Not every prefabricated metal building kit will need to come equipped with insulated metal panels. But if you live in an area with dramatic seasons or need to keep your building temperature controlled for livestock, agriculture, or simply your comfort, you’ll need it to be insulated. Ideally, the right insulation will save you money in the long term by reducing your heating and cooling costs over time.
Why does heat transfer happen?
Heat transfer happens when warm air inside the building leaks into the cool environment outdoors, or vice versa. Walls are generally the most significant culprit: about 33% of heat transfer happens through the walls of an uninsulated building: the roof area and any points of leakage each makeup about 26% of heat loss. So, before considering the type of insulation you’ll need for your building, it’s essential to find building materials with a tight seal that won’t settle over time. Choosing a steel frame and metal panels for your project can reduce heat loss by 26%.
To further protect your structure, you’ll need proper insulation that is equipped not only to protect from heat transfer but also moisture. Energy-efficient insulation and a tight seal work in tandem to lock out moisture and prevent rust that can compromise connections, bolts, and screws.
Where is insulation most important?
Insulated wall panels are used in prefabricated metal buildings to break the steel-to-steel contact within your walls and roof. When cold steel from the exterior of your building comes in contact with the warm metal panels inside, you’ve created a recipe for condensation; this is the beginning of a moisture problem that could cost you thousands of dollars down the line.
At a minimum, you should opt for insulated metal panels for the roof of your structure. As your weather conditions become more extreme, it becomes more important to include insulated metal panels on your walls as well. For example, in colder climates, heavy snowfall can pile up against the side of the building, creating a sharp temperature difference between the inside and outside steel panels. Condensation will ensue, and you might be looking at a rust issue by next winter.
Are insulated metal panels worth the extra cost?
Prefabricated metal building kits offer a variety of customizations designed to improve energy efficiency and save you money. The goal is to reduce energy expenditure over the life of the structure, which will keep money in your pocket in more ways than one. We already know that an adequately insulated steel building will eliminate the possibility for rust, a costly repair. But insulated metal panels can also drastically reduce your heating and cooling bills.
How does it work? Insulation requires no energy to save energy. Barring any significant damage, it will never need to be replaced for the life of your prefab metal building. It’s a one-time cost that could save you more money than practically any other energy efficiency upgrade. In fact, according to the EPA, properly installed insulation can save over 600 times more energy than using CFL bulbs, Energy Star Appliances, and energy-efficient windows and doors combined.
So, why not use spray foam?
Good question! When talking about energy-efficient insulation, fiberglass, wool, and spray foam often come up. You can choose to use spray foam insulation on your building kit after it has been delivered, but we’d caution you to be careful with these alternative insulation options. Spray foam isn’t thick enough to perform at the same level as insulated metal panels. You may not experience the same energy efficiency, and improper installation could affect your ability to receive building permits or prevent air leaks.
On top of that, the EPA has issued warnings that spray foam chemicals can increase your risk of developing asthma, lung damage, or other respiratory and breathing problems.
Instead, we recommend insulated metal panels because they utilize laminated blanket insulation, a safer, cost-effective option. As a bonus, metal structure insulation also:
● Improves noise control
● Provides enhanced light reflectance
● Controls condensation
● Comes in several color options for exposed insulation
And, of course, it’s all non-toxic and fire-resistant, just like the rest of your prefabricated metal building kit. We recommend insulated metal panels because they are the safest option for every metal building project.
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