How to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly With Wood Shingles

how to make your home more energy efficient

Let's face it — installing a new roof can be a challenging process. Homeowners first need to consider what type of roofing materials they will need, but choosing reliable, cost-effective and versatile roofing materials may prove to be overwhelming. Thankfully, eco-friendly wood shingles deliver an unprecedented mix of function and style and make it easier than ever for homeowners to enjoy sustainable roofing materials.

Now, let's take a closer look at wood shingles — energy-efficient roofing shingles that deliver exceptional insulation and are constructed to last.

Wood Shingles vs. Asphalt Shingles – Which Are More Eco-Friendly?

Asphalt is one of the most common roofing materials for home builders. However, sustainable roof materials may surpass asphalt as a top choice for residential roof construction in the near future due to the increased push for sustainable roof design.

According to home remodeling website Fixr, asphalt shingles cost around $80 to $100 per square foot. These shingles are typically easy to install and repair, come in a variety of designs and colors and offer superior fire resistance compared to many other types of roofing materials.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles are commonly susceptible to weather-related damage due such as hail, snow and sleet, and may need to be replaced more frequently than other roofing materials. Home inspection company McGarry and Madsen notes asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years — the shortest average lifespan of all roofing materials.

Asphalt shingles also are non-recyclable. Thus, if builders need to get rid of asphalt shingles, they’ll likely need to use landfill disposal.

Comparatively, sustainable wood roof shingles provide homeowners with energy-efficient residential roofing. Eco-friendly roofing materials such as wood shingles are readily available and deliver proven results for homeowners.

Some of the benefits of energy-efficient roofing shingles include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Energy-efficient roof shingles usually have a longer average lifespan than asphalt. As a result, homeowners may be able to receive a better return on investment (ROI) from wood shingles than they would from asphalt shingles.
  • Energy Efficiency: Wood shingles are also insulating, which brings down the overall cost of heating and cooling your home and reduces your energy reliance. Green Home Guide indicates sustainable roofing materials may help homeowners lower their energy costs by up to 30 percent. This shows wood shingles may deliver significant home energy savings, making them an ideal choice for many homeowners nationwide.
  • Weather- and Pest-Resistance: Sustainable roof shingles have been shown to be less susceptible to hail, high winds and insects than other types of roofing materials.
  • Visual Appeal: Homeowners can choose from a broad array of sustainable roofing material designs and styles and find wood shingles that match their personalities.
decrease energy costs

Why Are Wood Shingles an Eco-Friendly Alternative?

Wood shingles consist of all-natural materials, making them an eco-friendly alternative to asphalt varieties. The shingles won't harm or deplete the planet and they offer a terrific choice for homeowners who want to embrace sustainable roof design.

Homeowners who select wood shingles can reap the benefits of eco-friendly roofing materials that are:

  • Sustainable: Wood shingles feature natural materials that are harvested and replanted as part of a cycle of sustainability. For example, the majority of a cedar tree may be harvested to produce cedar shingles and other useful products, while the remaining portion of the tree biodegrades into compost for future trees.
  • Biodegradable: Wood shingles are completely recyclable and can even be chipped into garden mulch. Asphalt shingles, however, usually wind up in landfills. And when rainfall occurs, asphalt shingles in landfills risk leaking harmful chemicals into local water supplies.
  • Fighting Pollution: Wood shingles offer a safe and dependable choice for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Alternative roofing materials like asphalt frequently require fossil fuels to transform the materials into final products. But with wood shingles, you can use natural products as part of a high-quality residential roof.
  • Naturally Energy-Saving: Cedar acts as a proven natural insulator, and a cedar roof will enable you to insulate your attic effectively. In this way, cedar shingles can help you keep your home cool in the summer and warm in winter, as well as lower your cooling and heating costs.

Should You Install an Energy-Efficient Residential Roof?

