Monday, June 25, 2012
New house colors are depressing and costly
Two doors over, in 100°f last summer, he had the shakes stripped off and black composites put on, he owns an air conditioning company so he is in tune with his equipment. He told me that very day he could tell the difference, the heat exchangers started like normal, but as the new shingles went up, the compressors ran more and more. A year later he told me his electric bill is $100 more each month, he is on an averaging plan, $1,200 a year he will pay for the black roof, for years and years to come.
18 months ago I got a new roof also, I chose a color and texture called weathered cedar, a little darker than the faded shakes but it's pretty light with multiple shades of light brown in it, it looks like shakes from a distance. Our bills did not change.
The difference between a white roof and a black roof in summer varies by location, from 30°f to 50°f, it can reach 170°f on some dark roofs. This heat gets into your house, it also raises the temperature of the entire area, city heat islands they are called with a 5 or 10°f penalty for the inhabitants. This heat island also drives up water usage, wear and tear on vehicles, machinery, roads and peoples health.
Need a new roof, go light colors. Repainting your house, go light colors. Besides the savings in cooling expense, your neighborhood won't be so damn depressing. As I write this, the neighbor behind me has 10 men on the roof, going from shake to grey, at least it's not black, but he is going to pay. Big coal loves my neighborhoods new romance with the dark arts.