Your Home’s Exterior: Colour & Materials

Whilst selecting the right insulation batts in Melbourne will give your home an edge in keeping the heat in your home during winter and keeping it out during summer – other elements affect your home’s temperature. The material your home was built from is one of those elements, but another one is the colour of your home’s exterior. Did you know that different colours react differently to light and the heat that accompanies it? Today we’re going to be focusing entirely on some thermal elements of your home’s exterior, so let’s get right into it!


How does the colour of your home’s exterior affect its temperature?

Believe it or not, the colour of your home’s exterior does actually play a part in the temperature of your home. It can do this in different ways depending on the tone of the colour. When light travels, it carries thermal energy. The thermal energy from the sun, for example, is known as radiation – and is the main source of light that affects your house.

When this light hits your home, one of two things will happen – it’ll either be absorbed or reflected. Lighter colours will reflect the light and accompanying heat (not entirely) and darker colours will absorb it. In fact, darker colours will absorb anywhere between 70% – 90% of the sun’s radiant energy. This is why in summer people tend to wear lighter clothes as it keeps them ultimately cooler. The same logic applies to homes. If your home has a black exterior, then it will absorb the heat and release it inside of your home.

Whilst it’s true that insulation batts will help fight this – it’s handy to keep in mind that a darker exterior will make your insulation work harder unnecessarily. Consider a lighter colour for your home to maximise the chance of optimal internal temperature.


The relationship between colour and heat

Technically speaking, darker colours don’t absorb heat – they absorb the light the heat is attached too. Darkness absorbs light – the darker the colour, the more light will be absorbed. But when we’re talking about the light from the sun, we’re also talking about the radiant energy that accompanies it – therefore, the heat is absorbed by default.

Lighter colours reflect light and the heat that accompanies it. For example, the stereotypical Greek houses in Santorini that you always see pictures of are entirely white with parts of blue. Most of the streets and shops are also painted white because it’s a cooler colour that reflects heat.


Building materials

Sometimes it’s not about the colour you’ve painted your house – but the natural finish of the brick. A double-brick home, for example, could be a darker brown colour-wise, but the double-brick aspect of it means that it is thermally efficient. Double-brick homes have two layers of brick that are separated by a cavity. The density of the two layers means that whilst radiant heat is absorbed, it’s released very slowly into your home over the day. This can be useful in winter but even in summer, as well, since it’s done slowly.

Weatherboard, on the other hand, has very poor thermal properties regardless of what colour it is naturally or has been painted. Typically, a standard weatherboard house will feature wood-panel cladding. The material your home was built with will feature its own R-value remember, so don’t forget to factor that in when considering thermal efficiency.


What you should you do?

As you can see, if you’re looking to optimise your home’s thermal efficiency naturally in addition to purchasing insulation batts in Melbourne, then you should opt for a double-brick home in a lighter colour. Whilst double brick can be a bit more expensive, it will be worth it in the long run.

Try your best to stay away from darker colours – especially completely blacked out roofs with space between your ceiling and roof. You should keep that space well ventilated. Above all, however, you’ll need some good quality insulation for your walls and ceiling regardless of what you opt for.


Looking for some insulation batts in Melbourne?

Whether your home is as bright as the sun or as dark as the night, Insulation Essentials are premium suppliers of a range of insulation solutions. With varying R-values and insulation types such as glasswool insulation and acoustic insulation, you’ll be pretty hard-pressed not to find what you’re looking for. Our passionate and knowledgeable staff can also lend their expert advice to help you make the right decision.

If you’re interested in getting in touch with us, then please give us a call on 03 8339 7111. Alternatively, you may also fill out the contact sheet found on our website.