Energy-efficient Home Renovations

A roof is one of the largest structures on a house, and because it gets most of the sunlight shining down on a home, it can make a difference in heating and cooling bills. In the summer, ordinary asphalt shingles can reach temperatures of 150 degrees, transferring this heat to attics and upstairs rooms through conduction, making air conditioners work harder. Most homes have regular asphalt shingles, and, until recently, energy-efficient shingles were unpopular because they gave homes bright white roofs that clashed with the other homes in the neighborhood.

The result of most homes in the U.S. having dark, hot roofs is known as the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon that causes higher local outdoor temperatures in residential areas. When outdoor temperatures get higher, it takes more energy to keep indoor temperatures low, and having a hot roof on a home makes things worse. Middlesex county roofers should have access to a wide selection of skylights and shingles to make home renovations economical and energy-efficient.

Cool roofs have been around for thousands of years, and ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans used white-colored roofs to prevent the hot Mediterranean sun from turning their dwellings into brick ovens. Mediterranean villages with white-roofed homes may look picturesque, but white roofs aren’t as practical in the United States where dark shingles have much more availability.

Recent advances in cool roof technology allow shingle manufacturers to make dark-colored energy-efficient shingles that reflect solar radiation without reflecting as much sunlight. Special reflective granules added to the outer asphalt layer of a shingle help reflect ultraviolet and infrared light without reflecting the spectrum in between, which includes all the visible colors. There is a downside to installing cool shingles because they tend to raise heating bills in the winter. As a result, it only makes sense to install them if summer energy bills are higher than winter heating bills.

Another way to go green when replacing a roof is by installing Energy Star-rated skylights. Homes with skylights can benefit from low-emissivity glazings that reduce solar heat gain in the summer and increase it in the winter. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends installing skylights that are no larger than 5 to 15 percent of the floor area of the room below. This size lets in the optimal amount of light while keeping rooms efficient to heat or cool. While acrylic glazings tend to cost less, tempered glass skylights are the most energy-efficient. The roofers at Fortified Roofing of Middlesex County NJ can answer your questions regarding roof repairs or skylights.

Term explained by the roofers at Fortified Roofing, Middlesex County NJ:

Infrared light

Warm air gives off infrared light, so contractors can use special equipment to check for leaks in roofs and windows by reading the light waves escaping from a home. Humans can’t see light in this range of the spectrum because it falls below red, which is the last color in the visible spectrum.

Middlesex County roofers FAQ:

What is the most economical roof covering?

Several factors make a roof economical, such as the cost of materials, the warranty offered on materials and labor, the workmanship of the roofers and the energy-efficiency of the finished roof. A consultation with factory-trained roofers can give homeowners an idea of the best roofing cover to install for a particular project. In places with hot summers and cold winters, the best choice is usually long-lasting asphalt shingles with a lifetime warranty.

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