Installing a new roof is a major decision for any homeowner. Therefore, you'll want to consider various factors when you weigh the pros and cons of an energy-efficient roof, including:

  • Cost of the Roof: Do you have the finances to afford a new roof? You should consider how much it will cost to install an energy-efficient roof and plan accordingly. Also, don't forget to consider how long an energy-efficient roof will last, as well as how a new roof may help you boost the value of your home.
  • Energy Savings: How much will you save with an energy-efficient roof? The answer varies depending on the homeowner and home. Eco-friendly roofing materials act as a natural insulator and may help you cut down on your energy expenses. Meanwhile, asphalt shingles are unlikely to deliver the same energy savings as energy-efficient residential roofing materials.
  • Climate: Consider your climate before you install an energy-efficient roof. For instance, many homeowners in warm climates prefer energy-efficient roofing materials to asphalt shingles. In fact, these homeowners can often maximize their cooling savings with sustainable roof shingles.
  • Your Current Roof: If you’re building a new house, you can start from scratch with sustainable roofing materials. Or, if you want to convert your existing roof into an energy-efficient one, you may need to complete additional steps to upgrade to an eco-friendly roof.
  • Your Home's Heating and Cooling System: Wood shingles may help you optimize the performance of your house's heating and cooling system. The shingles provide excellent insulation year-round. This means you won't need to run your heating and cooling system as frequently as you did in the past to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.
pros and cons to replacing your roof

Remember — a diligent homeowner will be equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed decision about sustainable roof materials. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about eco-friendly roof materials, you'll be better equipped than others to make the best choice for your home.

Energy Efficiency of Dark vs. Light Colored Roof Shingles

Choosing the right residential roofing requires an individual to consider several questions, including:

  • How long do you want your roof to last?
  • How can you improve your home's efficiency?
  • How can you maintain a comfortable indoor temperature at all times?

Homeowners may consider both dark and light roof shingles as they evaluate all of the roofing materials at their disposal. Ultimately, light roof shingles may prove to be the better option for a number of reasons, including:

  • Serve as "Cool Roofs": Light roof shingles can reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than dark roof shingles, which may help homeowners reduce their air conditioning needs and energy costs in warm temperatures.
  • Improved Indoor Comfort: With light roof shingles, homeowners can improve indoor comfort in garages, covered patios and other indoor spaces that are not air-conditioned.
  • Reduced Roof Temperature: Because light roof shingles are cooler than their dark counterparts, they usually last longer than dark roof shingles, extending the lifespan of a homeowner's roof.
light roof vs dark roof shingles

In addition, light roof shingles may deliver numerous environmental benefits, including:

  • Reduced Local Air Temperatures: Light roof shingles can reduce the "urban heat island effect.” This is a problem that causes an urban or metropolitan area to become significantly warmer than its surrounding areas.
  • Lower Peak Electricity Demand: Thanks to light roof shingles, homeowners can run their air conditioners less often, reducing the risk of power outages.
  • Reduced Power Plant Emissions: Light roof shingles may lead to decreased electricity use, lowering power plant emissions such as carbon dioxide and mercury by reducing the amount of cooling energy used in buildings.

Clearly, light roof shingles provide many advantages over dark roof shingles. Homeowners who are searching for ways to transform an ordinary residence into an eco-friendly home may consider light roof shingles to make the most of their energy-efficient home improvements.

There are Many Types of Energy-Efficient Wood Shingles

Wood shingles represent one of the top choices for improved energy efficiency, and for good reason. Conversely, many wood shingle options are available, and choosing the right energy-efficient roof shingles in the right color may prove to be difficult.

