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Energy Study Helps Homeowners Reduce Cooling Costs



A tightly controlled test project compared commonly used residential roofing materials to evaluate their relationship to home cooling costs.

The six identical newly constructed villas were built using various roofing materials: dark gray shingles, white shingles, white flat tile, white S-shaped tile, terra cotta S-shaped "Spanish" tile, and Al-zinc metal. The homes were operated identically to ensure study accuracy. Temperature controls on the air conditioning thermostats of all the houses were set at a constant 77º F. And all six homes were studied unoccupied and occupied.

The study found that energy savings are most strongly influenced by the solar reflectance of roof materials. The study proves dark gray roofs reflect a mere eight percent of the heat associated with sunlight, while white shingle and terra cotta tile roofs reflect 25 and 34 percent, respectively. White metal and cement tile roofs provide the most dramatic results, reflecting 66 to 77 percent of the sun's energy.

The results of the study clearly demonstrate that Al-zinc metal roofing material saves the most energy as a result of its high reflectance and superior ability to cool quickly at night.

Choosing a roof for a home, whether it's a new home or a replacement roof, is a major decision for most homeowners. The purpose of this study is to provide homeowners with additional information to help them make the best, most informed decision. Every little bit we do to help our customers stay informed should ultimately conserve energy as well as save them money.

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