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Workers install a white roof in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo courtesy of US Department of Energy.

Raise the (White) Roof

 
There's a move afoot (or well, over-head), to encourage you to make your dark roof, white. Nobel laureate physicist and Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is on a campaign to cut Americans' air conditioning costs (which has the side benefit of reducing global warming), by advising you to paint your roof white.

So far California, Georgia and Florida are encouraging builders to install white roofs on commercial buildings. But critics say that white roofs in cooler climates create higher heating bills in the winter.

Is this something that would work for you? According to About.com, painting a 2,000 square foot roof will require about 14 gallons on the first coat, costing about $482 using HyperGlass Cool Top Coat (shipping not included). A second coat would require seven gallons, costing around $241.

And how much savings would result? If you know the technical details, you can calculate the payback with an energy calculator from the Department of Energy. Warm weather readers, we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.



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