How to Choose Indoor Paint Colors for Energy Efficiency | Columbia HVAC Portland
Written by Columbia Heating & Cooling

How to Choose Indoor Paint Colors for Energy Efficiency

Planning to do a little redecorating this spring? There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to completely change the look and feel of a room. But did you know? Paint color can impact the energy efficiency of your home! Before you pick up that paint brush read below to learn how different wall colors affect the way your home absorbs and retains heat.  

Dark Disadvantages

If you’re dreaming of dark colored walls, be prepared for a higher energy bill. Dark colors absorb from 70 to 90 percent of the radiant energy to which they are exposed. Dark colored walls retain heat from sun-filled windows and will stay warmer longer. While this may seem like a great idea for sunny winter days, it can impact your home’s energy efficiency while the weather is warm in the spring, summer, and early fall.

Dark colored walls won’t make as much of an impact if the room has few windows and exterior walls. You can also combat energy loss by using heavy curtains or drapes on the windows during peak daylight hours. These will help reflect sunlight and minimize heat absorption.

Trying to sell your home in the spring? Dark walls can be a deterrent to prospective buyers and real estate agents. They tend to appear to be less inviting and are harder to paint over.

Let There Be Light

Lighter colored walls reflect the heat and are best for maximizing energy efficiency. They also prevent you from needing to turn on lights earlier in the day, which will further help you save on monthly electricity costs. And, apart from saving energy, light walls will make rooms seem larger, brighter, and more open.

When you’re picking out your paint colors at the hardware store, take a look at the light reflectance value (LRV) of the paint. The higher the number, the more light the color can reflect. 

Try a Little Compromise

If you’re still set on a dark color scheme, try compromising and paint only one wall. Dark accent walls can make just as dramatic of a statement, without sacrificing too much energy efficiency. Additionally, you can offset light colored walls with darker furniture and finishings (light fixtures, door frames, moulding, etc.).

Have questions about how to make your home more energy efficient? Give us Columbia Heating and Cooling a call! We’re happy to help with all of your HVAC needs and make suggestions to help improve current HVAC performance or suggest energy efficient upgrades.