Cool Roofing Solutions

If you're not using a cool roof, you could be losing more than you think. Five truths to ponder.

HEATING & COOLING DEGREE DAYS:

These units of measure describe how far the average daily temperature varies from a baseline of 65°F. Temperatures greater than 65°F are cooling-degree days, because we need to cool the environment back to 65°F. Heating-degree days occur when the temperature falls below 65°F.

TRUTH:

A cool roof reflects the sun’s energy, reducing rooftop temperatures. While a sunlight-absorbing black roof can reach up to 190°F in the summer, a reflective roof’s temperature can be as much as 60°F lower – reducing heat flow through the roof system.

GAS vs ELECTRICITY:

In some cities, electricity costs up to 4 times more, per BTU, than natural gas. Not only is electricity more expensive than gas, but the rate structures are more complex. Seemingly small increases in electricity use can result in large additional costs due to the compounding effects of time of use rates and demand charges. 

TRUTH: If your building uses electric air conditioning and natural gas heat, a cool reflective roof will lower your energy bills no matter where you are in the continental United States (including Northern States) by reducing the amount of air conditioning needed in the summer. How much could you be saving on energy bills? Find out by trying out our CREST energy calculator.

DEMAND CHARGES:

Simply put? Demand charges are the immediate usage put on your energy system. Some electric companies charge commercial and industrial buildings a penalty based on a few peak minutes of electricity usage during each billing period. Buildings that use the most electricity at one time often get charged the largest penalty, which can be up to 70% of their electricity bill. Air conditioners, by their nature, surge electricity demand at peak times of the day. Cool roofs can help reduce the air conditioning needed by your building by eliminating the extra heat that would be absorbed by a black roof.

TRUTH: Dark roofs increase the need for air conditioning. They not only drive up monthly electricity-consumption costs, they can significantly increase demand charges as well. Less demand can mean less money spent on energy.

A BLACK ROOF COVERED IN SNOW IS WHITE:

Your roof’s impact on your energy bills is based on the amount of sunlight reaching it, not on the ambient temperature. So even in regions with more “heating degree days” than “cooling degree days” a reflective cool roof will offset more hours of sunlight in summer than a dark roof can absorb to heat the building in winter. Almost twice as many at the solstices. And, of course, during those long winter nights, sunlight is having no effect on your roof at all. Add to that the fact that a dark roof covered in snow is, effectively, a white reflective roof.

TRUTH: A snow-covered black roof reflects the suns ray’s but in the summer, it becomes a heat-absorbing sponge.

COOL ROOFS ARE CHANGING THE ROOFING INDUSTRY:

Commercial buildings are benefiting from cool roof savings throughout the USA, even in Northern climates, and that is fundamentally shifting the roofing marketplace. For example, EPDM was the most popular single-ply membrane in the industry in 2003. Today, TPO makes up over 50% of the single-ply market. 

GAF offers a wide range of cool roofing technologies including... 

Single Ply – available in both TPO and PVC, single-ply membranes are the most commonly installed roofing technologies due to the speed of installation and the variety of systems available
EverGuard® TPO
EverGuard Extreme® TPO
EverGuard® Freedom™ TPO
EverGuard® PVC 

Asphaltic – available in BUR, APP, and SBS, asphaltic systems are great, time-tested multi-ply systems that can be installed in a variety of systems
RUBEROID® EnergyCap™ BUR 

Coatings – available in acrylics, silicones, urethanes, PMMAs, and PVDFs, the GAF line of coatings can preserve and restore existing roofs
Roof Mate™ Elastomeric Roof Coating
Diathon® Acrylic Elastomeric Roof Coating
Unisil Silicone Roof Coating
Kymax™ PVDF Fluoropolymer Roof Coating
HydroStop® PremiumCoat® Breathable Acrylic Membrane System