This is a guest post courtesy of Oz Taysun, owner at Westchase Roofing Services Inc.
If you’re a homeowner, you have cause to be concerned about the amount of energy you use. Energy costs are an issue for everyone, but you may also care about the impact of your home on the environment. It doesn’t matter which reason means more to you —it’s time to start thinking about how energy can be reduced.
The quality of your insulation, foundation and windows all play a large role in the energy usage of your home. One even more important section can be overlooked by some, and that’s the roof.
The design of the roof can have a profound impact on how much energy is used by your home. Depending on how far you’re willing to go with renovations, you may be able to collect hundreds of dollars a year in energy savings.
If you’re in need of a roof replacement, you may want to consider some of the ways you can modify, update or renovate your roof to save energy. Here are some of the best ideas out there.
Design to Emphasize Natural Light
If you’re doing a large-scale renovation, save a lot of energy by eliminating the need for interior lighting during the day. Take advantage of daylight by fitting your roof with well-insulated skylights above the most trafficked areas of your home. Consider the addition of larger windows along the east-facing side to better draw sunlight and warmth during the day. If the skylights are well-insulated, they’ll draw warmth from the sun even when it’s cold outside—that eliminates the need for further heating.
Roof Color Matters
This next design idea is one of the most affordable as it involves replacing your shingles and has more to do with simple color design that it does with replacement of the roof. Light-colored shingles reflect light whereas black shingles absorb it. Black shingles help you save energy because they do some of the work by absorbing heat from the sun. However, if you live in a warmer area where the air conditioner gets all the use, you may want off-white, light blue or light green shingles that won’t absorb the heat.
Green Roof Designs
Those who are really interested in going green to cut down on energy use can try a trend that’s been sweeping northern Europe and the Pacific Northwest — the living roof. Living roofs have a layer of sod at the top that allows the growth of grasses and other local plants. These types of roofs have been around for centuries, but they’re currently enjoying a resurgence because of an explosion of interest in sustainable home building. These roofs are increasingly matched with ultra-modern concrete houses that can take the weight of the dirt.
As for benefits, a few inches of sod can provide an amazing amount of insulation to the interior of the home. It helps keep the home both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Best Spaces for Solar Power
Design a roof that’s perfectly shaped to leverage solar panels. To better design your roof for solar panels, focus on giving it a slope that will give each panel a healthy amount of access to the sun. Try to extend the length of the roof on the side that will be drawing the most sunlight. Consider a higher roof or other ways that you could increase solar power intake to cover more of your daily energy needs.
About the Author:
Oz Taysun has been the owner of Westchase Roofing Services Inc. since 2008, specializing in asphalt roofing shingles installation. Prior to starting his roofing company Oz as an engineer for a firm. He enjoyed hand-ons work so much that he changed fields and entered into the home improvement and roofing industry in 2001. Oz enjoys the great outdoors and spending his free time with his beloved family.