What can I do to make my home more energy efficient?

sun shining down on a standing seam metal roof

Energy-Efficient Metal Roofing

While metal roofing has become more popular among homeowners, there are still those that question that decision. There are concerns about the noise factor, cellular and Wi-Fi interruptions, and if they will attract lightning strikes. One of the biggest concerns for most people is how long will a metal roof last?

When you say metal roofing to a roofing contractor, they’re going to ask which type of metal roofing are you interested in, because there are two different types. The lifespan of each can vary.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

This type of metal roofing system consists of a series of panels that lock together at the seams. Sometimes they are installed with a mechanically attached at the seams. This method allows the metal panels to contract and expand freely with the temperature. A properly installed stand seam metal roofing with an adequately ventilated attic will give you a minimum of 30 years lifespan, and some have had a lifespan of 50 years or longer under ideal conditions. 

Screw Down Panel Metal Roofing

A screw-down panel metal roofing is one where the fasteners are exposed as they are through the face of the metal. When properly installed, this type of roofing offers 20 years when you don’t practice any maintenance and upkeep. With periodic inspections, maintenance, routine upkeep, you can get a 30-year lifespan from this type of metal roofing.  

With so many concerns about metal roofing, those who don’t know about the benefits of this roofing material may wonder, why choose metal roofing? Other than the fact that it looks great, what is the attraction that is getting more homeowners to go this route over more traditional choices like asphalt shingle roofing? Two words come to mind when the subject of metal roofing comes up: Energy Efficiency. 

When is energy efficiency important?

There are two key reasons why homeowners are concerned with energy efficiency, especially when considering the material for their roofs. Three key features of metal roofing being an energy-efficient material are: 

  • Economics: With improved energy efficiency, your utility bills become lower, easing the strain on the family budget.
  • Environment: Increased energy efficiency lowers greenhouse gas emissions and decreases your water use.
  • Utility Systems: Energy efficiency has long-term benefits as it lowers the demand for electricity, reducing our concerns and needs for investing in new electricity generation and infrastructure.

What does “more energy-efficient” mean?

In simple terms, being more energy-efficient means getting the same results with less energy. Whether it is finding ways to do this physically or as in this case, keeping the conveniences we’ve become accustomed to having but in ways where we can cut our energy bills and reduce pollution. Metal roofing can help you achieve both of these things. 

What are the benefits of energy efficiency?

Regardless of what has motivated you into considering metal roofing and the possibilities of metal roof energy savings, you’ll find other benefits to having metal roofing installed: 

Number 1: Utility Bills are Significantly Reduced

The energy costs of your home are a huge part of your monthly budget. By upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, HVAC systems, and installing metal roofing, you can save up to 30% each month. 

Number 2: A Great ROI 

Energy-efficient purchases, like metal roofing, are investments more than they are expenses. Any investment you can make with your home that offers utility savings is an investment with great ROI that will offset the initial installation cost. And as costs keep going up every year, your metal roofing and other energy-efficient upgrades will keep saving you money. 

Number 3: Property Value Increased

An upgraded, energy-efficient home is a hot commodity in the real estate market today. Each energy-efficient project and upgrade you complete is a bargaining chip that will get you higher offers. Homebuyers are looking for features in a home that are energy efficient because right away, they are buying a valuable equity. 

Number 4: Quality of Life Enhanced

With energy use optimized, you will increase your home’s comfort level along with receiving healthier lifestyle benefits. A home that is drier, warmer, and that has proper ventilation will lower risks of illnesses from mold growth and indoor pollutants are minimized, or even eradicated. 

Number 5: Environment Protection

Energy efficiency reduces your carbon footprint. Currently, homes generate as much as 19% of the greenhouse gas emissions in this country. With energy efficiency measures and upgrades like metal roofing, you’ll reduce your home’s contribution to greenhouse gasses by up to 30%.

Number 6: Cut Your Energy Expenses with Metal Roofing

Energy expenses are usually considered to be a fixed cost, but with upgrades like metal roofing, you can reduce your costs along with other simple energy conservation steps. With additional things like energy-efficient appliances, HVAC systems with a programmable thermostat, advanced power strips, and energy-efficient light bulbs, your energy costs can drop significantly. 

How can energy efficiency be improved?

There are several ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency in addition to the things we’ve discussed like upgrading appliances and metal roofing. Some of the most effective things you can do that aren’t as expensive are: 

  • Inspect, repair, replace, and seal air ductwork.
  • Repair or replace leaking faucets.
  • Insulate the water heater and all piping on exterior walls.
  • Upgrade to a programmable thermostat. 
  • Use cold water for laundry and clothing to dry.
  • Exchange all incandescent light bulbs for CFL or LED.
  • Clean and replace your air filter every 30 days.

What is the best color of metal roof for energy savings?

White is an energy-saving color in clothing because it reflects the sun’s UV rays. The same can be said of metal roofing, but white isn’t always the most architecturally appealing color. Choose a blue, gray, green, or even a silver color will still provide you with the reflective nature of metal roofing. 

worker installing a metal roof

A Final and Most Common Concern

Yes, homeowner’s insurance is always a major concern for any homeowner. So, if you go to the expense of having metal roofing installed, does a metal roof lower your insurance in Texas? You’ll be happy to know that the State of Texas was the first to mandate homeowners a discount for metal roofing because of its hail resistance. Other states have been slow to do the same, but more are finding the benefits of fire and hail resistance that metal roofing can provide. Check with your agent on this topic so you’re informed as you make the decision to go with metal roofing.