Arizona Roof Color: What's Best for Energy Efficiency?

Graph of solar reflectivityThe best roof color for energy efficiency (and therefore lower energy bills) is white.

White has high “solar reflectance” and is what we’d consider the “coolest” color for a roof in Arizona.

According to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), “Black surfaces in the sun can become up to 90° F hotter than the most reflective white surfaces.

Because white reflects more heat, a white-colored roof will help:

  • Increase comfort at home by reducing the heat transferred into your home
  • Cut cost by reducing the need for air conditioning
  • Decrease roof maintenance costs and increase your roof’s lifespan

You may be thinking, “But I don’t want a white roof!” Well, that’s fine! Fortunately, you have a variety of options to choose from. Just be sure to keep the following tips in mind.

Lighter Is Cooler, Darker Is Hotter

You already instinctively know when you go outside in summer that you don’t wear dark clothes because they’ll absorb more heat, and you’d secretly hate yourself all day (or not so secretly if you have a bad poker face). But you also understand that you don’t have to wear white to stay cool, you just wear something light-colored.

The same goes for your roof. Dark-colored roofs don’t reflect much heat, but you don’t need white, just light. Just remember, the darker the roof color becomes, the higher your energy bills will be —especially during Arizona’s summer.

Some good light, non-white color choices for a roof include:

  • Tan
  • Cream
  • Gray

Ventilation: the Other Important “Cool Roof” Factor

Picking the right color is just one piece of the cool roof puzzle. You also need the proper roof ventilation. Your roof’s attic needs to “breathe in” cooler outside air and “breathe out” the hot humid air. (It’s basically yoga).

There are multiple ways to accomplish this; we suggest getting a solar-powered ventilation fan, which helps pull in the cooler outside air and forces out the hotter air. Best of all, it does so using the sun—no electricity required!

Learn more: What’s the Best Way to Ventilate an Attic in Arizona?

Want More Arizona Roofing Advice? Just ask! Contact Lyons Roofing for help.