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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

paint chips and climate control

Posted by admin | July 24th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

photo by Marmel Radziner Prefab

As a first time homeowner I have been deep in a paint chip frenzy. The future colors of my abode has suddenly become a major concern of mine. Is my kitchen a spanish red or more of a chili pepper red? Which color defines me as a person and reflects my personal style best?

I had originally decided to paint the outside of my house lagoon; a phenomenal shade from our Spring 10 line. If I could marry a color it would be this one. It’s like prussian blue and cerulean had a baby and named it lagoon. A more perfect shade has never existed as far as I am concerned.

But then I read an article that changed my perception of color entirely.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently said that whitening the world’s roofs and roads would have the same effect on global warming as removing all the world’s cars for 11 years. White roofs can also cut air conditioning costs by 20 percent, according to California’s Energy Commissioner. Even though this sounds too good to be true, recent research has discovered that this “whitewashing” may have more impact than originally thought. It amazes me that the simple act of painting your roof white could create such positive results. Maybe I am going about this color thing all wrong. To think that color can have such a huge influence on climate control is absolutely incredible. Looks like I will be painting my roof a lovely satin white this summer. I will keep you posted.

4 Responses to “paint chips and climate control”

  • July 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm | carolita says

    what about the silver paint on rooftops in the city? don’t they also reflect back light? I always thought they painted the rooftops silver for the same purpose –cooling.

  • July 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Libby says


    I think that silver roofs would serve the same purpose as the white ones. Although I am curious if there is a difference. I am going to look into it.

    Thanks for reading!

  • July 31, 2009 at 5:10 am | jack says

    You are correct, Carolita. The commercial design industry has been using reflective roofing materials for a number of years as a step toward a more sustainable environment.

    Both LEED and Energy Star have recognized the benefits of ‘white’ or ‘silver’ roofing; achieved either by an integral color in the material or by ‘painting’ an existing roofing material.

    The so-called “green roof” is not only the planted roof most people think, but also includes reflective roofing; in fact, I would wager that more refelctive roofing has been installed across the country than than has planted roofing (planted roofing serves many more purposes than just lowering the heat island effect of the typical black roof; but it still has a higher first cost than standard roofing).

  • July 31, 2009 at 9:50 am | libby says

    Thanks for the great info Jack!

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