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Question DetailsAsked on 6/10/2013

Do black shingles make a house hotter?

I want to continue with my tradition of having black shingles, but now people are telling me I'm crazy. Never felt like it was making it hotter, because the air unit is too small for the house anyway. That is the problem. I just need someone that can truly bust the black is hotter, idea. Thank you!

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Black does indeed absorb more heat and it will make your attic hotter. There are some black metal roofs available with reflective pigment meeting Energy Star guidelines.

To help save on energy, things like increased attic floor insulation, increased attic ventilation, roofing materials with above sheathing ventilation, radiant barriers, light colored roofing, and roofing with reflective pigment can be beneficial. Also, roofing with lower mass such as metal roofing will not hold the heat as much and continue to radiate it into the attic even after the sun is down.

the 25(C) federal tax credits are available to the purchases of Energy Star metal roofing (check with the individual manufacturer for verification).


Answered 6 years ago by AskToddMiller


Yes, black will be hotter. However, except for reflective coated shingles (some Energy Star rated shingles, for instance) or white or bare metal, there is only about a 10-15% difference in the amount of energy absorbed between black and say a tan or beige, and only a few percent between black and a gray, red, dark blue, green, or brown. The difference in your attic temperature is likely to be on the order of 10-20 degrees F - maybe noticeable, but not a dramatic increase.

Even a reflective coated shingle does not make that much diffference unless it is metallic surfaced - which of course the neighbors would LOVE !

The best thing you can do about heat from the shingles is attic ventilation - full eave access for airflow, and full-length ridge vent, and if in a very sun-exposed hot area, perhaps a thermostat-controlled attic ventilation fan.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


A little more follow up to my earlier response. Here is a link to studies done over several years at Florida Solar Energy Center showing average mid-attic temperatures in identical test cells beneath different types of roofing materials: http://www.classicmetalroofingsystems...

Todd Miller

Answered 6 years ago by AskToddMiller


Black does melt snow better,,, See my blog on a radiant barrier inside the attic, would be happy to show you MY utility bill one year after I installed the same.

Jim Casper Old Energy Conservation Guru

ps It was halved comparing 2010 to 2011 same life>

pps I dont sell them, I am a gutter cover and gutter contractor


Answered 6 years ago by jccasper

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