Are you considering repainting some part of your home, whether it’s a single room, an entire floor or even the whole house? There are a number of factors you’ll be considering here, from preference to popular styles, but there’s another area that might be particularly important to the energy-savvy homeowner: How paint color choice will impact energy efficiency within your home.
As your trusted HVAC pros, we at All Hours Plumbing are here to tell you that paint color can have a huge effect on how efficiently your home retains and maximizes heat. In particular, especially in a warm and sunny place like Utah, lighter colors may be the way to go if you don’t want to see a rise in your energy bill. Let’s look at how this works, plus some basic tips we can offer if you’re looking to repaint.
Dark Color Absorption
Firstly, a little basic science: Dark colors are known to absorb between 70 and 90 percent of all radiant energy that contacts its surfaces, including energy from the sun’s rays. On the flip side, lighter colors retain almost no energy, and in fact actually reflect most of this heat away from the surface and to other areas.
What does this mean for your home? Well, it means rooms with darker colors will retain heat for far longer – especially if they take direct sunlight at any point in the day. This will make it tougher to cool these rooms, which can in turn affect your utility bill. Rooms with no windows can generally afford darker colors, as they don’t take direct sunlight, but those that do should have a lighter shade.
How Big Rooms Feel
Another big factor here is the way rooms feel, which is heavily impacted by paint color. Dark colors are proven to make spaces feel smaller to our eyes, while lighter colors do the opposite and make most rooms feel larger.
Using Darks for Contrast
If you’re a fan of dark colors but don’t want to sacrifice energy efficiency, don’t be let down. You can still use dark colors, even in rooms with sunlight – they’re great as accents for rooms with lighter overall wall colors, for instance. Consider areas like door and window frames, or perhaps think about painting a single full wall a darker color to touch off the entire room. You can work with a design specialist here, someone who can help you get a great aesthetic without risking heavy heat absorption.
Another important factor to know here is LRV, or light reflectance value. This value, generally printed on paint labels, tells you how much light will be reflected by a given color – the higher the number, the more it reflects. This is a perfect guide for choosing the proper colors for light-heavy walls and rooms.