Maintaining a comfortable home year-round costs less when its energy efficiency is high. While insulation, Energy Star appliances, and an airtight structure all help, so does its exterior color.
Colors absorb or reflect heat. By some estimations, a dark exterior absorbs 90 percent of the heat from the sunshine that strikes it. Light colors reflect the heat, which keeps the building cooler.
Portland has more heating degree days on average than cooling, which means that your home needs more heating than cooling.
Unless you prefer cooler indoor temperatures year-round, your choices for exterior colors are broad in this climate. Neutral to darker hues will warm your home during the heating season, which lasts longer and requires more energy than summer cooling.
Why Colors Matter
Matching colors to the local climate does contribute to the home’s overall energy efficiency. If you live east of Portland in a lower elevation, more solar radiation will strike your home and roof, and summer temperatures are warmer. Lighter exterior colors and roofing materials will cut some of the heat gain that occurs in the summer.
Conversely, a home closer to the coast with a dark roof and exterior will absorb more heat, making the home easier to warm in the winter. The sun’s heat will warm the exterior that will penetrate through the walls and into the rooms.
Benefits of an Efficient Home
Optimizing your home for efficiency cuts energy costs and reduces the wear and tear on your heating and cooling system. Besides lower electric and gas bills, your system may require fewer repairs and could last longer. HVAC systems use the most energy and are the most expensive appliance in the typical home.
If painting your home isn’t in your plans, you can increase its energy efficiency by having your HVAC system serviced by a pro annually to maximize its performance. For more information, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, serving Portland-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).