Some neat features on this blog are inspired by dreams. Others are inspired by necessity. And still others are inspired by the cold hard reality of a leaking roof. That’s where I found myself recently – with an unexpected expense and an unexpected series of decisions to make.
Now living in Cincinnati we live in a weird temperature climate for making certain technical housing decisions such as insulation, moisture barrier, and roof color. As we all know, darker color absorbs more heat, while lighter colors reflect heat.
Since I live in a 100 year old house, without any insulation in the ceiling of the finished attic, my house really feels the swings from the brutal Cincinnati summers and the bitter Cincinnati winters. And whether I like it or not, the color of my roof makes a difference. If I go with a dark shingle, I will save on heating costs – but at the price of not being able to use my third floor in the summer. The flip side is a more live-able attic during the summer, but higher heating prices in the winter.
Not exactly a winning selection of choices!
Fortunately for some (although not for me) scientists may be coming to the rescue with heat-responsive color-changing shingles. Say that three times fast!
These tiles will reflect about 80% of the sunlight in the summer (and only 30% during the winter.) Meaning your cooling bills might be reduced by about 20%.
While these tiles are probably a few years from market, they still represent a great blend of technology and functionality. Plus, who doesn’t like the idea of spending less on heating and cooling costs?
Now if only my roof could change colors….