Demand is growing for reflective or “cool” roof products that meet standards for performance while also being extremely energy efficient. Such roofs can also help reduce the “heat island” effect, a phenomenon by which heat stored in dark materials that absorb heat from the sun is released at night, causing air temperature to remain high. One way to qualify a reflective roof is to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR label.
The designation certifies that the membrane is a reflective roof product that will lower the roof surface temperature up to 100 F, thereby decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a store’s interior. While ENERGY STAR specifications aren’t restricted to any particular type of roof, metal, single-ply membrane and roof-coating products are the most widely represented.
According to ENERGY STAR, qualified reflective-roof products offer a number of benefits, including:
Geographic location and climate, existing building insulation levels, the type of roof installed and how well it is maintained will all impact exactly how much a business will save with a reflective roof.
In general, building owners will save money on energy bills by installing a qualified reflective roof if their building has high air-conditioning bills, a large roof surface (as compared to the building’s overall size), lower levels of insulation, and is located in a hot, sunny climate.