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A roof can provide more than shelter from the elements. There are a number of roof modifications that can help you to save money while also saving the planet. Here are just a few examples of eco-friendly ways to utilise your roof.
The roof is the perfect place to install solar panels. These panels could help to generate electricity for your home, so that you no longer have to rely on mains electricity. While installing solar panels isn’t cheap, you can make back your money in the long run by potentially never having to pay energy bills ever again. Solar power is a much cleaner way to harvest energy than mains electricity, which often comes from burning fossil fuels.
You can also use your roof to harvest rainwater. Using guttering and piping, you can allow rainwater to flow off your roof and collect in barrels. This rainwater could be used for garden purposes or even used for processes like toilet flushing. It’s even possible to convert it into drinkable water (although this is slightly more of an investment). Harvesting rainwater can save you money on your water bill while also saving the environment by putting less stress on overdrawn mains water reservoirs.
Cool roofing is designed to reflect sunlight. This prevents your home from heating up as easily during hot temperatures, which reduces the need to use cooling methods such air conditioning or fans. In doing so, you’ll conserve energy – saving the planet and saving you money. Cool roofing is most beneficial to homes in locations that regularly experience hot climates.
While cold roofs help to keep heat out, insulated roofs can help to trap heat in. By keeping your home warm in cold weather, you won’t need to use as much central heating, also helping to conserve energy. Roofs can be insulated on the outside or on the inside (known as loft insulation). Insulation is better suited to homes in cooler climates where there’s a greater need to use gas or electric heating more regularly. It’s also possible to install a hybrid roof that reflects heat and insulates.
Green roofs (also known as bio-roofs or living roofs) are thought to truly take off in the future. They involve layering soil on your roof so that you can grow plants there. This could be anything from a layer of turf to a rooftop garden containing all manner of shrubs. Green roofs are good for the environment for many reasons: 1) they help to oxygenate and purify the air (useful in polluted cities) 2) they can help to provide a home for wildlife and 3) they can help to regulate heat in your home by offering cooling and insulation. Green roofs vary in cost depending on the plants you plan to grow there. If you’re happy with a simple layer of grass, you may only need a thin layer of soil, while larger shrubs will need a deeper layer of soil for their roots as well as more thorough irrigation systems.