Having an energy efficient roof is an important part of building an energy efficient house. Roofs not only protect the house from external agents like wind, rain, heat and snow, but are also instrumental in controlling the internal temperature of the house. Thus, choosing an appropriate material for making an energy efficient roof is a significant step in making a house energy efficient. Here is a complete guide for choosing the right material for the roof in an energy efficient home.

Metal Roof – Metals like copper, aluminum, and steel (metals which do not contain lead) are generally used as roofing materials. Metal roofs are energy efficient as they do not absorb the heat from the Sun and reflect the Sun's rays if they are light-colored, thus keeping the interiors of the home cool without the use of cooling gadgets. They have the best capacity to collect rainwater and enable the snow to easily slide off. Moreover, they are sturdy and long-lasting.

Clay and Slate Roof – Both clay and slate are naturally occurring materials and are often termed as 'green roofing materials'. While slate is more durable as clay shatters easily in heavy hailstorms, both promote the natural flow of air on the roof's surface. They can also be easily recycled and reclaimed, and can be conveniently disposed of, as they are biodegradable. Clay is more suitable for warmer climates, whereas slate roofs work perfectly in all weather conditions.

Concrete Roof – Concrete roofs are best for colder weather conditions, as they are extremely durable and withstand snow accumulation and weight pressure. They can be colored and shaped in any manner, so as to increase the heat-trapping efficiency.  

Spray Roofing – Spray roofing is one of the most energy efficient options. This kind of roof is created by spraying polyurethane foam roof coatings on the existing roof itself. It insulates the roof and makes it water-resistant. It is lightweight and is therefore not a burden on the existing underlayment. Polyurethane foam is known to decrease the energy costs significantly.

Green Roof – Also, known as 'living roofs', these roofs have growing grass and plants  

on top of the main roof, coupled with a membrane for effective irrigation. They naturally cool the space inside as they absorb most of the heat radiated from the Sun. In winters, they provide insulation by trapping the heat inside the house. While they may be initially expensive, the energy benefits from green roofs compensate for it.

Thermoplastic Olefin/Polyolefin (TPO) – A TPO is in the form of a single-ply membrane which is flexible and durable and withstands all types of extreme weather conditions. It also resists tears and perforations, harmful effects of ozone and algae.