Energy Efficient Roof Systems and How you Can Save on Your Energy Bill

june 3rd, 2020 updated 9:00AM CT
Aerial view of commercial flat roof system with a completed TPO membrane cool roof installation.

Energy bills can be expensive, especially if you live somewhere hot. The cost of air conditioning can really pick up in the summer months, leading you to spend hundreds of dollars on energy bills. But what if we told you there was a way that you could reduce that energy bill? Well, there is! And it’s called an Energy-Efficient Roofing System. Also referred to as a “Cool Roof,” energy-efficient roofing is designed to reflect more sunlight and keep your home cooler.

How does Energy-Efficient Roofing in San Antonio work?

You can think of a cool roof like light-colored clothing. Imagine stepping out into the mid-summer heat in black pants and a black tee. You probably wouldn’t do this. Why? Because we know that black and dark materials absorb heat, making your body even hotter. Rather, we wear light-colored clothing in the summer to help reflect the sun and keep our bodies cooler.

Energy-efficient roofing San Antonio works the same way. It is designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less. The average roof in San Antonio reaches up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months. Cool roofing systems can reduce this temperature drastically, keeping your roof around 50 degrees Fahrenheit even in the same summer sun.

There are several different materials that can be used in cool roofing systems to reflect the heat. Some are made of reflective paint, others a sheet covering, and others from reflective roof shingles and tiles. The type of cool roofing you use will depend on the type of roof that you have.

What are the Different Types of Cooling System Materials?

1. Asphalt Shingles

When you think of cool roofing materials, you don’t usually think of Asphalt Shingles. This is for good reason. Even white asphalt is only 30% reflective. So while asphalt shingles can be used to reduce the heat in your home, they aren’t the most beneficial option if you are looking for a cooling material.

2. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is much more beneficial for keeping your home cool than asphalt shingles. Not only is metal roofing and good at cooling on it’s own, but it can also be coupled with a reflective coating.
When it is, metal roofing can be up to 70% reflective. As an added bonus, metal roofing is also one of the most durable of all roofing materials, lasting anywhere from 30-50 years.

3. Reflective Coatings

a) White coatings: These are some of the most effective of all roof cool coatings. Why? Because white is very reflective. White coatings can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays, which is even more than metal.
b) Pigmented Roof Coatings: These come in a variety of different colors including green, red, orange, and grey. They aren’t as reflective as white coatings, but still help to keep your home cool. The amount of reflection that you get depends on the color you choose. The darker the color, the less reflective it will be.
c) Aluminum Coatings: Aluminum coatings can help to cool the interior temperature of your home by up to 10 degrees. They are said to reflect anywhere between 50-70% of the sun’s rays.

4. Roofing Membranes

Roof membranes can be made up of several different materials including felt, polyester, fiberglass, asphalt, polymer, and rubber, or a combination. Then, a reflective coating is applied on top. The amount of reflection of roofing membranes will depend on the pigment used, but they can reflect up to 70-80% of the sun’s rays. Flat roof membranes are also very easy to install, low maintenance, and durable.

5. Tile Roofing

Tiles give an earthy look to homes and are often found in warm, sunny climates. They are generally made from ceramic, but can also be found in cement and clay. Again, the amount of reflection depends on what type of tiling you use. Reflection can range anywhere from 20-70 percent. As a bonus, tiles are also durable and recyclable.

If you want to learn more about different cooling materials, ask a local San Antonio roofing company about your different options, as well as the downfalls and benefits of each. Different types of materials are beneficial for different roofing types, so be sure to ask a professional before making any final decisions.

What are the benefits of Cool Roofing?

1) Lower temperatures

The most obvious benefit of cool roofing is that it keeps your roof cooler. In return, the temperature inside of your home also stays cooler. Depending on what type of roofing you install, you can lower the temperatures in your home by up to 10 degrees completely naturally. During hot months in San Antonio, this can make a huge difference.

2) Lower costs

This is one of the largest benefits of cool roofing. Yes, you may pay more upfront to have the roofing installed, but over time the roofing will pay for itself. Why? Because cool roofing can lower your energy bills by anywhere from 7-15%. In return, it only takes about 6 years for a cool roof to pay for itself.

3) Lower maintenance fees

Roofs need regular maintenance and like anything else in this world, they are subject to repairs. But cool roofs generally require much less maintenance than regular roofs. Furthermore, they have a longer lifespan than the conventional roof.

4) Reduced Air Pollution 

Air conditioning units burn fossil fuels and when every house is using one, this releases a lot of emissions and greenhouse gasses. By cutting down on your air conditioning, you will release much less of these emissions, thereby playing
a role in making for a greener earth.

5) Improved air quality

Reduced emissions improve overall air quality. So by using less air conditioning, you are also helping to improve air quality and will contribute to healthier breathing conditions.

Things to consider before investing in Cool Roofing:

Check the Performance Rating. When it comes to cool roofing, there are two measures that are used to rate their performance. The first is how much of the sun’s energy the roof reflects. This is referred to as solar reflectance. The second is how well the roof releases any heat that is absorbed. This is referred to as thermal emittance. Both ratings are measured on a scale of 0-1, with 1 being the best score and 0 being the worst. Look for products that are rated close to one.

● Check for an Energy Star Label. Energy Star Labels only recognize cool roofing if they have a solar reflectance rating of at least .25 when installed, and 0.15 after 3 years in-use.
● Expect to pay higher prices. Along with an energy-efficient roof comes a larger bill. This is to be expected. If you are getting a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. But remember, in about 6 years, your roofing San Antonio will pay for itself.
● You don’t need cool roofing if you have thick insulation. Ten to twelve inches of insulation is enough to provide you with energy savings. If you already have this, adding a cool roof won’t save you anymore on your energy bill.

When you live in areas that get hot, cool roofing just makes sense. Call your local roofing company to ask about cool roofing solutions today to find out if it can save you money!

Schedule a Roof Inspection with the Experts at

McAllen Valley Roofing Co.

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5828 Sebastian Pl, Suite 102 San Antonio, TX 78249

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