“Is metal roofing energy-efficient?” is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Great Northern Metal Co, and it’s a question we can answer easily: yes! People increasingly recognize metal roofing as one of the most energy-efficient roofing methods, and the data backs it up. In fact, the Metal Roofing Alliance found metal roofing can save your home 40% in energy costs alone. It’s one thing to simply say that metal roofing is energy-efficient, but how do metal roofs save energy? Below, we explain what factors contribute to metal roofing energy efficiency so you can feel confident in your decision to choose metal roofing for your next project.
How is Metal Roofing Energy-Efficient?
A lot of metal roofing’s energy efficiency comes down to how the roof is installed. A study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy found that the system used to attach metal roofing—a batten/counter-batten system—allows for airflow underneath which decreases the flow of heat. Since the roof is not directly nailed to the roof deck, the air gaps act like insulation and prevent heat transfer out of the home. The air gaps also help in the summer by preventing the heat of the sun from warming up the rest of the home. In fact, the researchers found that with a metal roof, the flow of heat decreased by 45%, causing a 25% reduction in cooling expenses.
Even unpainted metal roofs reflect heat better than asphalt shingles. Pre-painted and solar reflective coated metal roofing products also reflect solar radiation effectively, and the color you choose to paint your metal roof can make it even more energy-efficient. The most energy-efficient metal roof color is anything in a light shade. Lighter colored metal roofs reflect more heat than darker colored metal roofs, reducing your energy costs in warmer months.
Carbon emissions are a huge contributor to air pollution. So, ensuring your home reduces its carbon footprint can help to protect the environment. HVAC systems generate carbon dioxide, mercury, and sulfur dioxide, and these emissions can increase if your HVAC system puts in a lot of work to heat and cool your home. A metal roof’s natural insulation better regulates your home’s indoor temperature, which reduces your HVAC system’s carbon emissions.
Is a Metal Roof More Energy-Efficient than a Shingle Roof?
In many ways, the comparison between shingle roofs and metal roofs clearly answers the question “Is metal roofing energy efficient.” Shingle roofs are notoriously worse for pollution and waste levels and, subsequently, for energy efficiency, making metal roofs a great choice if you’re looking for an energy-efficient home.
The average asphalt shingle roofing project takes hundreds of gallons of oil to complete, making them extremely wasteful. Also, asphalt shingle roofs can contain hazardous chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and arsenic, which are harmful to both human and environmental health. Though some recyclers can break up asphalt shingles and repurpose them for road construction, the loose form of the shingles can cause contamination. In comparison, metal roofs are made from much cleaner materials than asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are also 100% recyclable. In fact, some steel roofs contain at least 25% recycled products.
Longevity is also a crucial factor when considering a roof’s energy efficiency. While a shingle roof lasts only about 20 years, metal roofs can last two to three times longer, thereby reducing excess material use and waste. Shingle roofs also have a hard time standing up to long-term elemental damage. Direct exposure to sunlight, water, and wind can cause asphalt shingles to weaken over time, resulting in ripping and curling. Metal roofs are far more resistant to water and other weather elements. Though asphalt shingles cost less for installation, they lack longevity, which ups long-term waste.
If you are looking for an energy-efficient roofing option for your next project, chat with the experts at Great Northern Metal Co. We provide metal roofing and siding options for both commercial buildings and homes, allowing you more choice over the design and efficiency of your building projects. Reach out for a quote today.