Heat reflective coatings (special coatings that are applied to your roof to reduce the amount of heat entering the home) sound great. Who wouldn’t want to get a cooler roof, and thus a cooler house, just by applying a coating to the roof? But – does it all sound a little too good to be true? Will a thin coat of a substance actually make that much difference to the temperature of the house? Do heat reflective coatings actually work, or is it just a whole lot of marketing hype? Let’s find out.
The problem with a hot roof
The roof of your house can get very hot in summer (and sometimes in winter too, depending where you live in Australia). In many cases, the rooftop is exposed to direct sunlight for a greater portion of the day. And a majority of the materials used to construct roofs are great conductors of heat. This means that a whole lot of energy is transferred from the sun to your roof, leading to a hot, stifling and uncomfortable internal environment.
This leads to problems. Either you can put up with living in a sauna and get used to sweating your life away in hot and humid conditions (not the best choice) or you can cool your house down. Most people chose to do so through air conditioning – in fact, we don’t even think about it. The house is hot, we put on the air conditioner – it’s a no brainer, right?
However, over-reliance on air conditioning is a significant contributor to global warming, and puts a great deal of stress on our power grid. Air conditioning increases greenhouse gas emissions and leaks hydrofluorocarbons into the air – all bad news for the environment. It’s bad news for your hip pocket, too. All that energy use adds up – and quickly, leading to soaring energy bills in hot weather.
How heat reflective coatings help
There are more solutions to heat than just putting on the air conditioning, however. Heat reflective coatings are a relatively inexpensive but quick and effective fix to the problems caused by hot roofs.
These specialised coatings reflect solar radiation and prevent the surface of the roof from heating up as much. This significantly cuts down on the amount of energy that can be transferred from the sun to your roof, thus preventing all that heat from being absorbed into your building. Your building stays cooler, and you stay more comfortable – all without having to pay for expensive air conditioning costs.
Exactly how they work to cool down your house
Heat reflective coatings work by minimising the absorption of direct energy from the sun. They deflect energy away from the building, leading to less heat entering through the ceiling. When less heat is absorbed from the roof, the temperature inside the building stays lower.
The benefits of heat reflective coatings
The application of a heat reflective coating will bring great benefits to both your house and the environment. It will save energy and money and reduce the environmental footprint of your house. As well, it has the added benefits of protecting your roof from heat damage, rust, mould and fungi, reducing the maintenance required on your roof and extending the life of the roof. You win, the environment wins – there’s really no downside to applying a heat reflective coating to your house.
So, how well do they work?
The upshot of all of this is that heat reflective coatings are very effective at reducing the temperature of your home, and thus your energy costs. Recent studies have shown that reflective roof coatings can reduce summer energy costs by up to 67%, depending on the individual situation of the building. They reflect up to 80% of solar radiation, and significantly minimise surface heat, effectively reducing both exterior and interior temperatures of the building.
So yes, heat reflective coatings do live up the hype surrounding them, and can lead to significant energy and cost savings, as well as increased comfort (and a lighter conscience). In most situations, a heat reflective coating is well worth considering.
Contact us here to find out more about how a heat reflective coating can benefit your home or workplace.