In the quest to combat the debilitating effects that climate change is inducing on the planet, many homeowners are taking steps to create more energy-efficient homes. By creating a more eco-friendly home, not only do people do their part in minimizing their carbon footprint, but they help lower their utility bills, creating a win-win situation.
When looking into energy efficiency in the home, the HVAC system is a great place to start, as heating and cooling costs are among the primary components that lead to an elevated utility bill.
Even if you do not have the most efficient HVAC unit, there are measures you can take to limit the amount it has to work, such as ensuring that all filters are regularly replaced and that all windows and doors are properly sealed. However, taking a top-down approach is a great way to go, as quality roofing can do wonders in assisting your HVAC system.
Install or Upgrade Insulation for Your Roof
Having a well-insulated home is a goal for many homeowners on the path to energy efficiency, but, for whatever reason, many insulation efforts are focused on the walls, framing, and siding. As a significant amount of air makes its way into and out of your house through the top, having a well-sealed roof is of utmost importance in minimizing HVAC costs.
Quality roof insulation should provide a number of important benefits to your home, including:
- Sound resistance against hail and wind
- An impermeable barrier in the face of extreme outdoor conditions
- Regulatory properties that allow for a consistent indoor temperature
To this effect, polyiso insulation panels check all of the boxes. As some of the most widely used and trusted materials on the market, builders and renovators can feel confident that polyiso panels are a must-have for homeowners looking to create a more energy-efficient home and minimize HVAC costs.
Get Rid of the Asphalt Shingles
When choosing a roofing material, many builders, especially those constructing subdivisions or other mass-produced homes, turn to asphalt shingles, as they are affordable, widely available, and look good with a wide variety of sidings.
However, there are a number of problems with asphalt shingles. First, heavy winds and rains lead to granule loss. Not only does this create an unsightly mess in your gutters, but when the granules are gone, the shingles no longer have any ability to provide protection against the elements.
Furthermore, asphalt shingles are susceptible to lifting and blistering in the face of extensive wind and UV exposure, which leads to the potential for leaks in the roof that will cause HVAC costs to skyrocket.
As opposed to the limited capabilities and multiple defects of traditional asphalt, consider using synthetic shingles for your roof. These shingles provide the same aesthetic versatility and affordable price tag as asphalt shingles while giving your home added insulation and tougher UV-resisting properties, which will help you keep HVAC costs under control.
Go Synthetic When Choosing Wood Shakes
Traditional cedar shakes are a highly desirable roofing material for most homeowners, as the natural wood look is a quality that gives a home an air of distinction and character in the eyes of many. However, natural cedar shakes are costly and difficult to maintain.
As such, vinyl cedar shakes became a popular alternative, providing a more affordable option to natural wood while maintaining a similar look. Still, vinyl cedar shakes come with the following durability issues, all of which can lead to elevated HVAC costs:
- Cracking associated with expansion and contraction during temperature changes
- Moisture sneaking below the surface
- Degradation due to extensive UV exposure in areas of high sun
Like with asphalt roofing, take a look into synthetic cedar shakes. These innovative materials are virtually indistinguishable from natural cedar shakes and do not come with the limitations that vinyl does, helping you control the amount that your HVAC unit runs.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.