Energy Efficient Paints For Your Home?

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Does The Color Of Your Home Or Roof Matter For Energy Savings?

There are paints on the market that claim to insulate your home. For the most part these products have been proven to be largely ineffective. Supposedly, ceramic insulating paint works on the same principle as the tiles on the exterior of the space shuttle, forming a radiant barrier against heat.  Evidence that these so called “insulating paints” really work is largely anecdotal, and the  product websites often cite studies done on radiant barriers below the roof, not on house paint, and hint that their miracle insulating paint works the same way.  Most of these companies are out to take your money and many have been in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.  Some of these products do show some positive cooling effects, but choosing a cooler paint color is cheaper.

This house is the ideal color for California or Texas, but not for Minnesota.

One thing that really does work in terms of an energy saving house paint choice, is to pick a color that either helps your home absorb heat or reflect heat, depending on where you live.

White, The Most Energy Efficient Paint Color For Warm Climates

For example, if you live in the south or southwest, you may have noticed that most older homes are painted white. This is not simply because white is a cheap house paint color, it is because white paint helps reflect the sun’s rays.  Only after air conditioning was invented did homes in the south and west start to use darker paint colors.   The whiter the paint, the more solar radiation is reflected.  White is widely considered the coolest house paint color for homes.  Conversely, in cold climates you may have noticed more brown, red and tan homes. This is because dark colors have been proven over time to absorb more heat. Industry has know the benefits of energy absorbing or reflecting paint colors for years.  In the oil and gas industry, companies learned long ago that crude oil tanks painted black collected more heat, which prevented the buildup of paraffin on the tank walls.  Dark colors are used for solar collectors around the world. You can make your entire home a solar collector, if you live in a cold climate, by painting it a darker color.

Color Of Roof Matters For Energy Saving

Silver and white are the coolest roof colors. It has been found that a white metal roof can be up to forty degrees (F), cooler than a black asphalt roof. When building a new home,  think energy efficient roof colors. Also, the more ventilation you have in your attic the better off you are.  You can use solar powered roof fans, seen here on to keep your attic cooler.

When it is time to repaint your home,  think energy efficient paint colors that make sense for your climate. Insulating paints really don’t work as well as they are advertised. You are better off choosing an energy efficient paint color than a special additive.

Trees Help Keep Homes Cool

In addition to choosing an energy efficient paint color,  try to plant trees that shade the home in summer yet lose their leaves in fall to allow winter sun to strike the home.

So, to answer the question, “what is the most energy efficient house paint color?”, it depends on what climate you live in. Darker colors work better in the north, while lighter colors work better in the south.  House paint color really matters for saving energy.

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