Green roofs mean big savings

Everyone is concerned about energy costs these days and one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in your home is to ensure that your roof and ceilings are properly insulated so that the interior stays at a constant, comfortable temperature.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes: “The reduction in your heating and cooling energy requirements will cut hundreds of rands a year off your electricity bills.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says roof insulation mainly comes in the form of a reflective, foil based product that reflects radiant heat and stops the home from becoming too hot in summer, whereas ceiling insulation is mainly in the form of thermal batts or blankets made from fibreglass, rockwool or paper that prevent heat loss in winter.

“And the most important consideration in selecting the proper insulation is its R-value – the measure of how effective a material is at resisting heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance there is to heat transfer and the greater the energy efficiency.”

Additionally, Everitt says, you may want to consider ventilation to remove hot air trapped in the roof cavity in summer and to reduce the condensation that can occur and damage insulation. For this the most energy efficient choice is mechanical roof ventilators that spin with the wind to create an updraft and extract the hot or moist air.

“And while you’re thinking about the roof, what about installing skylights to let more natural light into the home and cutting your electricity usage even more. They are available in many shapes and sizes but the small tubular variety are especially useful to bring more light to dark hallways, ensuite bathrooms and kitchens.”

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