When choosing the best color for your asphalt shingles, you might be considering aesthetics and how they blend with the siding and the general landscape. Although the color of roof shingles affects the beauty of a property, does the color also impact the temperature and energy of your home, which begs the question, ‘do black roofs attract more heat?

More than 95% of the time there is not a measurable difference in house temperature when comparing shingle colors. The best rule of thumb is to pick your favorite color shingle and go with it.

Let’s see how much a roof’s color affects your home’s temperature and what color you should choose.

How much hotter is a dark roof?

The difference in air temperature in an attic under dark colored roof shingles is between 8 and 10 degrees compared to lighter roofs. On paper, the difference sounds significant, but would you notice the difference walking into an attic that’s 900 F and another that’s 980 F? Probably not because they will both be uncomfortably hot.

The same logic applies during winter except with the colors reversed. Although dark colors absorb heat and might be a little warmer, the warmth isn’t sufficient to affect the insulation. Every roof will be covered in snow if it’s snowing, and the attic air will be cold.

Does roof color affect energy bills?

Although lighter roofs record lower temperatures than dark colored roofs, neither will help you save on energy billsPictures of roofers installing a dark roof as good insulation will. Adequate insulation and ventilation in your home reduce the heat that penetrates and escapes during summer and winter, respectively, resulting in better energy efficiency.

The area climate and property type will determine the insulation material used. Several options to choose from include:

  • Cotton batting
  • Fiberglass
  • Foam

Does roof material affect home temperature?

Aside from roof color and insulation, roofing material impacts how much heat your home absorbs. For instance, asphalt roofs have a Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of 30% for light roofs and slightly lower for darker roofs.

On the other hand, metal roofs have an SRI of 70%. With the difference in SRI ratings, a dark brown metal roof keeps a building cooler and helps reduce more energy costs than tan asphalt shingles.

Can black roofs melt the snow?

Since darker colored shingles absorb more heat than lighter colored shingles, it might help in melting minute amounts of snow. However, you should not rely on black roofs to melt snow as the difference they make is small.

Also, bear in mind that even a darker roof is cold and covered in snow during winter. As such, the roofs aren’t warm enough to melt snow, and with the snow covering, the black roofs transform into a lighter roof and reflect heat. As such, it doesn’t matter if you have a black or lighter roof in winter.

What are cool roofs?

Cool roofs are made to reflect rays from the sun and absorb minimal heat. In comparison to traditional roofs, cool roofs have a high solar reflectance meaning they reflect more rays than traditional roofing. Moreover, their high thermal emittance helps them radiate heat into the air instead of your home.

Roofer on Light Colored Roof

The main advantage of cool roofing systems is that homeowners can expect to use less energy to cool their homes. In hot seasons, traditional roofs, regardless of color, can be as hot as 1500 F– 1800 F, while a cool roof is between 50 and 600 F cooler under the same solar heat.

Do black shingles wear out faster than lighter shingles?

Excessive curling causes shingles to wear out fast, usually half their normal life expectancy. This curling is caused by a difference in air temperature under and above the shingles due to poor roof ventilation and insulation in the attic.

While the color of your roof has little to do with this, dark roofs absorb and retain more heat and UV rays than light colored roofs. As such, a dark roof can wear out a little faster than a light roof.

Which is Better A Dark Roof or a Light Colored Roof?

The response isn’t straight forward as you’d hope.

You see, lighter roofs might appear better to keep your house cool in summer, while dark roofs are better for winter. However, the effect they have on house temperature is minimal. Your best bet of ensuring your air conditioner operates efficiently and saving energy is through insulation and better ventilation.

All in all, the perfect roof color for your home boils down to preference and aesthetics with the environment in mind.

You should consult with roofing pros at Dunsmore Exteriors to help you pick the best color and energy-efficient roofing materials for your home.