It’s hard to pick out any single part of your home as the most significant or important when it comes to reducing carbon footprint, but roofing is definitely high on the list. The design, materials and condition of your roof are all decisive factors in determining its impact on your overall energy efficiency. Whether you are choosing a roof for a new home or just looking at ways to replace your current one, you should always consider efficiency alongside installation cost, maintenance needs and aesthetics.
Insulate to Cut Waste
One of the most important ways that roofing can mitigate environmental impact is by conserving indoor air temperature. Shielding the home from the hot or cold weather outside with solid layers of insulation significantly reduces heating and air conditioning energy use. Homes in climates with the potential for extreme seasonal temperatures may also benefit from specially designed roofing materials that further insulate the structure.
Reduce Sunlight Absorption
Homes that have significant sunlight exposure, particularly large or taller buildings, can absorb vast amounts of heat throughout each day. The color of the roof materials plays a significant role in determining how much heat is retained, so owners should consider using white or another bright color to reflect more natural heat away from the structure.
Consider Solar Panels
You don’t need to decide on solar panels during initial roof installation, but interest in this option may warrant making some design modifications to better accommodate panels in the future. Adding solar panels to your home may not supply all of your energy needs, but they can start chipping away at monthly energy expenses and reduce your carbon footprint almost immediately. Modern panels are durable, affordable and reliable in many types of climates, so they are an option every homeowner should think about.
Choose Sustainable Materials
How roofing influences your home’s operating efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating environmental impact. The production of materials and design of roofing components also impacts the environment, which prompts some homeowners to prioritize a sustainable manufacturing process. Metal roofs typically have a low carbon footprint and can be recycled or repurposed when discarded.
Understanding all of the ways that a home increases carbon footprint can take a long time, so it’s a goal best approached in achievable steps. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make meaningful changes that have a tangible impact on energy efficiency and domestic environmental responsibility.