Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient?

With today's VLOG post, we are going to answer the question – are metal roofs energy efficient?

The short answer is yes. But, in order to understand how, we need to know how metal roof colors work to save you money. First, we need to understand how the sun transmits energy to an object like metal roofing.

Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient – let's look at the sun's energy

The energy from the sun can be broken down into three different components. 1) The Visible Spectrum, 2) The Ultraviolet light spectrum and 3), The invisible spectrum. The visible spectrum represents about 46% of the sun's energy. That’s what gives an object its color. The ultraviolet light spectrum only represents about 5% of the sun's energy. But that’s the part that damages metal roofing paint. Finally, the invisible spectrum represents about 49% of the sun's energy, and that’s the part that contributes to heat-gain or build-up. Several studies show that reducing the attic temperature of a house results in a lower demand for energy to drive the air conditioning system to cool your home.

Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient – attic temperature

How can a metal roof help us control your attic temperature? One way of controlling heat gain is by installing a metal roof system with paint that contains infrared-reflecting pigments. The infrared-reflecting pigments lower the attic temperatures in two ways. The first way is by initially reflecting some of the sun's energy from the invisible spectrum. The most noticeable example of this method is when you try to look at a shiny object a sunny day and the glare is nearly blinding. The second way infrared-reflecting pigments work is by their ability to release some of the heat that isn't initially reflected. A good example of this is when you touch a metal object that’s been sitting in the hot sun. Depending on the color, and whether the object is painted with infrared-reflecting pigments, some metal seems hotter than others.

Are Metal Roofs Energy Efficient – energy efficient paint pigments

Well, now that you know what I know, you might be surprised to hear that many consumers who are interested in installing the most energy efficient color on their house tend to choose bare finished Galvalume®. That’s because they associate its reflectivity properties with its energy efficiency. However, despite Galvalume® being very reflective, it lacks the ability to release stored heat back into the atmosphere once it heats up. So, for comparison, let’s take white for example. It’s the most energy efficient color. Compared to a white metal roof that reflects and releases up to 59% of the sun's heat, a Galvalume® roof only reflects and releases 25%. If you like the beauty of a metal roof and are considering one for your home, hopefully this article will help you understand a little more about how metal roofs, painted with infrared-reflective pigments work.

All Tri County Metals' color offerings are energy efficient

All of Tri County Metals’, colored panel offerings are considered cool roofing, and all are Energy Star, cool roof colors that can save you money on your cooling costs. So, check out our website, explore all our great colors and let your creative juices flow.