A paper house with a roof made out of money to symbolize that roofing can cost you.

How Does Your Roof Affect Your Utility Bill?

Having a proper roof over your head is important for a lot of reasons. What many people may not know, however, is that having the right type of roof can keep money in your pocket. Depending on the type of roofing material your home utilizes, your energy costs can be reduced significantly. If you want to cut costs on energy bills and are in the market to have your roof re-done, look no further. Here is a brief look at the three most common roofing materials and the effects that they’ll have on your utility bill.

Shingled Roofing

Standard asphalt or composite shingles don’t provide much in the way of energy efficiency. They are dark, so they absorb a lot of sunlight, and the fact that they overlap creates a heat trap. A day that has a bright sun beating down on an asphalt shingle roof will see the temperature of the roof rise, and eventually heat the interior of the structure that it covers. Newer, more reflective shingles (sold as “cool roof” materials, however, can be a dramatic improvement from regular asphalt shingles. Homes with cool roofs can sometimes require more energy to heat during the winter, however, so keep your climate in mind when choosing a type of shingle roof.

Tiled Roofing

This method of roofing is typically much more effective at reducing energy costs than traditional shingle roofs. These materials are commonly made to be resistant to thermal heat. On top of that, because they have no overlap like shingles, tiles come with a natural ventilation method, stopping the natural buildup of heat that can occur between layers of shingles. In the mid 90’s, the Florida Solar Energy Center found that tile roofs can reduce the temperature of the roof by nearly 48%. The benefit to having a tile roof is that it will help you maintain your desired interior temperature (warm in winter, cool in summer) regardless of the season.

Metal Roofing

The most durable but costly option is to have a metal roof installed. These low-maintenance, long-lasting roofs offer different features that aid energy efficiency and can cut utility costs in different ways. The reflective nature of metal allows makes of the sun’s heat to bounce off rather than be absorbed (called “reflective” metal roofing). Certain finishes and coatings on these roofs also work to re-emit the heat that has been absorbed. These are called “emissive” roofing materials. The combination of reflection and emission makes metal roofing the most reductive option in terms of energy costs. Keep in mind, however, that the cost of instillation is higher than other alternatives.

Last Updated: August 07, 2015