Light-Colored Vs. Dark-Colored Shingles: Which Is Better?

If you're seeking a new home or shopping around for a new roof, you might think that the color of your roof's shingles is a fairly inconsequential decision. However, the color of shingles that you choose can have a huge impact on your home's curb appeal and energy efficiency. As such, investing in the wrong shingles for your home can be a poor decision that ends up costing you for decades to come.

According to Compass Roofing Systems, many homeowners choose light-colored shingles due to the unfounded belief that these tend to outlast comparable dark-colored shingles. While industry experts tend to disagree that lighter shingles last noticeably longer, most people still maintain light-colored shingles offer much better curb appeal than darker shingles when paired with a light-colored home. On the other hand, dark shingles also have some tantalizing benefits, such as their ability to better conceal imperfections and maintain a freshly-installed appearance (per Green Garage).

Shingles for hot climates

While your home's appearance should always be taken into consideration when shopping for shingles, perhaps the most important thing you should factor into your decision is climate. If you live in a hot, humid area that gets plenty of sweltering sunshine, you should consider investing in light-colored shingles in order to lower your overall cooling costs (per Park Heights Roofing). Dark shingles absorb far more heat from the sun than light-colored shingles, which reflect heat away from your home. According to Hansons, dark-colored shingles can result in your attic maintaining temperatures up to 40 degrees warmer than that in an attic covered by a roof with light-colored shingles. Naturally, this arrangement can place strain on your wallet and HVAC system over time.

Of course, many areas experience extreme climate fluctuations depending on the season. For this reason, it's wise to calculate your energy expenditures throughout the year so that you are able to determine whether heating or cooling your house represents the more costly investment. If most of your money goes towards beating the heat, light-colored shingles for your roof are a no-brainer.

Shingles for cold climates

Although light-colored shingles are tailor-made for hot weather, dark-colored shingles are the obvious choice for homes that have to contend with a cold, snowy climate throughout much of the year. As such, if you're getting a new roof for a home located in a characteristically-cold locale, investing in dark-colored shingles is definitely your best bet. For one thing, dark-colored shingles help to keep your roof snow-free by quickly melting the snow before it has a chance to accumulate. This is incredibly important for homes in snow-prone areas since excessive accumulations of snow can actually cause your roof to cave in (per Modernize).

Even if your town doesn't have record-setting snow accumulations, dark-colored shingles can help you keep energy costs down in areas where you're heating your home for a majority of the year. Also, dark-colored shingles can absorb a great deal of thermal energy even on cloudy winter days (per Green Garage), so you can significantly cut down on heating expenditures when it's cold outside by choosing dark-colored shingles for your roof.