It’s almost wintertime, and that means shorter days and colder temps, even in Southern California. As a result, we’ll be finding as many ways as we can to keep our houses warmer without breaking the bank. But did you know that one of the factors impacting your indoor temperature is color? The color of your home, both indoors and out, can impact your indoor temperature more than you think, and choosing the right colors can help you save money on your monthly energy bill.
How color affects temperature
In order to understand how our house color can impact the temperature inside, we first need to take a quick physics lesson. Color is simply light, and different colors are lights at varying frequencies and wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum. Blue, for instance, is a type of light with a higher frequency and shorter wavelength, while red has a lower frequency and longer wavelength. We perceive different colors, then, because each color has a different frequency and wavelength, but they are still considered light.
When light reaches an object, that light is absorbed and reflected, and the energy from that light is dissipated as heat. Thus, if an object absorbs more light, it will also absorb more heat. For example, black objects will absorb more heat than they reflect, while white objects will reflect more heat than they absorb. It’s why if you’re standing outside on a hot, sunny day, you’ll be warmer in a black t-shirt than a white one.
House color and temperature
If an object absorbs more light than it reflects, then it’ll appear as a darker color. And since light energy is dissipated as heat, it will also absorb more heat. So, if you have a home with dark colors, you can expect it to be warmer than a home with lighter colors as it will absorb more light and heat from the sun. According to the Department of Energy, darker, duller colors can absorb 70 to 90 percent of the sun’s radiant energy, and that heat is then transferred into the home. Lighter and brighter homes, meanwhile, will be cooler as a result of reflecting more light and heat. White walls, for instance, will provide about 35 percent less heat than darker-colored walls.
Building materials matter too
While color can have a huge impact on how warm or cold your home is, it isn’t the only factor. The material that your home is made out of also matters a great deal. Buildings made out of brick or stone, for instance, are more effective at blocking out light, thus keeping the interior cooler during the warm summer months. They’re also better at insulating your home than other, more lightweight materials. Adobe (a building material that’s used a great deal in the American Southwest), is extremely effective at controlling your indoor temperature as it will absorb heat during the day and then slowly release it inward later in the day.
So, can the color of your home affect the temperature inside? As it turns out, yes, it can. As we’ve learned, darker colors absorb more heat, and that means the type of colors you use on your home can impact how much heat is transferred indoors. Having the right colors on your home, then, can help you save energy and money. If you’d like to repaint your home for better energy conservation, then, give Richard Stewart Painting a call at 1-818-951-1181 today to get started.