What's the Best Metal Roof Color for Energy Efficiency?

What’s the Best Metal Roof Color for Energy Efficiency?

With modern metal roof finishing options, you have a wide array of color options for your home. When choosing a metal roof color, however, the decision goes beyond aesthetics or curb appeal. The color also impacts how the roof will perform in the realm of energy efficiency. You want a roof that will reflect UV radiation, keep your living space at a more stable temperature, and reduce the workload on your HVAC system.

The central question is, “What’s the best metal roof color for energy efficiency?” Ruminating on your roof color doesn’t require special knowledge or fancy equipment. You just need to have a basic understanding of solar reflectivity.

Dark vs. Light Colored Roofs

The energy efficiency of a metal roof hinges on the albedo effect. Albedo refers to the ability of a surface to reflect UV radiation and naturally dissipate heat, keeping the surface temperature cooler. 

From a macro view, roofing color can be divided into two categories: dark or light. For maximum energy efficiency, you should go with a lighter roof. Lighter-colored roofs have a higher albedo effect, reflecting more light and heat than darker colors. 

Dark roofs have a lower albedo effect and readily absorb radiation emitted by the sun. The problem comes from the fact that the roof re-radiates this heat into the home’s roof cavity. Unless your home has high levels of insulation, the heat will migrate into the house through the ceiling. It’s not uncommon for the attic to reach 122°F on a hot day when the home is poorly insulated.

Increased absorption increases your home’s energy usage. In other words, the hotter the roof is, the more energy it takes to cool your home. Your air conditioning system will work overtime to help regulate indoor temperatures, increasing electricity bills.

Lighter colors are the best for energy efficiency. White or light-colored surfaces do not go through dramatic temperature changes as they reflect wavelengths of light. Less solar radiation heat entering your living space means less cooling is needed to reduce unwanted outside temperature influences. 

A light-colored metal roof can reduce your air conditioning costs by up to 25%.

Here are some of the most common light metal roof color options to choose from:

  • Light brown – sand, tan, khaki, etc.
  • White – off-white, beige, cream, etc.
  • Light green – muted green, tea, etc.
  • Light blue – pastel, sky, etc.
  • Light gray – silver, stone, etc.

Whites and beiges are generally better at reflecting UV radiation than greens and blues. But you don’t need to stress about choosing the lightest color option available in the market. Instead, you can pick your preferred color, then choose a lighter shade of that color, if possible.

Other Factors That Influence Your Metal Roof’s Energy Efficiency

When planning your metal roof installation, there are other factors to consider if you want to promote your roofing system’s overall energy efficiency. These include:

Roof Insulation

Insulation plays a vital role in creating a truly energy-effective roof and home. It reduces heat flow between the attic and the rest of the home. When your attic is properly ventilated, its temperature is generally warmer or colder than you want indoors. Adequate attic insulation ensures temperatures in the attic interfere as little as possible with the temperature in your living space. 

In addition to keeping unwanted heat out, insulation keeps cool air inside during the summer and prevents heated air from leaking out of your home during the winter.

Attic Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation works hand-in-hand with roof insulation. Ventilation allows the attic to have a continuous stream of fresh air to regulate temperature and prevent heat from building up in the attic. Moreover, it helps regulate moisture levels that can cause water damage or freezing during winter.

Ventilation introduces cool air in the attic via inlet vents and releases hot air via outlet vents. 

Having an energy-efficient roof involves using suitable materials and systems to block the exterior temperature from affecting the temperatures inside a home. 

Location and Climate

The location of your home plays a crucial role in how much you can save by having an energy-efficient roof. While you obviously can’t do anything about the climate around your home, you must consider it and use the best material and color to decrease overall energy usage.

Hire an Experienced Roofing Professional

If you’re ready to explore metal roofing color options, turn to the experienced Arlington roofing technicians at S&S Roofing for assistance. We will consider how much sunlight your roof gets and the kind of exterior color scheme you have. Then, we will help you choose the right color to save money on your electricity bills, complement your home, or add visual appeal. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.