Comparing Energy Efficiency: Cedar Roofs vs. Metal Roofs vs. Architectural Roofs

The energy efficiency of roofing materials can vary based on several factors, including the material itself, its color, and how it’s installed. Let’s compare the energy efficiency of cedar roofs, metal roofs, and architectural (asphalt) roofs:

1. Cedar Roof:

  • Insulation: Cedar has natural insulating properties due to the wood’s cellular structure. It provides some thermal resistance but may not be as effective as more modern roofing materials.

  • Color: The color of cedar roofs can affect their energy efficiency. Light-colored cedar roofs will reflect more sunlight and heat, making them more energy-efficient than darker-colored ones.

  • Ventilation: Proper attic ventilation is crucial with cedar roofs to prevent heat buildup. Adequate ventilation can help improve energy efficiency by reducing the need for excessive air conditioning.

2. Metal Roof:

  • Reflectivity: Metal roofs can have high reflectivity, especially if they have a reflective coating or are of a lighter color. This reflects sunlight and heat, helping to keep the building cooler.

  • Insulation: While metal itself is a conductor of heat, many modern metal roofs are designed with insulating layers or air gaps beneath them to improve thermal resistance.

  • Cool Roof Coatings: Some metal roofing materials are available with “cool roof” coatings that enhance their reflectivity and emissivity, making them highly energy-efficient.

3. Architectural (Asphalt) Roof:

  • Reflectivity: Asphalt shingles, commonly used in architectural roofing, are less reflective than metal roofs. Dark-colored asphalt shingles can absorb heat and contribute to warmer indoor temperatures.

  • Insulation: Asphalt shingles themselves do not provide insulation. However, they are typically installed over an underlayment and attic insulation, which can impact the overall energy efficiency of the roofing system.

  • Ventilation: Adequate attic ventilation is essential with asphalt roofs to prevent heat buildup. Proper ventilation can help reduce cooling costs in hot climates.

In summary, here’s a general ranking of energy efficiency:

  1. Metal Roof: Metal roofs with reflective coatings or light colors tend to be the most energy-efficient option due to their high reflectivity and insulation features.

  2. Architectural (Asphalt) Roof: The energy efficiency of asphalt roofs depends on factors such as color, insulation, and ventilation. Light-colored shingles and proper insulation can improve efficiency.

  3. Cedar Roof: Cedar roofs may have some natural insulation but are generally less energy-efficient than metal or cool roofing materials. Their efficiency can be influenced by factors like color and ventilation.

Keep in mind that the energy efficiency of your roofing system is just one aspect of your home’s overall energy performance. Factors like insulation, attic ventilation, and the efficiency of your HVAC system also play significant roles in reducing energy consumption and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.



Owner Matthew Forrest is a lifelong East End resident, the son of a local painter and has successfully owned and operated the family business since 2006. Through many years with his roofing company in East Hampton, Matthew developed long-lasting and meaningful relationships with his clients and teams. It’s for these reasons that locals in East Hampton agree that Matthew Forrest is a superb roofing contractor and well worth the investment.

When you work with Matthew, you’ll be treated with respect and offered a pleasant and professional experience with every job. Even with a limited budget, Roofing in the Hamptons is a perfect solution to get your roof done fast and at the best price of any roofing company in Suffolk county.

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