Here’s a closer look at some of the most popular wood shingles, all of which have been shown to help homeowners create eco-friendly residences:

  • Cedar Shingles: With cedar shingles, homeowners can express their unique personalities without having to worry about breaking their budgets. Cedar shingles are cost-effective and available in pre-shaped, custom steam-bent and curved varieties, providing homeowners with a vast assortment of design possibilities.
  • Cedar Shakes: For homeowners who want to give their residences a more rustic appearance, there may be no better choice than cedar shakes. Cedar shakes are usually split on one or both sides, while cedar shingles are sawn on both sides and are thinner at the butt than shakes. Homeowners who are searching for an alternative to cedar shingles may consider cedar shakes, which are often used on cottages, ranch houses and vacation homes.
  • Wallaba Shingles: Wallaba shingles may prove to be more of an investment than cedar shingles, but they feature amazing construction. The shingles boast a coarse grain and rich red color, along with natural resins that safeguard the shingles against mold, mildew, insects and fire. Plus, Wallaba shingles are customizable and can be shaped and bent to conform to any roof.
  • Teak Shingles: Teak shingles are luxury products. They consist of exotic hardwood that delivers superb moisture tolerance and resistance. The shingles also feature unparalleled strength and resistance to rain, wind and other extreme weather conditions and outstanding fire resistance.

If you're uncertain about what types of sustainable roof materials will work best for your home, don't hesitate to consult with an eco-friendly roofing materials expert. By doing so, you'll be able to select stylish, practical and energy-efficient roofing shingles that can serve you well for years to come.

Energy-Efficient Roofing Tax Credit: What You Need to Know

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offers an energy-efficient roofing tax credit, which means you may be able to get money back after you install an energy-efficient residential roof.

Homeowners may qualify for a tax credit worth 10 percent of the cost of an energy-efficient roof. There is a $500 lifetime limit for all energy-efficient roofing improvements, and the installation of your roof is not covered by the credit.

ENERGY STAR offers full details to homeowners about eligible roofing materials and how they can apply for the credit. Review the ENERGY STAR guidelines and you can find out more about how you can take advantage of this tax credit.

energy efficient roofing tax credit

More Reasons to Consider Eco-Friendly Wood Roofing

Eco-friendly roof materials represent a great choice for homeowners. Some of the advantages of choosing sustainable roofing materials for your home include:

  • Stability: Wood shingles will maintain their original dimensions in humid conditions. Also, wood offers a low-density material that won't shrink. This means wood shingles lie flat, stay straight and can be fastened tightly, ensuring the shingles will maintain their quality and appearance for an extended period of time.
  • Durability: Wood shingles are resistant to insect damage, moisture, wind damage and UV rays. They are less susceptible to moss growth, in contrast to other types of roofing materials. Furthermore, wood shingles are sometimes factory-treated for fire and fungus resistance and can be supplemented for added moss and insect resistance.
  • Convenience: Eco-friendly wood roofing offers long, lightweight lengths of timber with straight graining patterns. They feature a uniform texture that makes it easy to cut, saw and nail these materials. Wood shingles are even provided in many finishes, so you should have no trouble finding sustainable roofing materials that suit you perfectly.
  • Strength: Wood shingles are some of the strongest roofing materials on the market today. The shingles serve as a smart investment for any homeowner, as they will look great and bolster the structural strength of your roof at the same time.
  • Curb Appeal: Wood shingles deliver a timeless and natural appearance that other roofing materials cannot match. Wood shingles are attractive and versatile and can help you boost your house's curb appeal.

When it comes to deciding which wood shingles are right for your home, it’s important to consult with an expert. With a professional at your side, you can explore eco-friendly roofing materials that complement your personal style and budget.

An expert will learn about your sustainable roofing needs. As a result, this professional will eliminate the guesswork that’s commonly associated with shopping for roofing materials and ensure you can benefit from a top-notch, eco-friendly roof.

Choose Custom Shingles for Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials

Custom Shingles is a leading provider of custom wood shingles. We possess more than 40 years of experience and specialize in helping architects, builders and homeowners achieve their sustainable roof design goals.

Our collection of wood shingles includes first-rate individual shingles, pre-assembled fascia boards and gable sections. We also provide design and installation assistance and will send our team directly to your location or work with local architects, contractors and engineers.

Choose Custom Shingles for eco-friendly roofing materials — you'll be glad you did! Please contact us today to find out more about our decorative, energy-efficient shingles.