Installing Energy Star metal roofing on your home will not only help to reduce your energy bills, but through the end of 2007, Americans who use it can receive up to $500 in tax credit savings. Note that's a tax credit, not a deduction. A $500 tax credit is an extra $500 in your pocket because credits are subtracted directly from total tax liability. Because of this, a tax credit gives a higher take-home value than a deduction.
Reducing Energy Bills
Metal roofs reflect heat in contrast to dark asphalt shingled roofs, which absorb heat. An unpainted metal roof reflects a lot of the sun's solar radiation, which keeps your attic space a little cooler, but Energy Star metal roofing adds to the efficiency of a metal roof's reflective quality, which can save homeowners up to 40 percent in cooling costs.
Energy Star is willing to help you make your home more energy efficient. It doesn't matter whether you plan to do the project yourself or have a professional do it. Here are the steps Energy Star guides the homeowner to follow to a more energy efficient home:
- Analyze home energy use
- Seal and insulate
- Learn how to heat and cool efficiently
- Choose Energy Star qualified products
- Take a whole house approach
Finishes on Metal Roofs
As stated above, an unpainted metal roof reflects the sun's solar radiation. However, for people who live in warmer climates, metal roofs come in pre-painted or granular-coated varieties. These Energy Star roofs not only reflect solar radiation but also work to expel the heat trapped in your attic space.
Installing Energy Star Metal Roofing
Before you take on a do-it-yourself approach to installing your metal roof, consider the ramifications:
- What if the roof leaks and causes internal damage. Who is at fault? Who pays for repairs?
- Is the roof's warranty valid if you install it?
Many types of metal roofing exist. Do your research and be sure that the roof you choose is an Energy Star qualified metal roof. Then if you need a how-to guide to help you along the way you can buy such books as Steven Bolt's Roofing the Right Way to help you in the installation process.
Remember that the Energy Star rating is based on the roof's reflective factor, which comes from the pigments, resins, etc. that are used to reflect solar energy. As you choose the roof to be installed, take into consideration your attic, ventilation, insulation and the roof all as one system. This will help you to decide if the Energy Star feature is important to you.
Benefits of Metal Roofing
Benefits to installing a metal roof are not only financial, but some are also environmental. One example is that much of metal roofing is made from recycled material. Plus, the metal roof can often be installed over an existing asphalt roof. This reduces landfill waste and makes installation quicker. Along with this environmentally beneficial aspect, using less energy results in less burning of fossil fuels at the power plants. This in turn means less air pollution.
The resulting energy efficiency from installing a metal roof can also help eliminate a number of common household problems like:
- Moisture on window panes
- Peeling paint
Although purchasing your metal roof may seem like a high monetary output initially, if you stay in your house for a period of years, the cost justifies itself not only because of the savings in energy costs, but also because metal roofing takes greater wear and tear. In fact, when I lived through Hurricane Charley in 2004, many roofs in my area were damaged or gone, but not one metal roof had to be replaced.
Tax Credit Deadline
Currently the tax incentive provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is due to expire at the end of 2007. However, a number of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have included provisions that would extend the deadline for the residential construction market. You can contact your representatives to learn more.