Benefits of cool metal roofing for high performance homes
Summer temperatures will be here before you know it. But you don't have to let your electricity bill give you sticker shock; keep your home cool with cool metal roofing.
A cool metal roof is an essential component of an energy-efficient home. A cool roof can save energy, save on utility bills, and save on your taxes; a hat-trick of savings. Not only that, your maintenance and repair bills will shrink, too.
Read these benefits of cool metal roofing for improved energy-efficient homes.
A cool metal roof can decrease the energy needed for both cooling and heating, no matter the resource. Your electricity, natural gas, and heating oil requirements can all be reduced. In fact, metal roofs are ideal for solar panel placement, so you may not need to purchase electricity at all.
Saving on your utility bills is one of the biggest benefits of cool metal roofing. According to the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, installation of reflective metal roofing can save your home up to 40% in summer cooling energy costs while highly emissive metal roofs can reduce urban air temperatures by as much as 12 ° F.
A metal roof requires much less maintenance and can stand up to severe weather better than its asphalt counterpart. You won’t need to pay for replacing shingles. You may not even need to replace the entire roof as often as you may have before.
The Energy Star® program from the EPA can provide you with a tax credit if your roof can earn the Energy Star designation for reflectance. The amount of the tax credit is 10% of the materials cost up to $500.00. Go to Energy Star to learn how to get the credit.
LEED is a different program, run by the U.S. Green Building Council. A building or home can earn a LEED designation that is also worth a tax credit. It is based on the occupied square footage of the home and the LEED rating level.
How does a cool roof work?
To give an example of an existing roof, asphalt shingles have a high thermal mass. This means they soak up heat from the sun and transfer it to the rest of the home through the roof deck. The traditional shingled roof does not reflect the sun’s rays nor does it easily emit any heat that it soaks up. In turn, your home can get warmer and stay warmer longer, resulting in the need for more cooling.
Metal roofing materials are highly reflective, bouncing the sun’s rays away from the roof so that none of the heat can be stored in the roofing material. In addition, metal has a high emissive property, meaning it lets go of heat quickly and easily.
Most of the heat is radiated back out into the atmosphere, leaving the house cooler and with little need for additional cooling.
While metal, itself, is capable of reflective and emitting heat, it can be made even more efficient with a white or light colored coating and a treatment to reflect even more solar radiation away from the house. Light colors have higher emissivity than dark ones; white is the best of all.
Other Good Stuff
There is more to a cool metal roof than the energy and cost savings. Metal is a very environmentally friendly product. It can be made from recycled steel and be recycled in its turn. Metal roofs can lower the heat island effect in a community, lowering pollution and heat for everyone in the area.
Don’t worry; you won’t have one of those tin roofs like you see in old pictures. Today’s metal roof comes in just about any color, profile, and texture. It can even look just like a traditional, asphalt-shingle roof if you want.
A cool metal roof is the cherry on top, if you will, of an energy-efficient home. Depending on the region you live in you could save as much as 40% or more of your annual energy bill. That’s just from the roof. Can you imagine how much more you can save with the rest of the energy saving tools available for your home?
Metal is also lightweight, much lighter than shingles. If you want, a metal roof can be installed directly onto your existing shingle roof. Your insurance company may give you a discount as well since a metal roof is less likely to burn.
A metal roof returns your investment quickly and will last for 50 years or more, providing savings for generations.
Steve Wright works for Whirlwind Steel Buildings, a manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings and components. Whirlwind Steel metal buildings are manufactured and designed to meet the highest quality standards. To learn more, visit