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How Paint Color Choices Can Save You Money on Utility Bills

Light Colored HouseThe color of the interior paint you choose plays a big role in the level of enjoyment you derive from your indoor living spaces. But did you know that paint color also can affect your utility bills?

Everybody has heard that it’s best to avoid wearing dark colors on hot days and opt instead for white or some relatively lighter shade. Why? Because white reflects, and black absorbs. This principle can be used to your advantage when applied to the color of your home’s walls and ceilings.

How color affects heat

The reflectiveness and absorbency of different colors is demonstrated nowhere more dramatically than on the roof of a house. ColorMatters.com gives a good example of how roof temperature (and therefore the level of heat that can seep into a home) is determined by color. The temperatures of three roofs were examined on a 90-degree day in Austin, Texas. Look at the results.

  • White roof: 110 degrees
  • Aluminum coated roof: 140 degrees
  • Black, single-ply roof: nearly 190 degrees

The white roof deflected the sun’s heat, while the black roof sucked it in, creating a significantly higher surface temperature. The color of your interior living spaces will produce the same general effect.

Lower heating costs with light-colored paint

Imagine two rooms, one painted black, the other painted white. It’s a warm day, and the heat from outside is slowly permeating your home. Walk into each room and notice the difference. The black room is growing considerably warm, where the white room is maintaining much more of its coolness. Why?

The black walls and ceiling are absorbing the heat and warming up almost like a heater, keeping warmth within the room. The white walls, on the other hand, are deflecting the heat, which can then be circulated back out the open windows by the slightest of breezes.

How paint color affects electric bills

Not only does paint absorb or reflect heat, it also absorbs or reflects light. Same principle applies: a dark room is a poor light reflector; a light room spreads light around. Go back to the two rooms in the above example. Put an identical light in each and watch what happens. The white room is much more illuminated, while the black room feels only half as well lit.

Choosing Paint ColorsLogically, then, if you paint your rooms with a light-colored paint, it will take less light to accomplish your desired level of illuminance than if you go with a dark-colored paint. Paint manufacturers have made it easy for you to choose the right paint with a Light Reflectance Value (LVR) assigned to each shade of paint.

Pure white paint has an LVR of close to 100, with black paint having a 0 LVR. All other shades fall between these ranges. When buying paint, ask your paint center or a professional painter how to use LVR to select the ideal paint for the amount of light and heat you wish to reflect in your rooms.

If you have a paint job coming up, the professional paint crews at Franklin Painting of Connecticut are ready to help and answer any questions you may have. Call us at 877-646-7774. If you’re ready to receive an estimate, you can request it here.

Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
160 Brickyard Road, Farmington, CT 06032

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