Your roof is your home's first defense against the heat of the sun, and if you live in a hot, dry climate, there are some materials that are better than others when it comes to keeping your house cool. Because hot and dry climates don't often have weather like snow or constant moisture, your roof's primary function is to reflect heat, which means you have more freedom when it comes to choice of materials.
Clay roofs have two advantages: their design allows for air flow, which prevents a buildup of heat, and they are often light in color, which means they reflect light more easily. The spacing between the tiles lets heat escape from your attic, which can be an especially helpful improvement if your attic doesn't have any ventilation. In addition, clay is particularly durable in the heat, which means you don't have to worry about how severe temperatures will impact its lifespan.
Solar panels are experiencing a boom, and they have multiple benefits. Apart from reducing your electric bill, they also keep your roof much cooler by providing a barrier between your roof and the heat of the sun. While solar panels do capture heat instead of reflecting it, that heat becomes electricity rather than radiating to your roof.
Not every house will benefit from solar panels, but hot and dry climates are the best place for them due to the constant exposure to sun. The best way to find out whether you can make use of solar panels is to ask a contractor like General Roofing to inspect your roof.
Green roofs, also called living roofs, are a good way to combat the heat island effect. This occurs when heat soaks into asphalt and other dark surfaces during the day and keeps the surrounding area warmer at night. A green roof doesn't absorb heat like this, so it's good at keeping things cool both during the day and night. The layers of plants and soil provide a very effective barrier against heat, and they're also more environmentally friendly.
The downside is that these work best on flat, gently sloped, or curved roofs, not angled roofs. They can also be more expensive to install and maintain.
White metal isn't quite as effective at reflecting heat as a material like clay, but it cools off much faster at night. This helps combat the heat island effect, and it also helps you avoid having to use your air conditioner at night. If temperatures go down quickly at night, white metal is a great choice because it lets your house cool down faster as the temperature outside drops.