Today's homeowners are increasingly mindful of eco-friendly strategies designed to keep utility costs down. For instance, modern construction technology has made airtight windows and doors possible, which prevents significant energy loss and helps keep utility bills from skyrocketing. However, the roof is often forgotten when it comes to upgrades, modifications, and best practices designed to save money on utilities as well as lessen the overall environmental impact of the home. Fortunately, there are many easy ways that you make your roof more eco-friendly as well as save money on household utility costs — following are four of them.
Put Water Barrels at Your Downspouts
If you're like many homeowners, you may have noticed that your water bill has gone up substantially during the course of the last few years. Naturally, having clean water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and cooking is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle, but you can easily harvest rainwater that comes off your roof for watering your indoor and outdoor plants. All you have to do is place a water barrel on every downspout and empty into a larger barrel for use on your lawn, garden, flower beds, and outdoor planters and hanging baskets.
You can reduce electricity use during the daytime by installing daylighting on your roof. Unlike traditional skylights, daylighting works to distribute available light evenly throughout your home through high efficiency solar reflective tubes that draw in sunlight and then channel it to various rooms of your house.
Install Reflective Shingles
If air conditioning costs in the summer are higher than you'd like, consider installing reflective shingles on your roof. These have been found to reduce the temperature of the average roof by as much as 50 degrees and generally offer a 10-15 percent reduction in overall air conditioning costs. However, this is only a smart strategy if you live in an area where it's necessary to run your air conditioner for several months out of the year. If you live in a cold climate, ask your local roofing professional for advice on shingles that absorb heat, therefore helping keep your home interior warm and saving money on heating costs.
Update Your Insulation
The right insulation makes a huge difference in energy loss during both the cold and warm season, resulting in less use of fossil fuels. Your local residential roofing professional can inspect the existing insulation under your roof and make recommendations on upgrade options.