Commercial buildings are built large and generally are not very energy efficient especially when it comes to heating and cooling. Much of the energy lost is through a poorly designed and managed roofing system. Updating your roof to a “cool roof” is imperative in this energy efficiency world we currently live in.
What is a “Cool Roof.”
To put it simply, a cool roof is a roof that does not hold in heat. There are a few ways to create a cool roof that will reflect away the blistering heat of the summer. Turn the old commercial building into an energy efficient, thus cost saving, building.
Energy Efficient buildings are becoming more popular and the new technology has given roofing companies ways to effectively seal the roof, while also being energy efficient. HVAC is the process of heating and cooling the building. Keeping the heat or cool in is where the issue arises. The HVAC system will run and keep running if the heat/cool are escaping and this will add up in costs and emissions.
A cool roof is essential to keeping the commercial building at the optimal temperature for longer. This cuts costs and helps the building be efficient.
How do you get a Cool Roof?
There are several ways to achieve a cool roof. When replacing a roof, the contractor has different materials used to help reflect the sun and keep the heat off of the roof.
It is a hot and sunny day and you have on a black shirt. That sun hits you and the heat is instantly transferred to your body and it keeps you warm. Whereas, if you wore a white shirt, the sun does not absorb into the fabric as easily and you stay “cool.”
The same can be said about roofing. Using white materials as a roofing base will help to reflect the sun away and keep the roof cool. See for yourself in the infrared image below. Spot 1 is a black roof and Spot 2 is a cool white roof. (Mild Summer Day)
Using infrared, contractors can see how hot your roof is, where heat is escaping in the winter, and ways to prevent that. As you can see, the roof with the white roofing material is substantially cooler than the roof with the black materials. Upgrading your roof is imperative in saving money in the long run and being more energy efficient.
What Material is Best for a Cool Roof?
One of the most popular roofing trends are the white, highly reflective, single-ply membranes. Using a membrane such as this will reflect the sun far better than a black tar or darker color roof. When the sunlight is absorbed in the dark materials, it increases costs of cooling in the building. When the sunlight is reflected and the roof is cool, costs of cooling the building is greatly reduced and far better for the environment.
When the roof membranes are both highly reflective, and have high emittance values, they keep buildings cooler with or without air conditioning. High emittance is important because the more sunlight the material collects, the more harmful the UV Radiation is to people. This has been a huge factor in the changing of material and technology in the past twenty years alone. Safety is the top priority when it comes to roofing systems.
A white, single-ply, roofing membrane offers up to 88% of solar emittance, and up to 88% of reflective properties. This makes a huge difference and can save up to 20% on heating/cooling costs.
Buildings that implement a “Cool Roof,” often see benefits of a longer lasting roof and reduced HVAC loads which will make the HVAC system last longer as well. Black roofs can reach as much as 160 degrees fahrenheit in the hot and sunny summer months. When you implement a cool roof, you can see a 60-80 degree reduction. This eases the heat absorbed into the roof and keeps the HVAC systems cool in order to do their job. In some cases, business owners are able to downsize their HVAC units to a smaller more efficient version when they have a Cool Roof.
Energy efficiency is the bottom line in this new efficient world we live in. A cool roofing system can reduce air conditioning costs, extend the lifespan of the roof, and can create a lasting impact on the fight against the effects of global warming. Next time you replace your roof, go with a “Cool Roof,” and don’t sweat it any longer!