Will Dark Shingles Actually Increase the Temperature of your Home?

A Case Study Of The Effects Of Light And Dark Colored Shingles On Living Space

In 2019 I meet a woman who wanted to change her shingle and house color from a very light colored shingle to something much darker. Since she was getting the roof done she also wanted to paint the house a new and exiting color. This is a bit of a special case, because homeowners usually make small changes or just get the same color. She had lived in the house for some time and had the chance to know what her monthly expenses were for heating and cooling over several years. These facts make her the perfect anecdotal case to see if a dark color shingle actually effected the living condition of the the home. 

She went with a really cool looking slate blue with white trim for the primary and secondary paint colors on the house. The shingle color she choose was  the darkest shingle we had to offer The Charcoal black from GAF. BY the time she was done her home was one of best looking on the block. The contrast of the blue and ash white trim really popped and the almost completely black roof capped the who project off. I was very happy to be a part of the restoration. 

I ran in to her again while doing some errands in late 2020 and asked how the roof was doing and if she still liked her choices in color. She was still very exited about the changes she made. I thought she would be the perfect person to answer the question “Does going from a light color shingle to something much darker actually affect the heating and/or cooling cost of the home. She mentioned that it does make a noticeable difference in the living space of the home, but it is debatable as to whether the difference is good or bad.

According to the Sheila, staying cool in the summer did cost more by about 10%, but staying warm in the winter cost less by about the same amount. I asked her if she thought it ended up being more or less expensive and she said “I’m pretty sure I broke even really, but I love the color and I’m so proud to show off my home.”

To me this makes sense because of the climate we have here in Colorado. We get about the same number of warm months as we do cold months so the cost should balance out. The same is probably not true in a south and southwest states like Texas, Arizona, or Nevada. Up North a darker color could even be a benefit as you are trying to stay as warm as you can in the icy winter months. I think Sheila had the right idea though. 

What is most important is making sure you are happy with the look of the home you invest in. If you are constantly asking yourself what could have been did you really do yourself any favors? I think not. None the less though, there you have it, a year long study of shingle color and its affect on the utility cost and living space of the home. 

I hope this helps.