Rescue Your Energy Bill: Check Your Roof
- September 19, 2014
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For those who have been watching the ongoing climate debate about global warming, the increasingly hot summer months are a poignant reminder of that phenomenon whenever the monthly power bill arrives in the mailbox.
As the mercury edges towards the top of the thermostat, the cost of cooling your home could be "going through the roof"- what many may not realize, however, is that this may be partly caused by an inefficient roofing system. When you contemplate ways to lower your energy consumption, in addition to lowering the thermostat a degree of two, you should also check the condition of your roof.
While we generally contemplate a roof replacement only when water is pouring through a noticeable hole, savvy homeowners are now seeing a quality roof as a way of stemming massive energy losses through the holes that they can't see.
Rising Summer Power Bills
With rising summer temperatures come the ever-rising summer power bills. According to the 2014 Farmer's Almanac, in a trend that is expected to continue, the summers are only going to continue to get hotter in the years to come as the planet continues to warm.
With average summer power bills of nearly $400 last year, the United States Energy Information Administration reports that a large portion of American's monthly income is being eaten up by efforts to stay cool. Luckily, numerous options exist for scaling those power expenditures back to a more manageable level.
The Hidden Costs of an Inefficient Roofing System
As mentioned, we tend to give our roofs a hard look only when there is water, or daylight, pouring through an obvious hole in our ceiling. More insidious, however, are the non-obvious weaknesses of a roofing system that can be a drain to your home's energy. Periodic roof inspections are a good idea in general, but focusing those efforts on finding energy-saving solutions is a smart way to kill two birds with one stone.
Ways to Make Your Roof & Attic Energy Efficient
Heat rises, and getting the hot air out of your attic is a precondition for having your house operate energy efficiently. Your roof should be installed with proper ventilation in mind; a roof replacement, however, is not always necessary. For those homes with a lot of mileage still on their roof, perhaps an insulation job is all that is required to reign in high summer utility bills.
Roofing expert Jason Bonner from Bonner Built Roofing in Atlanta, Georgia says the roof and attic are systems that work together, and the key is to utilize proper ventilation and insulation to keep your attic as cool as possible.
"The best way for the attic and roof to work together is to have your roof installed with a lighter color," Bonner explains. "The extremely light colors aren't always the prettiest, but there are many colors that work greatly." For the best ventilation, he recommends soffit vents and ridge vents.
"I like the continuous soffit vents and the ridge vent to be installed on all ridges. If you don't have the long ridges then you can use turbines spaced on back slope up at the peak. The more airflow you have, the cooler the attic will be," he says.
Bonner says that the last variable in the equation is twenty inches of insulation. There are other ways to insulate, but this is the most common and cost effective.
"This will prevent any hot air from coming into the home and will also trap the cool or warm air in the home. Insulation is imperative."
Proactively seeing to the health of your roofing system is what professional roofing companies do on a daily basis. As such, they will do a complete inspection of your roofing system prior to presenting you with a range of options, which can lead to a dramatically lower power bill.