How to Keep Cool in the Summer

Did you know that your roof can make a big difference in the temperature inside your house? It’s an important consideration when choosing a roof for a new home, addition, or when reroofing.

Although summers in Maine are short and sweet, you still want your roof to reflect the sun’s heat. Depending on the material and color of your roof it could make a drastic difference on the temperature of your house. According to, “Standard or dark roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50°F cooler and save energy and money by using less air conditioning.” A cool roof will reduce your energy bills and might enable you to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without the noise or drafts of air conditioning.

Light colors reflect light, while dark colors absorb it and turn it into heat, so light-colored shingles and metal roofing keep your home cooler than dark ones. Some asphalt shingles use special mineral granules that are more efficient at reflecting light than standard shingles. There are also shingles that retain their light color longer, while others darken more rapidly with age.

It’s not all about light reflectance. All roofing materials will convert some light into heat, but some do it more readily than others and hold that heat longer. The material’s ability to release heat is known as thermal emittance. A roof with lower thermal emittance holds more of the heat in that it has absorbed during the day, and it may require you to run the A/C longer at night than one with higher thermal emittance (i.e., one that gives up its heat more quickly).

Shingles that get hotter and hold heat longer tend to break down more quickly than cooler ones. It can make a difference of several years to your roof’s appearance and longevity. Roofing materials that reflect light and emit heat efficiently may qualify for Energy Star rating, similar to home appliances that use energy efficiently.

Even in Maine, summers get hot enough to make homes uncomfortable, especially if the roof isn’t helping matters. Fortunately, summer is also the best time to replace a roof. To learn more about your options for energy-efficient roofing in the Midcoast, call Horch Roofing at 207-273-1111.