How Colors Affect the Temperature in Your Home

By: Marie Claire Lagrisola

Interestingly, when it comes to real estate, the colors of your home are not only for aesthetic sake. It is not just a mere decoration for a ready-for-occupancy house and lot to look enticing and joyous, or dark and mysterious, the theme depending on the owner’s intention and wants. The exterior paint colors of one’s home amazingly affect the temperature of its interior. Basically, the color of the exterior of your ready-for-occupancy house and lot affects the temperature inside your home, may it be for better or for worse.

If ever you and your family are planning to move into a new ready for occupancy house and lot, you must also take into consideration the colors of this property not only for art’s sake but also for comfort’s sake because color affecting temperature is not just some kind of myth that you must roll your eyes at.

It Is Just Science

Ever heard about the light spectrum? Ask your children, they are probably learning about it in science class. Basically, according to NASA, the light spectrum is the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can see. Without light, we would not be able to catch a glimpse of electromagnetic radiation. Without the different colors, we would not be able to distinguish the varying wavelengths that each ray of radiation has.

What does this have to do with your ready-for-occupancy house and lot?

Think of it this way: we wear lighter colors during a hot day because it is more comforting. It reflects light rather than stores absorbed energy to heat (electromagnetic radiation) from the sun that usually darker colors do. Lighter colors absorb heat less. Whereas darker colors are usually worn during BER months. Darker colors are known to store the sun’s heat.

This science also applies to your home.

As stated by the NREL, also known as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, paint color that is on the darker side of the light spectrum that on a property’s exterior absorbs the sun’s energy by 70 to 90%. And through this heat absorption of your home’s exterior, it will slowly make its way to the interior through the science of conduction.

What Exactly on the Exterior Affects the Interior Temperature

You need to take note of this so you know what to a specific color on. Basically, here are the parts of the exterior of your home and its other aspects that have been scientifically proven to directly affect the temperature inside your home.

  • The roof
  • The overall theme of your home (if it has a light or dark paint color theme)
  • Your windows and their size, quality, and the amount that you have
  • How much sunlight goes into your house and how much shade your house gets during the day
  • The cooling and heating solutions of your home (for example: whether you have air conditioning or not)
  • The materials that were used to build your house

With this, it can be derived that, though it is not the only factor, color does indeed affect the temperature inside your home. If ever you find yourself sweating a lot or wearing a cardigan even though you are already wearing a hoodie but are too busy to make any drastic change, nor too uptight to spend more money on a fan or a heater, simply by changing the color of the exterior of your home can make a huge effective difference.

This, of course, all lies in which color you will choose to match your intention.

Colors That Affect the Temperature

White is a classic color (to battle the heat)

What is the best representation of the light color except for white? White is the most popular and most effective option to keep a property cool (both literally, and figuratively). White is known to brighten the look of your home, all the way reflecting light and heat from the sun. If ever you get the bitter end of climate change and have been experiencing very hot nights even during BER months, perhaps you should consider painting your house white.

To add, the white color is always being used because it is so adaptable and inviting to any visitor. It is used to style both modern and classic homes (and even clothes). A white house says a lot about wealth and class. This is why a lot of government houses around the world are painted in white.

It is also important to take note that there are actually many types of white, and Antique white is the current trending color in real estate.

However, it is only natural if you will feel bored out of white. Feel free to color your house in any light color except for specific areas such as doors and their frames, window frames, shutters, porches, and railings.

Heat things up with Black

If ever you plan to cause some rumor about your house, you definitely have to paint your house black. Any property painted in black stands out. It screams boldness. There are very few homes that are painted black because of their loud demeanor. It is dramatic but of course, sophisticated. This is why black, too, is also a timeless color when it comes to fashion. But, again, we are not only talking about paint colors for aesthetic sake, we are also talking about how such colors affect the interior temperature of your home. And black will definitely heat up your property.

If you live in Baguio or somewhere up north in the Philippines, it would be a great decision to recolor your home with black because its absorbed light tendencies will definitely heat up your home, especially during the cold seasons. But if you live somewhere warmer such as in South Luzon, to avoid too much of a consequence of radiate heat, you can still paint your house black but you have to make sure to install air conditioning in your home.

How about gray

Gray is known to be the mid color between dark and dull colors, and lighter ones. Black absorbs heat from the sun while white reflects light, stirring heat away. So how about gray? What does it do to your home when it comes to temperature? Well, it actually depends on how dark or light, bright or dull your gray is.

With the same philosophy as earlier, lighter, brighter grays will reflect more heat and light compared to a darker gray. Gray will definitely be a great compromise if you cannot choose between black and white. Currently, Charcoal gray is a trending darker color of gray for properties. A contrast to this is Pale Gray which is just as popular but will instead make your house cool through its pop of color.

If ever you get bored out of these three choices, you can always opt for something like red, blue, or pink instead! Just look at the light spectrum and the color wheel. This will definitely tell you which exterior colors are on the darker side, such as the dark colors that absorb light and the exterior colors that are lighter and will reflect heat instead.

With all these said, indeed, one should always remember that a lot of objects in this world are far from being just pretty. Even the daintiest things can have astounding usefulness as well. This applies to the colors of your home that would either make your house cool or make your house warm.

Read more: Choosing the Right House Color Palette for You

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