You see the phrase, “Go Green” in relation to energy efficiency all the time. But, green isn’t the only color that is energy efficient. I recently ran across this article, Color is Capable of making Interior Spaces more Energy-Efficient, catchy title so I just had to read it.
In the article it said, “color specifications can help lead to more energy-efficient spaces.” I love color in a home, but I have never given any thought of how color is a way to save energy.
The third paragraph talks about how it is a documented fact that roof color can influence interior temperatures. Use the right color with the right reflective qualities and you can reduce energy use by 23%. Now, I am intrigued so I look it up. This article on, 3 Ways to make your roof more energy-efficient, basically says “Cool roofs are lighter in color than traditional black asphalt or dark wood shingles and save energy by reflecting light and heat away rather than absorbing them. This is known as “the albedo effect,” and many studies have documented significant energy savings from simply lightening the color of a roof.” It goes onto to say, “The problem with dark roofs: The temperature outside may be 95 degrees, which is plenty hot, but your dark roof is conducting a much higher temperature down toward you and your family, making the rooms below hotter and forcing the air conditioner to work harder.” Makes sense. But, here in the Pacific Northwest we just don’t get hot enough, in fact, with our moderate temperatures the darker roofs do better by retaining heat.
Then there is interior coloring. It is common knowledge that ‘color’ plays a significant role and influences our mental state. Personally, I tend to be drawn to warmer and darker colors, but they aren’t always practical in our environment. The article says, ‘In a study from the Environmental Protection Agency, it was reported that 25 per cent of electricity costs in the United States are due to interior lighting. Therefore, more lighting is required for rooms with dark walls than those with light walls. For ceilings, it’s better to keep them bright and light for good reflectance.” So maybe I should lighten up on the color? Though, dark colored rooms are necessary sometimes, an example would be, a home theater room. You want darker colors so the color absorbs light while watching a movie.
In this article, Color Matters, it goes into some statistics on color and energy and says, “A tip for saving on heating and cooling costs: The color of a room will affect your perception of temperature,” and goes onto explaining how and why. Just more to think about when choosing colors for our home or business.
Go Green, it isn’t our only color choice for saving energy, but before you choose a color, maybe reflect on how it will save you energy.