Question - I'm tired of the expense of replacing my shingle roof every 20 years. Does it make sense to install a new fireproof, but more expensive, residential-style metal roof? Will my house stay cooler during summer? - Ann R.

Answer - There is absolutely nothing negative to say about the new residential-type metal roofing. It looks beautiful, has a 50-year to a lifetime warranty, is fireproof, reduces summer air-conditioning costs and is very good for the environment.

Attractive metal roofing is quickly becoming the signature of expensive top-end houses. Although it does cost somewhat more to install, the overall life-cycle cost is lower because one can literally last forever.

There are many metal roofing options to choose from depending on your budget and the appearance that you desire. From the ground, simulated cedar shake metal roofs are virtually impossible to distinguish from real cedar.

The Solar Energy Center found that installing a Rustic Shake aluminum roof reduced attic heat gain in the summer by 34 percent for a large air-conditioning savings. In the winter, it creates no negative effect. Also check with your insurance company about a fire-safe discount with a new metal roof.

If you prefer an elegant tile look, choose a new steel roof that uses special painting processes. Real earthtone granules are placed on the final paint coat, and then it is covered with a super-durable clear coat. You can often install this roofing over your old shingles without an expensive tear-off.

These steel roofs look identical to real tile at a fraction of the weight. No additional roof supports are needed. They are often available in large, lightweight 4-foot panels. You need only 23 panels per 100 square feet of roof, so installation is quick.

Most durable steel and aluminum residential roofing is finished with a Kynar coating (some offer 20 colors). The Kynar coating is so tough that it withstands the 400-ton metal forming presses with no damage. It is guaranteed against peeling and fading.

Copper, the most revered and expensive roofing material, has many advantages. It weathers to a beautiful green patina, which protects the surface from further oxidation. Copper also cools fast on summer evenings whereas regular asphalt shingles hold the heat much longer.

Your grandchildren will thank you for choosing aluminum or copper. Nearly 80 percent of copper and aluminum roofing is made from recycled materials. Each year, discarded asphalt shingles could fill a football field over one mile high.

Write for (or instant download - Update Bulletin No. 976 - buyer's guide of 15 manufacturers of residential aluminum, copper, steel roofing, styles, colors, weights and features. Please include $3 and a business-size SAE.

James Dulley, Deseret News, 6906 Royal-green Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.

Question - Our refrigerator is not new, and it seems to run a lot. I have an outdoor thermometer to measure the temperature inside it. What should the refrigerator and freezer temperatures be? - Joan E.

Answer - It is very important to have the temperatures set properly. If they are too warm, the foods will not stay fresh. If they are a few degrees too cold, your refrigerator compressor must run excessively long.

The proper refrigerator temperature is 38 to 40 degrees. The proper freezer temperature is 0 degrees. Use a bulb-type outdoor thermometer to check it. The spring-type dial outdoor thermometers are not as accurate.