Cool Roofing in Connecticut: Does It Work?

Cool Roofing in Connecticut: Does It Work?

CT Roof CoolCool roofing is a hot new trend for both the architectural and remodeling industries where the roofing system reflects the sun’s rays in order to save money on energy bills. Utilizing materials that have been designed to reflect more sunlight, such as paint coatings, sheet coverings or shingles, a cool roof absorbs less heat than a standard industry roof. This decreases your need for AC to keep your home cool during the summer, with the average savings being a 20% deduction in your annual utility bill. This type of roofing technique benefits those who live in hot climates year-round or with warmer seasonal climates.

So where does that leave Connecticut? The state has scorching summers but is also consistently buried under eight feet of snow during the winter. Can cool roofs be advantageous in cold climates?

General Benefits: In summer months, a cool roof benefits your home by reducing AC needs and therefore energy bills, improving comfort in spaces that are not air conditioned and decreasing the roof’s temperature from 150°F to 50°F. This helps extend your roof’s lifespan so that you usually won’t need a replacement or much maintenance anytime after installation. Additionally, a cool roof benefits the environment by reducing air temperatures, decreasing the urban heat island effect, lowering electricity demand and lessening a power plant’s toxic emissions like CO2 or nitrous oxides.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory put together a calculator that allows homeowners to obtain a rough estimate of whether the summer cooling savings are able to counteract the winter heating penalty. Many have found that while cool roofs operate best in warmer climates, there are some reasons why they still work in cooler climates like Connecticut.

  1. During winter months, the angle of the sun is so low that reflectivity and absorption isn’t anywhere near as severe a problem as it is in the summer, when solar radiation is directly hitting the roof.
  2. Winter days are much shorter so there is much less time for the energy to hit the roof.
  3. There are much more cloudy days during the winter, and any “sunny” days aren’t actually very sunny, so less energy is hitting the roof.
  4. Any snow on the roof helps reflect the sun’s energy before the rays even have a chance to hit the roof.
  5. Resources such as gas or oil that are used to heat a house during the winter are usually cheaper than the AC used to cool the house in the summer. Additionally, energy rates are highest in April-August, so saving money there is more financially beneficial.
  6. Utility companies are offering increasingly bigger rebates and incentives for installation of cool roofs that help them cut down their own emissions. This includes Connecticut’s biggest energy provider, CL&P.

Therefore, while cool roofs were meant for climates that are warm year-round, they still serve to benefit those with more seasonal climates, even during colder months. Cool roofing materials can also be installed on most types of roofs, so it is a guaranteed simple process!

Advanced Window Systems would be proud to assist you in any of your roofing needs. Contact us at 860-829-8044 for a FREE estimate today!

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