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Installing an Eco-Friendly Roof

by Freelance Author

If the current roof on your house has reached the point where it is past repair, or if you are having a new house built, you are probably trying to decide what type of roof you should invest in. Of course, aesthetic considerations play a major part, but you also need to take into account the energy impact your roof has on the environment. There are a number of ways a new roof can save energy, and it can even serve as an additional power source for your home.

One of the major considerations when choosing a new roof is where you live. The type of roof you select can make a considerable difference to the amount of energy you need to heat or cool your home, depending on the climate. For example, if you live somewhere hot such as in Nevada or New Mexico, then you need to make sure that your roof doesn't absorb the sun's energy and make your home hot. It makes sense to install a reflective roof in hot areas - for instance, a metal roof. Another approach is to choose a roof that doesn't transfer heat easily - such as a clay tile roof, which is why you see these in warm desert locations. On the other hand, you need to avoid dark roofing materials - such as asphalt shingles - because these will absorb the sun's rays and convert them into heat.

If you live in a cool, wet climate, such as in Seattle, then you need to take another approach. For example, asphalt shingles make a lot of sense in somewhere like Seattle. You also need to make sure there is sufficient insulation in your attic, so that you don't lose heat through the roof. However, reflective metal roofs may also be an option. They will reflect the sun's rays during the summer months, and during the winter it is often cloudy, so the negative impact is minimized. To understand the trade-offs in detail, it is a good idea to talk to a Seattle metal roofing company.

Adding solar cells to your roof is also an excellent idea, since these can reduce your electricity bill by between 40% and 60%. In the past, many people were reluctant to install solar panels because of the cost, as well as their appearance. However, there have been significant advances in solar technology in the last decade. Solar shingles look remarkably like regular asphalt shingles, but they incorporate a thin-film solar cell to generate electricity. Recent advances also mean that these cost a lot less to install than traditional solar panels. However, you should be aware that any type of solar cell generates DC current, whereas your house uses AC. Therefore, you will also need to invest in a device to convert electricity into a form that can be used. The other thing to keep in mind is that there may be subsidies available to help offset the cost of installing solar technology, both from the federal government and from your local state government.


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