In times like these, one has to wonder why more houses and businesses don’t have “cool” reflective roofs, which are roof surfaces that reflect the sun’s radiant energy back into space. Conventional asphalt shingles absorb most of this energy and convert it into heat, leading to higher costs for air conditioning, especially in warm climates. But it doesn’t have to be this way – specially designed white roofs can reflect almost all of the sun’s energy and reduce cooling expenses dramatically. Some companies even offer dark-colored asphalt shingles that look virtually the same as conventional shingles, but they still reflect large amounts of solar radiation. They do this by absorbing visible light but reflecting the radiation we cannot see, namely infrared and ultraviolet. Cool roofs last longer than “un-cool” roofs because they don’t experience as much expansion and contraction. True, they cost a bit more, but not nearly as much as other energy-saving endeavors, such as solar panels and geothermal systems. To find out more, check out our new article on cool roofs.