boral Roofing makes several clay tiles that are CRRC approved.

Romano Pans trace their roots to the ancient Greeks with their alternating flat panels and half-barrels. The classic barrel 1-piece ‘S’ Tile. ClayMax is Westlake Royal Roofing’s lightweight low-profile barrel tile. ClayLite designed especially for re-roofing. 2-Piece Mission barrel tiles that dates back to the Bronze Age. 2-Piece Monarch authentic Mediterranean style with its small-barrel and high-arch.

new clay roofing tile
New clay roofing tile. Courtesy Westlake Royal Roofing

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles, even ones that are Cool Roof Rating Council approved, do the least to cool your home. This is because they reflect the least amount of solar radiation. Asphalt shingles have an initial solar reflectance of .25, and 3-year aged solar reflectance of .15. The closer to 1, the better. Sheet metal, on the other hand, has an average solar reflectance of .67 and a heat emissivity of .85.

NOTE: Some asphalt roofing shingles aren’t available to everyone, everywhere in the country. When visiting the links below, be sure to enter your ZIP code to see if that particular shingle is available in your area. If a shingle manufacturer states a shingle isn’t available to you, you may have to find a different supplier, if you really want that particular shingle.

Owens Corning

Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing product, so we’ll start with those. Of those, Owens Corning is the most popular asphalt shingle manufacturer, and they are currently the only asphalt shingle manufacturer that offer cool roofing shingle options. They offer 3 shingles at 3 price points that are Energy Star rated – Supreme, Oakridge, and TruDefinition Duration.

Owens Corning's Energy Star Rated TruDefinition Duration shingle in Shasta White

Their most affordable ‘cool roof’ asphalt shingle is their Supreme. This is a 3-tab shingle with a 25-year limited warranty and wind rated at no more than 60 mph. If cost is your most important factor in choosing a cool roof, Owens Corning’s Supreme shingles are a good choice. Next up is Owens’ Oakridge. These are architectural shingles with a limited lifetime warranty and a 110/130 mph wind rating. If you can afford to spend a little more, these are a better shingle. Lastly, their TruDefinition Duration is their best Energy Star shingle. It includes the same features their Oakridge has, plus Owens’ SureNail technology, which helps the installer secure each shingle to your roof faster, and helps keep the shingles down during high winds. All 3 of these are only available in their ‘Shasta White’.


CertainTeed is another a well respected shingle manufacturer that we carry. They offer two ‘cool roof’ asphalt shingles. Their Presidential Solaris® is designed to resemble wood shake, has a UL Class A fire resistance rating, offers a Lifetime limited transferable warranty, and a 15-year 110 mph wind-resistance warranty (upgradable to 130 mph).

Landmark Solaris® is the cool roof version of CertainTeed’s popular Landmark shingle. It, too, has a UL Class A fire resistant, offers a Lifetime limited transferable warranty, and a 15-year 110 mph wind-resistance warranty (upgradable to 130 mph).

At the time of this writing, CertainTeed’s cool roofing products were not available in Northern Colorado. Be sure to check on their website if either of these Energy Rated roofing products are available in your area.

certainteed landmark solaris shingles not available


Another popular asphalt shingle manufacturer is GAF. They offer a solid product with a great warranty. GAF currently offers 3 cool roof asphalt shingle products – their Timberline HD in white, Royal Sovereign® in white, and their Timberline Cool Series
Antique Slate, Barkwood, Weathered Wood


Although less expensive than Owens Corning, TAMKO still makes a great asphalt roofing shingle. They offer 2 that are Cool Roof Rating Council approved – their lesser expensive 3-tab shingle Elite Glass-Seal 3-tab in white or glacier white and their laminated Heritage in Glacier White. Check Tamko’s website or ask us for available in your area.

Cool Roof Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the coolest roof, go with standing seam or corrugated sheet metal. Metal roofing is also the most durable and longest-lasting. Whatever your style or budget, there’s a cool roof option for you, be it asphalt shingles, metal sheets, or clay tiles. If your roof is ready to be replaced, now is a great time to consider a ‘cool roof’ option.

As of the time of this writing, only 3 of the above manufacturers offer Energy Star Rated or Cool Roofing Rating Council (CRRC) approved roofing products in our area (Front Range, Colorado) – Owens Corning, Flatiron Steel, and Westlake Royal Roofing. That said, do keep an eye on the others, as they may offer their cool roof products in your area. What to know what the coolest roofing material is for Colorado?