Looking for a way to save energy and lower your utility bills without sacrificing your family s comfort or your home s architectural aesthetic appeal? If so, try looking up -- to your home s roof.
New metal-roofing technologies are now available which can significantly reduce your home s energy consumption by lowering attic temperatures during the summer months. These new roofing systems use advanced cool roof pigments which greatly increase the reflectivity of the painted metal roof surface. The result can be as much as a 20 percent reduction in the home s air-conditioning costs -- without sacrificing your home s appearance or raising your thermostat to uncomfortable levels.
When less heat penetrates the roof, the attic remains cooler and, in turn, the amount of summer heat leaking into the air-conditioned space is reduced, explains Tony Chiovare, president of Custom-Bilt Metals, a metal-roofing systems supplier. His company was one of the first manufacturers to incorporate cool-roof technology in its metal shingles, metal shakes and standing seam metal roofing products.
Cool roofs work by reflecting a greater amount of the sun s infrared energy, which accounts for more than half of the solar energy striking the roof surface. The difference in temperature can be dramatic, especially in medium to darker colors. In one recent demonstration project, metal shakes with coating were found to reduce the amount of heat penetrating into a home s attic by as much as 36 percent, offering significant savings in the energy required to cool the home.
Beyond immediate energy savings, the technology also contributes to long-term cost savings by increasing the life expectancy of the roof. Less heat absorption means there is less expansion and contraction, adds Chiovare. The result is even longer roof life, which produces even more cost savings.
Best of all, the energy and cost savings do not come at the expense of aesthetic appeal. In addition to the crisp, clean lines of standing-seam metal roofs, today s metal roofing can replicate the appearance of virtually any traditional roofing material, from wooden shakes and shingles to slate and terra cotta tile.
Metal roofing is also recognized for a number of other benefits. It offers fire resistance, durability, and it is extremely lightweight, says Chiovare. They are literally the last roof you will have to buy for your home. The combination of durability, energy savings and reduced maintenance expense creates an exceptionally low life-cycle cost.
Other attractive benefits include corrosion and fade resistance, which are also made possible by the advanced new coatings, as well as minimal maintenance and exceptional resistance to wind, thanks to innovative new designs that interlock adjacent panels for added strength.