The energy efficiency of a home is definitely near the top of the list of considerations when building or renovating these days. A home that has good energy efficiency has a more stable temperature throughout the year and therefore there is less reliance on heating and cooling to stay comfortable – not to mention reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on bills at the same time.
It is not only your roof that helps with your home’s energy efficiency, but other external factors as well. These include the climate in which you live, the building’s orientation to the sun, surrounding trees and landscape, the home’s design and construction materials, the flooring, insulation and the type of windows and how many there are.
There is a lot to consider when building or renovating your home and some of these decisions will depend on the location, floor plan and design. When it is time to consider the roof, you’ll need to consider the material you use, but also the colour, shape and insulation underneath it. A roofing specialist like a team member from Roof Guard will be an extremely valuable resource when choosing your new roof.
Things to Consider for a New Roof
Passive Heating and Cooling
Natural light and wind play a part in the inside temperature of a home, so try to take advantage of these factors by using nature’s resources. Effectively trapping the heat from the sun inside your home during the warmer months and deflecting it throughout the warmer months can have a significant impact.
Ventilation & Heat Retention
Hot air rises, so how you manage the heat inside the home is critical, as is air flow and ventilation. For example, ceiling fans can help push warm air that is trapped up at the ceiling, down through the room.
Insulation in the Roof
Insulation in the walls and floor is important for energy efficiency, as is good quality insulation in the roof space. It does an incredible job of keeping the warmth inside during winter and minimises the heat penetrating your home during summer.
Having eaves on a home is a really important factor when improving the energy efficiency of a home. Providing essential shade from the sun, especially where there are windows, helps to prevent the inside becoming too hot.
It is known that dark colours absorb heat while lighter colours reflect it, so having a light coloured roof will keep your home cooler and is particularly useful in areas where there is a lot of sun all year round.
The Efficiency of Different Roof Materials
With different roofing materials available, consider the efficiency of each as they each have pros and cons. In Australia the most common materials are concrete tiles and metal sheets so we will focus on those.
Concrete tiles provide great insulation to your home, absorbing heat well in summer and retaining warmth through the cooler months. The way that tiles are installed provides some natural ventilation, as where the tiles overlap channels form that provide air circulation, letting hot air escape before entering the roof space.
Tiles are extremely durable and can withstand rough weather, and only require minimal maintenance. However, the aesthetics may not appeal to you, or the style of your home and they are more expensive to purchase and install than metal roof sheets.
Metal roofing materials have come a long way from the old rusty corrugated sheets from years ago. They are a popular choice as it is a cost-effective option, they are lightweight and incredibly durable. Metal is reflective so this contributes to the energy efficiency in sunny climates. Metal sheets are easy to install, are fire resistant and considered a sustainable option.
The downsides to a metal roof are that they are not as energy efficient in very sunny, hot areas as the sheets are thin and heat can penetrate them easily. Similarly, in winter the warmth can easily escape. Keep in mind though that with effective insulation this can be reduced. Metal roofs can be damaged relatively easily, and it can be a bit trickier to repair damage to a metal roof as whole roof sheets need to be replaced rather than small sections.
For overall energy efficiency of a home, a tiled roof is the better choice, however when choosing your new roof, consider all the factors mentioned here, along with the aesthetics, costs and the type of material. Speak to one of the qualified roofing experts at Roof Guard for an informative, helpful discussion to ensure you select the best roof for your home.