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A roof coated with reflective white paint will typically reflect 88% of the sun’s energy and reduce interior temperature by 2 degrees Celsius in spaces that are not air-conditioned, according to an Australian study.
That translates into an average reduction of 15% of a building’s energy use, the study found.
It’s one indication that reflective roof coatings are “an energy saver that hides in plain sight,” according to a recent article in Energy Manager Today.
While the coatings are primarily used on the flat roofs of commercial buildings, there may be residential applications in hotter climates as well. However, as the article points out, the coatings might not be ideal everywhere. Most asphalt shingle manufacturers do not recommend the coatings on their products.
Would switching to a lighter roof work for you? The federal Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a calculator that allows you to enter energy costs, heating degree days in your area and other factors to help you determine if a switch would be beneficial. The Cool Roof Rating Council is a great resource as well.