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Roofing Styles

Jeffrey Anderson | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

High energy costs and protecting the environment are two reasons why many homeowners are planning projects to help make their homes more energy efficient. You might be considering a new HVAC system or adding insulation to your attic as a way of saving energy. These are both good choices, but you may want to look a little higher on your home as well--some roofing styles can lower your heating and cooling bills, too.

Roofing styles that can lower your energy bills

If you've ever been in your attic on a summer afternoon, you know firsthand how much radiant heat can enter your home from the roof. Even if your attic is well insulated, some of that heat makes its way down into the living space where it increases your HVAC system's cooling load. What if there was a way to reflect some of that radiant heat before it turns your attic into a sauna? Many modern roofing types allow you to do just that and if you live in a part of the country that receives a lot of summer heat, you might be amazed at how much these cool roofing styles can affect your cooling costs. A few energy efficient roofing types to consider for your home:

  1. Asphalt shingles--some asphalt roofing shingles are so energy efficient that they have earned the government's Energy Star rating and can lower a roof's temperature by up to 20 percent during the summer. The shingles use light colored granules to reflect away the sun's heat
  2. Metal roofing--metal used to be primarily a commercial roofing product or you saw it on very old homes, but not anymore--there are many metal roofing types made specifically for residential applications and many are very stylish. Many metal roofing manufacturers offer products that have cool roof technology and can reflect away the sun's heat
  3. Synthetic slate shingles--few roofing materials are as elegant and attractive as slate, but it can also be very costly and may require special roof framing due to its weight. Synthetic slate offers the beauty of slate without the cost and weight. Some varieties are Cool Roof Rating Council-rated

Roofing prices can vary quite a bit depending on the type and style you choose and where your home is located. Expect to pay about $100 a square for asphalt shingles, $180 a square for aluminum shingles. Synthetic slate may be as much as $260 to $300 a square, but all of these prices may be higher or lower in your region. For an estimate from a local contractor, fill out the form on this page.