In Colorado and surrounding areas, summers can get unbearably hot. The extreme temperatures can also take a toll on your home’s exterior materials as well as your A/C unit and electricity bill. So, what can you do for your home? Are there colors that help your home stay cool? What about materials? Do brick houses stay cooler in the summer vs wood or vinyl?
Dark vs Light Exterior Paint
Dark paint colors like Black Knight from Benjamin Moore and Black Magic from Sherwin Williams add depth and a little bit of drama when used on the exterior of a home. Many designers agree that a darker color can also “ground” a property and make it look more substantial than a lighter color. But are dark-colored homes warmer than light-colored homes? We have some answers for you.
If you are thinking about painting your home’s exterior, you may want to consider more than just aesthetics. Your home’s exterior color may influence the inside temperature more than you know.
While a dark-colored home typically adds interest and helps make it look more substantial, it will absorb more heat. According to the Department of Energy’s “Cooling Your Home Naturally” report, dark and dull colors can absorb up to 70-90% of the sun’s radiant energy, transferring it into the home.
Once a home absorbs that energy, it transfers a lot of it inside via conduction. However, it may be a benefit during the winter months as it can lower heating costs.
In contrast, light-colored exteriors reflect heat away from a home, keeping it cooler. This is because lighter colors reflect more light than dark colors, causing heat to be reflected away from a home.
White is the best color when it comes to reflecting the sun’s heat from a home as it transfers about 35 percent less heat inside than darker colors. It is also a timeless, fresh, and serene color that complements more trim and front door colors than black or brown.
If you want to reduce the amount of energy that is needed to cool your home during the hot summer months, painting it a light color may be the better solution.
Exterior paint colors, however, are not the only consideration when determining a home’s energy efficiency. Other factors impacting the interior temperature of a home include:
- The amount and quality of insulation
- The color of a home’s shingles
- How much of your home’s exterior is light or dark-colored
- The quality, size, and amount of windows
- The amount of sunlight or shade a home receives
- The efficiency of a home’s heating and cooling systems
- Materials used throughout the interior of a home
- Materials used on the exterior of the home
How to Keep a Brick House Cool in the Summer (Or Warm in the Winter)
In addition to selecting an exterior paint color, there are other tactics you can use to make a home more energy-efficient, including:
- Seal cracks, leaks, and gaps around doors and windows
- Replace HVAC filters regularly
- Close window coverings during the heat of the day during warmer months and open them on sunny days during the winter
- Use a programmable thermostat
- Use ceiling fans
- Add solar shades or tinting film to older windows
- Plant deciduous trees that will provide shade during the summer yet allow the sun to shine through during warmer months
Are Bricks Good Insulators?
So, do brick houses stay cooler in the summer months? Yes.
Denser, exterior building materials like brick naturally reduce the overall temperature of a home because they soak up heat and hold it longer than other materials, slowing the interior warming process in the summer and the cooling process during colder months.
When it comes to house materials, bricks are good insulation. They’ll help retain the temperature of the inside of your home a lot longer than lighter materials, such as wood or vinyl.
However, the extent to which brick houses can keep your house cool or warm really depends on the other factors listed above.
Does Painting My Brick House Help?
Painting brick does not help with the insulation of your home at all. In fact, it only hurts the brick over time.
When determining whether to paint or stain your exterior brick, consider that most masonry experts agree that painted brick will begin to bubble, chip, and peel within just a few years (especially in extreme climates, like Colorado).
In fact, the Brick Industry Association reports that painted masonry may only last between three to five years. This is because when the paint is applied to exterior brick, it saturates the masonry pores, preventing it from releasing moisture.
BrickImaging’s exclusive Stayntech© brick stains, on the other hand, are a much better option when updating a home’s brick exterior as they are permanent and maintenance-free. The proprietary brick stains are absorbed by masonry, allowing the surface to continue breathing naturally.
Additionally, with brick stain, the original surface textures and color variations remain—unlike paint.
Stayntech© brick stains are available in 12 individual colors and four application options that fit nearly any design style. Custom colors are available upon request, too, for an additional fee.
So, not only do brick houses stay cooler in the summer, but staining the brick instead of painting it is the better option to maintain the overall integrity of your brick.
BrickImaging has been among the top brick staining companies in the nation since its founding in 1976. It is the oldest brick staining firm in North America and has been updating the color of masonry for more than 45 years. If you would like to learn more about BrickImaging or its line of Stayntech brick stains, do not hesitate to contact us.