Shingle Energy Efficiency and Albedo- How Reflective is your Roof?

A dark-coloured roof can bring summer’s heat indoors. Specialty reflective shingles bounce heat away from a roof, suitable for southern climates, but it means higher heating bills during Canada’s winters. For Canadians, the best energy-efficient shingle is simply a light-coloured, thick one.

The best choice for our Canadian climate is a light-coloured, architectural or laminated shingle. By choosing the longest-lasting shingle available, in a light tone, you can feel good knowing you’ve prioritized the environment and your long-term savings.

Read Forest City Roofing’s article ‘The Best Energy Efficient Roof in London ON’


Roof shingles and albedo:

Albedo is a scientific term that is summarized as the ability of an object to reflect light. It answers how dark roof colours absorb and magnify the sun’s harsh rays, forcing you to pay more for air conditioning, and in turn, contribute to climate warming.

When you think of a standard 15-year asphalt roof a trend that needs revisiting is that toward darker pigments. Many shingle manufacturers have added tiny shards of reflective glass into their asphalt shingles as a way of increasing their albedo, a slight adjustment that without, these shingles would be even more overheated than they are now.

When asphalt shingles absorb the sun’s direct energy, the shingles heat up, which then transfers to the attic’s framework.

Choosing a lighter shade of asphalt roof can help a lot.

Lighter shades of asphalt roofs still absorb too much heat, but they are at least better at reflecting heat than dark-coloured shingles. Ceramic, slate, and metal roofs are better at reflecting light than their asphalt cousins, though they may be much more expensive to purchase and install.


Are you considering a new roof? Ask us about lighter coloured shingles that will suit the colouring of your home, help your pocketbook, and be more kind to our environment.

Call us at the number below, ask us for a quote online, or visit our roofing page.



Radiant barriers and specialty reflective shingles are used in southern climates but are less helpful for winter climates:

A radiant barrier is commonly used as insulation in hot climates, often placed in attics or right under the roof foundation. These barriers are made up of highly reflective metal/other materials, resembling tin foil coated along the underside of the roof. While this seems bizarre, there is a scientific reason why a reflective material without contact with the sun can reduce the heat accumulated in shingles.

leading shingle manufacturers have put science to work creating shingles that are highly reflective (high in albedo qualities), crucial for homes closer to the equator. This move will help alleviate the over-heating of those communities.

However, this highly reflective specialty shingle works against energy efficiency in climates that experience winter weather.


Forest City Roofing are trained professionals that can assist with any roofing-related need you have.

Please call us at (519) 659 6937.

May 18, 2020

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