Five Reflective Substances That Can Lower Your AC Bill

In the summer, the sun is your biggest enemy when it comes to lowering your AC energy bill. If you could just prevent the sun from soaking into all the surfaces of your house, the inside would stay cool all day long. That's why it's such a good idea to use reflective substances and coatings to repel the light rays and thermal rays that your home is constantly absorbing. Here are five reflective tools you can use to lighten the load on your AC system and reduce energy usage. 

1. Window coatings

Since windows can account for a considerable percentage of the heat increase in your home each day, using multiple strategies to keep them cool is a sensible plan. You can use shade, shutters, and drapes, and choose either window tinting or a specialized reflective coating to repel any sunlight that still reaches the window. Contact a local outlet, such as Simply Cool USA, for further assistance.

2. Naturally reflective roofing

If you've ever touched a black asphalt roof on a sunny day, you probably can imagine how much heat it may build up. Reflective roofing materials, such as metal or tile, can be an important part of creating a "cool roof" to reduce heat buildup in your attic.

3. Cool roof coating

Cool roof coatings are specially formulated to reflect not only the sun's light but also any thermal rays that hit your roof, decreasing its temperature considerably. Manufacturers don't recommend coating shingle roofs, though (the construction of shingle, with all the tiny granules, means that any type of coating can reduce its effectiveness) and if you apply it to asphalt shingle roofing it may void your warranty, so be sure to check up on that before you make up your mind if your current roof is asphalt shingle.

4. Cool wall paint

You can paint your walls white to make them more reflective and prevent the heat absorption associated with a dark-colored surface. Or, if white walls aren't your style, you can buy a specialized variety of paint that reflects infrared rays to decrease wall temperature while still coming in a variety of attractive colors.

5. Reflective barrier

Reflective barriers can be remarkably effective, but you have to be careful to install them correctly. For example, it doesn't work to install the reflective barrier directly under shingles; there has to be an air space  between the shingles and the reflective layer. They're also less effective when simply placed on the attic floor, but if you install them correctly (ideally by using a qualified installation expert) they can reduce your cooling costs by up to ten percent.

These five reflective materials are all great tools for keeping your home cooler in summer. Although some of them have limited application (such as the cool roof coating that's best used on less-common types of roofs such as metal), using as many of them as possible can help protect you and your AC energy bill from the full force of the summer sun.