You may think light roofs are the clear winner. If dark roofs don’t warm your house or melt snow during the winter, should you just switch to a light-colored roof to lower summer cooling costs? Perhaps.
Energy.gov recommends lighter-colored roofs for houses in warm and hot climates. But they note that light roofs may increase energy costs in cooler climates.
To understand why, think about how a dark roof affects a home during spring and fall. The sun shines hours every day, and your roof isn’t yet blanketed with snow. Outside temperatures are cooler than summer, too, so you probably want a little extra heat inside to stay warm at night. A dark roof brings some of that desired warmth indoors naturally, allowing you to run your furnace or boiler at a lower setting.
As you may have guessed, there’s no straightforward answer to which is better, light roofs or dark roofs. Ultimately, the best roof color for your home is the color you like best. You don’t have to say goodbye to your dark roof unless you want to reduce your summer cooling bills. St. Louis has both climates to consider, so really just go with what you like.