As part of the effort to move toward a more sustainable future, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is promoting “cool roofs.”
A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. Nearly any type of building can benefit from a cool roof, DOE says, but it also urges consideration of climate and other factors before deciding to install one.
Cool roofs use solar-reflective surfaces to maintain lower roof temperatures. Standard or dark roofs can reach temperatures of 66 degrees Celsius or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 10 degrees Celsius cooler.
A cool roof can reduce energy bills by decreasing air conditioning needs, improve indoor comfort for spaces that are not air conditioned and may extend roof service life, DOE says.
In 2010, as part of the U.S. effort on climate change and a more sustainable future, then–Energy Secretary Steven Chu directed all DOE offices to install cool roofs, whenever cost effective over the lifetime of the roof, when constructing new roofs or replacing old ones at department facilities.
More information on the benefits of cool roofs is available on the DOE website.