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Solar reflective roofing materials

Solar reflective shingles are an energy-efficient alternative to standard roofing materials. According to, reflective shingles can reduce a building’s interior temperature by 50°F, thereby reducing annual energy costs.

The reflective nature of these roofs, Mostly due to material or color, shields your home from harmful solar energy and creates a more comfortable environment. Traditional black or gray asphalt shingles absorb a lot of heat from the sun, making it difficult for your HVAC system to cool your home efficiently. There are a variety of colors and types of shingles to choose from, and the best part is that they cost roughly the same as standard dark shingles. Prior to installing a new roof or upgrading an existing one, careful planning is essential.

How these roofing shingles function

Solar energy is the sun’s heat, which is a collection of radiations. Infrared, visible, and ultraviolet rays can be reflected back up into the atmosphere when they strike your home. Lighter hues can reflect sunlight from a roof. White is widespread and can reflect up to 90 percent of solar energy. However, nearly half of the radiation is invisible and cannot be blocked by color alone.

Specialized pigments added to roofing materials can reflect up to sixty percent of invisible radiation. Therefore, it is essential to consult a professional regarding the best shingles for your home.

Solar Reflectance (SR) is the amount of solar radiation reflected by a roof, whereas Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) is SR adjusted for the home’s Thermal Emittance.

The three primary factors that determine a roof’s ability to shield a home from the sun are:

Absorption – The amount of heat that your roof absorbs and transfers into your home.

Reflectance – The amount of radiation that returns to the atmosphere after bouncing off the roof.

Emittance – The amount of heat that is expelled from a home’s attic.

Solar reflectance is assigned a numerical value between 0.0 and 1.0, where 1.0 corresponds to 100 percent reflectance and 0% heat absorption. Emittance is measured on the same scale, and a value of 1 indicates that no heat is entering the home.

Advantages of Reflective Roof Shingles

Reflective shingles benefit not only the homeowner, but also the neighborhood, city, and planet. How could this be? The Heat Island Effect is one aspect. Numerous homes, concrete structures, and other buildings in urban areas consume solar energy. This energy is stored and contributes to an increase in the community’s average temperature. Due to this Effect, larger cities with multiple urban areas experience an increase in the infrastructure of the entire city.

Advantages for homeowners include:

lowered energy costs as a result of less cooling load

extending the life of your air conditioning system

Increased levels of domestic comfort

Reduced roof temperatures, which may extend the roof’s life and reduce maintenance costs.

Depending on your location and the available rebates, you may qualify for utility rebates.

Reducing the Heat Island Effect requires more than one home, but upgrading to a cool roof has numerous benefits for your community. These are just a few:

Bringing down the temperature in your community and surrounding areas

Reduction of air pollutants, which travel further as outdoor temperatures increase.

Reduction of power outages by helping to reduce electricity demand, particularly on extremely hot days, which in turn reduces emissions from power plants and lowers the community’s average temperature.

Reflective Roofing Shingles

Most shingle types offer a cool option, allowing you to retain the patterns and colors you desire while enjoying a cooler and more cost-effective home. Consider these options when selecting shingles.


There is a fiberglass web that surrounds asphalt shingles. Choose a light-colored shingle; if a darker hue is desired, apply granules to the shingles’ surface. These granules will absorb heat and contribute to the roof’s overall reflectivity. It is not advised to apply the granules to already-installed shingles. Consider installing new shingles to achieve the maximum effect, as this may cause moisture problems or void your warranty.


If you possess wooden shingles, you are fortunate. Assuming the roof has been properly maintained and is undamaged, their color is already optimal for cooling your home in the majority of cases.


You would believe that metal shingles and tiles would be ideal for heat reflection, and you would be correct, but they are terrible thermal emitters. A reflective coating can be applied to them, but this is not the best option. Metal shingles with baked-in paint are significantly more effective against solar radiation.


These contribute to the Heat Island Effect in the same way that metal shingles do. They can be painted or covered with granules, but it is preferable to replace them with shingles with factory-injected pigment.


Polymer shingles are a simple way to cool your roof. Simply request that the roofer add cool-colored pigments to the shingles before they are installed.

The professionals at AGR are well-versed in all types of roofing materials. Whether you are looking for standard or cooling shingles, we can assist you. We have over 20 years of experience and have installed hundreds of roofs in the region.

We guarantee that you will not have to worry about your roof after we have left your home. You can rest easy and get a good night’s sleep knowing your family is safe and comfortable because you contacted the industry’s absolute best.

We can assist with all aspects of roof design and installation. Contact us if you have any questions regarding your insurance, the type of roofing that would work best for your home, or if you’d like a fair estimate.

In This Article...

Key Takeaways

Roof Materials to help with heating and cooling costs in Omaha

  • Lighter color roof shingles reflect the suns rays better than traditional dark asphalt roof shingles
  • Composite roof shingles come in a variety of colors and looks
  • Alternate materials to traditional asphalt shingles, like metal roofs are a good choice for reflecting sunlight

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