Solar reflective shingles are defined as having surfaces that primarily reflect considerably more IR radiation than normal roof surfaces. Infrared radiation is a spectrum of light that generates significant amounts of heat on roof surfaces. Solar reflective shingles are designed specifically to reduce the absorption of the suns infrared radiation by reflecting IR rays off the surface of the roof thus not allowing the heat to be transferred to the interior of the structure (i.e. the attic under the roof). By reducing the amount of this heat transfer, solar reflective shingles and solar reflective roofs in general have the ability to keep building interiors cooler, thus lessening the usage and strain on HVAC equipment particularly in warmer climates and in summer months.
In addition to the potential energy saving benefits that solar reflective shingles can have for a building, research on the degradation of roofing membranes over a number of years have shown that heat from the sun is one of the most potent factors impacting durability. High temperatures and large variations; seasonally or daily, at the roofing level are detrimental to the longevity of roof surfaces. Reducing the extremes of temperature change will reduce the incidence of damage to roofing systems. Using solar reflective shingles and solar reflective roofing products that reflect ultraviolet and primarily infrared radiation will reduce damage caused by u/v and heat degradation.