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How Painting Your Roof Could Cut Your Air Conditioning Costs


Talk about getting one cool paint job.

A recently-released study from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has found that outfitting homes with a special roof coating can lead to a 30% reduction in air conditioning usage by reducing the amount of heat entering the home through the roof.

According to, the roof coating — a special reflective white paint — successfully reflects 88% of the sun’s energy. In contrast, a standard light-colored roof reflects 65% of the sun’s energy, while a more traditional dark-colored roof reflect just 17% of the sun’s rays.

The special reflective roof coating uses a combination of color and chemistry to deflect the sun’s rays. Typically, lighter-colored materials are more effective at reflecting sunlight rather than absorbing it. Because the coating has a low thermal mass, it also releases heat faster than materials with high thermal masses.

For homeowners, this translates to massive savings. By reducing the amount of heat absorbed into the home, one’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) bills can be greatly reduced.

“It really is an extraordinarily simple solution,” explained Professor John Bell, head of QUT’s School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering. “Twenty years ago, it was cheaper and easier to put in an air conditioner than to paint your roof, but not anymore.”

Best of all? Painting your roof is far from the only way to reduce the amount of money you use to power your HVAC systems. Simply keeping your attic well-ventilated can cut your HVAC bills by 10 to 12%. Investing in a programmable thermostat will also save you up to $180 each year in energy costs — and if you change your indoor air conditioner’s filters once every three months as recommended, your energy bills will fall even more.

It’s unclear when this cool roof coating will become available to homeowners, but one thing’s for certain — they stand to help people all across the world use less energy to keep their indoor air conditioners running.

What do you think about this new technology? Have any other questions for us about keeping your heating and air conditioning systems at their most efficient? Let us know in the comments.