Indoor air conditioning carries a hefty price tag: $40 BILLION in America, to be precise. Chances are that cooling your home or business represents the bulk of your own personal energy expenses.
While replacing your whole roof with a more energy efficient material would be the most effective route, it may fall outside your budget for now. These are some of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your roof without having to replace it. When combined together, you may see some serious savings.
Underneath the shingles, tiles, or metal panels are several layers of different materials. The final layer is insulation, which may be underneath the roof decking or stuffed between the joists to which the ceiling drywall is attached. It’s made to resist heat flow so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. It’s a key ingredient to cutting down on energy costs. Even better, hiring a pro won’t break the bank.
The difference between attic and roof insulation is simply where they’re placed. Attic (or “ceiling”) insulation is installed along the floor of the attic. Roof insulation is between and behind the actual rafters of the roof. If a home lacks one of these, it’ll probably be roof insulation. Roof insulation is more difficult for the average homeowner to install properly.
Insulation also comes in different types of material:
- Fiberglass: fiberglass is the most common material used for insulation. It’s budget-friendly, mold-resistant, and can improve indoor air quality, too.
- Foam: foam is made from different types of plastics. As it’s applied by spraying, it’s super airtight. You can expect a longer lifespan with foam.
- Cellulose: cellulose is made from recycled paper, presenting an eco-friendly option for insulation. It’s known to be a very effective fire- and bug-resistant material.
Adding to your existing blown-in insulation is a good idea; insulation settles over time, and as cities focus on residential energy efficiency, building codes are updated to require a higher R factor. An insulation contractor can measure the depth of your existing insulation and recommend what more is needed for optimum levels.
Reflective Radiant Barriers
Radiant barriers are just what they sound like. They’re made of foil-like reflective material that aims to reduce heat. The sheets are attached to the underside of the roof decking and roof rafters in the attic space.
Proper installation of radiant barriers is of utmost importance if you want them to be effective. You’ll need to be up-to-date on local building codes and take necessary safety precautions. If installed improperly, they can accumulate dust and even trap moisture in your insulation. Dust can become a fire hazard, and trapped moisture can begin to produce mold.
Balanced roofing ventilation is all about controlling how air and moisture enter and leave a building. Intake and exhaust vents are carefully placed along the roof and into the attic in order to let hot air escape and pull in cooler air. They extend the durability and efficiency of your entire roof.
If the ventilation system isn’t working properly, premature shingle deterioration can occur. Moisture from cooking and showering can be trapped in the attic with nowhere to escape from – resulting in wood rot. Clear out leaves and dirt from vents regularly, keep a thermometer in your attic, and inspect rafters for black mold patches.
Ready to Plan a Project?
These three energy optimizations can earn you some serious bang for your buck. Let’s identify your big problem areas and make a plan for monthly savings. Get in touch with an experienced project planner for a free estimate today!