If you’re a property owner looking to roof or re-roof your home or another structure, you must consider how your roofing decision will impact your future energy demand and costs. Failing to do this is short-sighted and will lead to your energy costs being higher than they need to be.
Your Roofing Decision Impacts Your Future Energy Demands and Costs
As a manufacturer of metal roofing, we have taken considerable steps to ensure that our products are energy efficient in terms of reducing summer heat gain. Our Green American Home metal roofs address all 3 forms of heat transfer – radiant, conductive, and convective – to achieve a roof system of maximum energy efficiency.
While these components and attributes of our metal roofing products save energy through reduced air conditioning demand, we also have engineered methods for attaching solar panels to our roofs for property owners who want to create energy with their rooftops.
Solar Energy Production System Life Expectancy vs. Investment
When considering products that will allow you to use your rooftop to produce energy, it’s important to keep in mind that solar production continually gets more efficient with technology advancements. Because of this, it is wiser to buy a solar system with a 20-year life expectancy rather than one with a longer-term life expectancy. Any solar production equipment made today will be sadly outdated in 20 years, likely not making any sense to even operate it beyond that period of time.
Cost-Effective Solar Energy
The reality is that traditional crystalline photovoltaic panels offer the most cost-effective solar energy production. Their modular nature is very helpful in allowing repairs and replacement. Additionally, while they are durable and built to last 20 or so years, they do eventually need to be replaced, allowing property owners to step up to even more efficient energy production at that time.
Metal Roofs and Solar Installation
Traditional solar panels can be integrated nicely with metal roofs. With clip-fastened standing seam roofs, the panels can be clamped onto the raised seams so that no or very few actual roof penetrations are necessary. With other types of metal roofs, penetrations of the roof will be necessary but there are many commercially available fastening brackets designed for water tightness that work very well.
If you as a homeowner have plans for solar in the future, discuss those plans with your roofing contractor the next time you roof your home. Depending upon the type of roof you choose to have installed, it may be possible for the installer to take steps now that will simplify solar installation in the future.
Metal roofs are ideal for solar installation. The durability of the metal roof will hold up to roof traffic when the solar array is installed and serviced. The metal roof will also easily last as long as the solar panels themselves. Additionally, a cool metal roof from Green American Home can help to increase the efficiency of the solar panels themselves. And, finally, using a metal roof to save energy while producing energy at the same time with solar, is the best of both worlds.
Solar Shingles in the Future?
While our current recommendation today, is to stick to the tried and true traditional photovoltaic panels (which keep getting better all the time), we are pleased to say that there are other things on the horizon. We are anxiously watching the development of “solar shingles” and look forward to integrating them with our metal roofing systems. This truly will be a fully integrated solar roof that makes sense.
More questions about using your roof for energy conservation and production? Ask our expert, Todd Miller.