White reflextive roofs can save you 20% in energy costs

White reflextive roofs can save you 20% in energy costs

Postby Service » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:24 am

Environmental solutions are rarely black-and-white. But making roofs more reflective—basically, painting them white—may be a simple strategy for curbing climate change, experts say.
Dark roofs reflect about 10 to 20 percent of sunlight, whereas so-called cool roofs send about 70 to 80 percent of it back into the atmosphere.
A reflective-roofed house or building with 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) of roof area would offset 10 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, according to a 2008 study led by Lawrence lab scientists in the journal Climatic Change.
And it's also an energy-saving boon: White roofs cut on air-conditioning use by 20 percent, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Not to mention cooler roofs also cool down urban dwellers—which now make up half the world's population—during summer months.
That's because reflective roofs and pavements reduce sweltering city temperatures—a city can be up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) hotter than surrounding areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
These high temperatures require that buildings turn up the air conditioning and increase their energy usage, which in turn emits more pollution and degrades air quality.
The combined effect of energy and air-quality savings from increasing reflective surfaces just in the United States may exceed $2 billion a year, according to Lawrence scientists.
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