The sun tends to heat conventional roof shingles up to temperatures as high as 140 or 150 degrees F during the summer. That heat is then radiated to the attic, which reaches scorching temperatures, usually 40 to 50 degrees hotter than the outside air.
The heat in the attic then radiates through the ceiling into the living areas making your whole house uncomfortable. To make matters worse, some homes have air conditioner ducts running through the attic. Picture this: you pay for the electricity to run your air conditioner to cool the air down to 50 degrees, and then run the cold air through metallic ducts in the attic, that are baking at 150 degrees. Your air conditioner will have to work much harder to keep up, and your cooling bills will be extremely high, especially if you live in warmer areas of the U.S.
There are many things you can do to cool down your roof and your attic while relieving the burden on your air conditioner. Proper attic insulation and air sealing, will keep the heat from radiating into the living areas. A radiant heat barrier will reflect the sun's heat away from the home, and help cool down the attic.
To significantly improve conditions in the roof and attic, there is also the cool roof technology. Cool roof shingles are built with materials that reflect the sun's heat, rather than absorbing it like conventional shingles. They also come in various colors so you can have the roof color you want, without the heat absorption.
If you are building a home, or planning to replace your roof, consider cool roof technology. Contact your local Dr. Energy Saver for more information about cool roof technology, attic insulation, radiant barriers and many other options to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.