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What is a Cool Roof?

Updated: May 9, 2022

Functions of a Cool Roof

It is easy to mix up terms when it comes to roof types. There is a cool roof, a green roof, composite roofs, flat roofs, tile roofs, and more. Here is a brief description of a cool roof, which will distinguish its function for you.

A cool roof is any roof that has been coated with material which reflects sunlight - instead of absorbing it. The cool roof can be made of anything. You can have a cool roof made of composite shingles, tiles, a built up roof, or a flat polyurethane foam roof. Any of these roof types can be made into a cool roof by using cool roofing materials - without sacrificing functionality, structure, or aesthetics.

Cool roofs are often confused with “green roofs.” A green roof is a roof that utilizes plants to reduce heat inside a structure, capture rainwater, and more. A green roof (also called a “living roof”) is always made up of plant life and is more complicated to install and maintain than a cool roof.

Five Functions of a Cool Roof

A cool roof is created, essentially, to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing the heat. However, the cool roof performs more functions than just cooling your home’s interior. Here are the five functions a cool roof can perform:

1. Cuts back on cooling costs.

2. Makes un-air conditioned spaces cooler during the hot summer months.

3. Mitigates the urban heat island effect, contributing to the overall cooling of an urban or suburban area.

4. Lowers overall energy demand.

5. Reduces power plant emissions by reducing energy use.

By adding a cool roof to your home, you aren’t just saving money on cooling costs. You are also contributing to your local air quality and helping to reduce overall temperatures in your communities. If all structures had cool roofs, the overall cityscape could be made cooler by a few degrees - matching temperatures with more natural spaces like local parks or wildlife preserves.

Lower Your Environmental Footprint - and Energy Bills

As a property owner, there are many ways to lower your environmental footprint and reduce energy costs. These include:

  • Integrating solar power into your home power grid by installing solar panels.

  • Upgrading the insulation of your property, thereby improving functionality of heating and cooling units.

  • Installing ENERGY STAR certified double pane windows and doors as another layer of insulation.

  • Installing a cool roof or a green roof to reduce heat absorption and create a cooler community.

  • Using infrared Tex-Cote COOLWALL® technology to contribute to the overall cooling of your home or property.

  • Updating and properly maintaining your HVAC system.

  • Reducing water consumption with a water-wise landscape, natural landscaping, and/or artificial turf

  • Utilizing new technology such as a smart thermostat to control indoor temperatures and HVAC.

  • Using ENERGY STAR certified lighting and appliances.

There are many ways to create a more sustainable home while reducing your overall energy costs. The above are ways that you can passively and continuously work toward a greener and cleaner lifestyle.

Are you ready to get started with green home upgrades? Contact SF Green Construction today!

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