What is the Most Energy-Efficient Roof for a Florida Home?

What is the Most Energy-Efficient Roof for a Florida Home?

Last week we talked about getting ENERGY STAR tax credits for placing an energy efficient roof on your home. This week we’re going to talk about what it takes to make a roof energy efficient. Then, we’re going to tell you about which roof is going to be the best and “greenest” choice for a Florida home.

First, understand what makes a roof “energy efficient.”

There are two factors which energy experts can measure to determine whether or not a roof is energy efficient.

The first is SRI, or the roof’s “Solar Reflectance Index.” This is a measure of how well the roof reflects the sun’s heat. This can be accomplished with lighter colors, but material counts too. Tile or metal is always going to reflect sunlight away from your home better than asphalt will, even if the asphalt is lightly colored or has some sort of “cool roof” paint coating on it.

The second is the roof’s “emissivity” or “thermal emittance” property. This is a measure of how much heat the roof absorbs. Metal and asphalt roofing have an average thermal emittance of 80%; tile absorbs up to 86%. In warm climates like we have here in Clearwater you want a higher emissivity, which is one reason why tile roofing can be such a great choice.

However, you also want a high SRI. This can be impacted both by the roofing material and by the color of the roof. Tiles that are nearly white could have an SRI of nearly 60%, whereas darker colors may only have an SRI of only 28%. Fortunately, when it comes to tile, metal, or asphalt you have a lot of different options when it comes to the colors you choose.

Second, understand your options.

There are Energy Star recommended products for all three roofing types: tile, metal, and asphalt. Only some of them qualify for the $500 credit, but the credit isn’t the only issue you need to take into account.

Both tile and metal are ideal for Florida’s climate for reasons other than energy efficiency. They withstand wind storms. They can take damage from whipping palm trees. And they just plain last longer. You could end up spending more in the long run by trying to get a cheap Energy Star asphalt roof just because it’s cheap and you’re anticipating that credit. We can certainly do that for you, but it wouldn’t be our first recommendation.

There’s a reason why there are so many tile roofs here in Florida.

A tile roof offers a great price point for the value you receive. They’re capable of withstanding everything Florida can throw at them, they last up to 50 years, and they did energy efficiency before energy efficiency was cool. They’re also made in an environmentally-friendly fashion and are easy to recycle.

In short, they’re a great choice whether you’re trying to lower your energy bill or whether you’re simply trying to be conscious about your own environmental footprint. Metal offers these same benefits at a higher price point, but the trade-off is the roof will last for 50-100 years.

Are you interested in getting an energy-efficient, Florida-friendly tile or metal roof? Call Done Rite Roofing for an in-depth roofing quote today.

Image credit: David Gilder