Picking paint colors can be one of the most fun things about redoing a room in your home. The hours spent wandering back and forth across the thousands of paint chips at the hardware store, the struggle to figure out exactly how many cans of paint you’ll actually need, and the heated debates as you and your family choose between “forest dusk gray” and “woodsy dawn silver.” But did you know that scientists are working on a new paint that provides heat reduction, helping keep your house cool in hot weather? Forget about “no white after Labor Day” because this new technology may have homeowners hunting down light shades to reduce the workload of their Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and keep their energy bills low.
Bright White that Reflects Light
A team of scientists at Purdue University have recently developed a new white paint that can reflect up to 98.1% of solar radiation. It is so white that it earned a spot in the 2022 Guinness World Records for this brand new formulation. Paints that can reflect heat are highly sought after and a spot for technological development because the need to block heat from buildings is very important. It isn’t enough for the paint to simply be extremely white and heat reflective. Paint must also be formulated properly to endure outdoor conditions without peeling or flaking. According to the article from Perdue University, the research for such a heat reflective paint goes back to the 1907s and has built on that foundation, incorporating modern tech to make it as effective as possible. Now they are seeking to bring the paint to large-scale production and make it available for use.
This paint provides heat reduction by reflecting heat and make buildings cool by reflecting a wide range of the light spectrum. It uses a chemical compound called barium sulfate in a series of different particle sizes to help scatter as much light as possible. According to the research team that developed this paint, it can actually stay cooler than its surrounding area because it is so effective at reflecting light.
Blinded by the Light
While we wait for this paint to hit the shelves at our local hardware stores, the same technique of reflecting light can be applied in more accessible ways at home. UV light not only raises the temperature in a home, but it can also damage things like fabric on furniture and artwork on the wall. Taking stock of where light enters your home and striking a balance between natural lighting and unwanted heat can help improve the air comfort of your home as well as keep your belongings in tip-top shape.
- Tinted Windows: A window that has been tinted with a UV protective coating is a great way to make sure you don’t deal with too much sun and heat coming into your home. The tint can be on newly installed windows or it can be added as a film to already existing windows. UV tinting can be a cost-effective method of keeping your house cool in the hot summer months when the sun shines through long days.
- Light Colored Roofing: If you’re in a hot climate, you can help push heat away from your home by choosing lighter colored roofing materials. The common asphalt-composite shingles that you find on top of homes come in a wide variety of colors, so when the time comes to build or replace your roof you can think about UV reflection and choose a lighter shade to reduce your energy costs and improve your air conditioner’s ability to keep your home cool.
- Awnings Over All: A shaded window takes in less light, and therefore brings in less heat to your house. Awnings are an attractive solution to keeping houses cool and windows protected. They can add curb appeal and freshen up the look of a house with lots of styles to choose from! Awnings can be fixed or retractable if you want the option to pull them back to protect them from damage or let more light in as you wish.
- Use UV to Your Advantage: Although UV light can be damaging when it comes to the light shining through your windows and onto your home, it can be harnessed for great benefit in your HVAC system. There are UV light sanitizing systems that can be installed in your existing HVAC system to help sanitize air before it enters your home. UV light can destroy germs and other health hazards to help protect your home’s air quality.
Let the Light Shine In
Unless you choose to move underground, dealing with UV light and the heat it brings will remain a constant of home ownership. You can take charge by choosing lighter colored roofing materials, adding tinting to your windows, and providing shade with awnings as ways to help reduce the light that hits your home and brings unwanted warmth. There may be no silver bullet to keeping a home perfectly cool in the heat of summer, but technological advances like Purdue University’s paint that provides heat reduction are painting the path to energy-efficient solutions for beating the heat. If you live in a climate where cool indoor air is a top priority, please contact your local, licensed HVAC service provider. They will be able to send out a service technician to access your home’s HVAC needs and provide the best ways to improve your home’s HVAC system and overall comfort.