It took longer than you’d think for a lot of people to realize that a white roof could make a home easier to cool than a black roof. From there, however, reflective white paint has progressed to help businesses and homeowners save on their air-conditioning bills.
Now it’s been taken one step further, as researchers at Purdue University have created a white paint that works almost like a refrigerator – except you don’t have to plug it in 24/7 because it doesn’t require any energy for its cooling properties to kick in.
A Good Reflection on You!
It’s quite a step up – or down, if you’ve got a thermometer – from the current generation of heat reflecting paints. Today’s reflective paints can turn back 80-90% of the sunlight that hits them, but they can’t lower the temperature of a room beyond the temperature of their surroundings. The new paint from Purdue reflects 95.5% of sunlight and effectively radiates infrared heat. Now here’s the cool part – it can keep a room up to 18 degrees cooler than its surroundings. Imagine if it’s 95 outside, and 77 inside – that’s quite a service you can provide!
If applied to roofs, roads, vehicles, etc., the researchers predict that not only will it cool down these surfaces, but it could send the heat out of the atmosphere into space.
Savings could be significant. The new paint is compatible with current manufacturing processes and the paint itself is cheaper to produce than the current heat reflective paint on the market. Estimates run that it would be possible to air condition a 1,076 square-foot house at a savings of a dollar a day.