Dark vs Light Colored Roof Shingles: Which is Best for Cooling Costs

Trying to decide between dark and light colored shingles for your home?

Dark roofs are striking and are becoming increasingly popular. Despite their curb appeal, we still hear concerns from customers worrying that darker roofs will affect their air-conditioning costs in the summer. 

dark vs light colored roof shingles

Does Darker Colored Roofs Increase Cooling Costs?

It is true that darker-colored shingles get warmer than lighter-colored shingles. A completely black shingle will increase the attic temperature by about 8-10 degrees, when compared to a completely white shingle. However, when it comes to the grays, browns, and tans, choosing a black shingle will only increase the attic temperature by about 2-3 degrees.

What’s most important to keep in mind, however, is that even an 8-10 degree difference in your attic temperature will not necessarily increase the temperature of your living space. In fact, for traditionally constructed homes, the temperature of the shingle has virtually NO effect on your air conditioning use.

woman reviewing cooling costs on her utility bill

Why? Most homes have an attic and on the attic floor, a layer of insulation. Insulation works by trapping air in bulky, lightweight material and air is a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, insulation slows the transfer of heat from one area (your attic) to another (your living space). In addition to the effects of insulation, attics also tend to be well-vented, further reducing the transfer of the heat from the roof into your living space.

Deciding Between Dark vs Light Colored Shingles

We recommend that you choose a shingle color that best compliments your home, rather than choosing one based on how it will affect your attic temperature. At the end of the day, the debate between dark vs light shingle colored roof shingles should really be about your color preference and curb-appeal over cooling costs. But, if you are a big fan of dark shingles, you can rest easy knowing proper ventilation and insulation will ensure the color has no effect on heating costs! 

roof replacement

Doing What is Best for Your Home

Color is just one of the many factors of choosing the right shingle for your home. While color is important to the aesthetics and overall curb appeal, the roofing material you choose will play a greater role in performance and longevity of your roof.

Once you find the best roofing shingle for your home, it is time to find a quality roofer to install your new roof. Finding a contractor you can trust is probably the most important factor when getting a new roof because this will determine how effective your roofing system will be for year to come.

The good news is, there are plenty of quality roofing contractors like Apple Roofing who is trusted, experienced, and has a workmanship guarantee to ensure you are happy with your roofs performance. If you would like to learn more about why homeowners prefer working with Apple Roofing, check out our website or contact us today!

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