Painting Roof White Saves Electricity Costs By 40 Percent, I Don’t Think So

white-roofYou know how solar power is being touted as the savior to mother earth and the answer to the worlds problems. I love solar and think by 2050 solar may very well power the entire planet as we utilize 1 % of the earth as a gigantic solar generation plant.

For right now though if the claim that painting your roof white can save a home owner 40 percent on their energy bill why don’t we do this first prior to paying $30,000 – $50,000 on a total off-grid solar system?

Well in reality 40 % is an extreme scenario that almost is never achieved by painting ones roof. In fact for most people who live in the sun-belt region of Texas you might reduce your overall electricity costs by about 10 – 20 percent.

The roof painting scheme works the best for one story houses and with homes that are already lacking good insulation and other modern insulation building considerations. The reason it might actually save you 40% is if your house is basically not even insulated and so in that case the paint will in fact do wonders on its own. Even still you might save 40 % but your electric bill might still run $200 a month because you still don’t have insulation in the attic.

Newer houses that have low ceilings or even high ceilings, good vented attics, and hopefully some nice shade trees above head will experience modest savings by painting the roof white.

I am not anti-solar or anti-roof painting but I love pointing out irrational bogus claims and giving you the real facts of the matter. I am certainly not going to buy a bunch of paint and paint my roof white for a 10 percent energy savings.

You better believe I would be up their painting the roof if 40 percent savings was actually reachable. I would take that extra $50 a month and put it into a retirement account and let that nest egg build.

roofOver 90 percent of the buildings in the world have dark painted roofs and I consider that a real shame if 40 % energy savings is to be had. Considering that the real savings is more like 10 – 20 percent it is still wrong that building engineers missed this for so many years and we are just now seeing the light.

Dark roofs actually absorb more heat from the sun than their white counterparts which causes them to get piping hot. If you were to walk bare footed on one of these black topped roofs like I did as a kid at, Andy Woods Elementary, you would certainly know what I am talking about.

A black roof can actually increase in temperature by more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit while the white ones increase by only 10 – 25 degrees above ambient air temperature. Now imagine how hot the attic gets and then think about the air conditioning system having to work extra hard to cool a house that has to work against that type of heat.

Your annual energy savings on your electric bill will be in the 10 – 20 percent range for most of us although there are a few of you that could see 40 percent. It simply depends on what kind of house you have and how efficient it is already.

Even though I am slightly down on some of the goofy white roof project zealots in regards to some misleading numbers of 40 % I am still very optimistic about white roofs and the project. Don’t let these miscalculations prevent you from doing something as simple as this to reduce your electricity costs but at the same time don’t stop pointing out mistakes either. 🙂 It’s a first start in energy efficiency when considering price per kilowatt hour saved and a heck of a lot cheaper than solar panels.

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