Are Metal Roofs Energy-Efficient?

Are Metal Roofs Energy-Efficient?

4 min read

Your roof gets the most direct sunlight than any other part of your house, making the roofing material a major factor when it comes to energy efficiency. Even though all types of roofing do an excellent job in protecting your home from elements, metal roofs are at the high end of the most energy-efficient roofing materials out there.

Metal roofs reflect sunlight during the hot months and provide excellent insulation during the winter, which can save you up to 40% in energy costs. Besides being energy efficient, metal roofs are an attractive option to roof your house, thanks to their longevity and minimal maintenance.

In this post, you will learn more about metal roofs and how they compare to other types of roofing interim of energy efficiency.

Are metal roofs energy-efficient?

Are you considering upgrading to a metal roof but are hesitant about the upfront investment? Even though metal roofs have a high upfront cost, the far-lasting value outshines the installation costs.

Metal roofs offer amazing energy savings, thanks to the variety of finishes, and the material itself, whether standard and optimized. The standard, unpainted metal roof is capable of reflecting more UV and infrared rays than a typical asphalt roof.

Similarly, a granular-coated or pre-painted metal roof reflects the majority of solar radiation and cools your home by re-emitting the absorbed solar radiation.

Notably, lighter color metal roofs reflect more heat. A highly reflective and highly emissive painted roof can re-emit up to 90% of absorbed solar radiation.

How metal roofing compares to traditional roofing materials

As the demand for energy-efficient products continues to surge, metal roofs are getting praises for their long-term cost-cutting potential.

To effectively evaluate and compare the energy efficiency of different roofing materials, you need to familiarize yourself with these terms relating to thermal performance terminology.

  • Emissivity: Precisely, this is the ability of a roof to radiate the sun’s heat up and away. The emissive properties of roofs help keep the inside of a building cool.
  • Reflectivity: As the name suggests, reflectivity refers to the ability to reflect solar in the direction from which it came. Highly reflective roofing materials are the best for energy efficiency.
  • Thermal resistance: This is a measurement of a temperature difference by which roofing materials resist heat flow.

Installing a quality roof is the best way to protect your home from elements while enhancing energy performance.

1. Metal vs. shingle roofs

Metal roofs reflect the sun’s radiation up and away from you. On the other hand, asphalt shingles absorb heat and retain it for significantly longer. They also transmit the heat down into your home. That said, metal roofs are far much better than shingles in terms of energy efficiency.

2. Metal roof vs. concrete roof tiles

Both metal roofs and tiles have advantages when it comes to energy efficiency. Metal roofs have an excellent reflective property which helps keep the interior cooler. On the other side, tiles have a high thermal mass that helps regulate indoor temperatures. When it is extremely hot, tiles may transmit heat into your attic, giving metal an edge.

3. Metal vs. slate roofs

Generally, metal roofs outshine slate roofs in every aspect because they are immune to dramatic thermal fluctuations.

Famous for durability and showcasing superior performance, metal roofs are one of the best energy-efficient roofing materials you can buy. They outshine asphalt shingles, the typical traditional choice for roofing.

Pros of metal roofing

Metal roofs are more than energy efficient. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider giving your home a new look, particularly with metal roofs:

1. Durable

If installed correctly, metal roofs can sustain up to 140 mph wind without getting damaged. They are also designed to withstand impact damage while protecting your home from all elements you can imagine.

2. Safety

Unlike traditional roofing materials, metal roofs are fire-resistant, meaning they spark or catch fires.

3. Lightweight

A metal roofing is about half the weight of a typical asphalt roofing. A metal roof puts less stress on your house, which helps preserve the structural integrity of your house.

4. Eco-friendly

Metal roofs not only feature over 25% recycled material but are also 100% recyclable. This makes them one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing materials, even better than asphalt shingles.

5. Longevity

Capable of lasting for 40-70 years, metal roofs stand the test of time, giving you a reason to install them if you don’t want to keep on changing your roofing.

6. Reduces carbon emissions

Metals roofs perform well in the area of energy efficiency, meaning you will use your HVAC system sparingly. Besides keeping your indoor cooler, metal roofs help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, sulfur, mercury, and nitrogen oxide from HVAC systems.

Metals roofs can be designed as a series of panels or to appear like traditional shingles. This means you can install metal roofing that is designed to be aesthetically pleasing without sacrificing functionality.

Disadvantages of metal roofs

Metal roofs have drawbacks too:

1. Metals roofs are expensive

Relative to other options, metal roofs are significantly costly. Depending on the quality of metal, the roof can cost as much as two or three times as other types. All the same, the upfront cost is covered by the money saved on energy costs. Additionally, they last longer.

2. Improper installation can cause serious issues

Metal roofs usually expand and contract as they warm and cool. Poor installation could cause the panels to loosen. Water can also accumulate on an improperly installed roof, weakening them and interfering with its structural integrity. You can ward off such issues by having your roof installed by a reputable, experienced roofer.

3. Metal roofs can be noisy

Depending on the decking used during installation, metal roofs may be too noisy during hail storms and heavy rains.

4. Difficult to repair

Although they require little to no maintenance, repairing your roof with a metal that doesn’t match your existing roof will create inconsistency in color match.

Final thoughts

Overall, a metal roof is an energy-efficient, durable, and eco-friendly roofing material.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.