Replacing your old, worn-out siding helps restore your home’s aesthetics and functionality. However, these are not the only benefits you can get when investing in a new exterior cladding. As one of your home’s primary defenses against the elements, it also plays a vital role in ensuring indoor comfort. In other words, new siding helps improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Keep in mind, however, that the key to reducing heat gain and loss through your home’s outer envelope is to combine your choice of siding with high-quality housewarap and rigid foam insulation. Still, certain siding materials offer better energy performance than others. Installing a top-notch siding product contributes to lowering the amount of energy needed to maintain desirable indoor temperatures.
Read on as we discuss how new siding can help boost the energy efficiency of your home. We’ll also tackle some of the greenest siding options on the market and other exterior home improvement tips that will help you use energy more wisely.
The Impact of Siding Replacement
Just like the roof and the other exterior elements of your home, siding doesn’t last forever. As it nears the end of its lifespan, it starts to show signs of wear and tear caused by either aging or a lack of maintenance. Delaying the need for replacement causes your home’s insulation to be less effective than it was before. This allows drafts to enter your home and compromise comfort, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to compensate for the heat loss or gain. Spending unnecessary energy leads to higher monthly utility bills and an overall less efficient household.
Tackling siding replacement as soon as possible, however, helps prevent these problems from even occurring in the first place. Investing in high-quality siding to replace your old one helps reduce solar heat transfer. Combined with regular maintenance, expect it to work year-round to make sure your home uses energy more efficiently.
However, there are factors you need to consider when choosing a replacement for your siding installation project. Two of them come to mind: R-value and insulation at the back of the siding.
The R-Value of Siding Materials
The term “R-value” is a term used in the construction industry to rate how well a building material insulates the interiors. The higher it is, the better the material is at insulating. Most building codes require all of the home’s walls to have an R-value of at least 13. Siding, however, has a rating of less than 1. It is safe to say that siding alone isn’t the most protective part of your home’s exterior.
With that in mind, the most common types of cladding vary in terms of R-value. Wood shingle siding, for instance, has an R-value of 0.87. An inch of brick or stone veneer, meanwhile, has an R-value of 0.11. Standard siding made of vinyl, aluminum, or steel, as well as stucco, are somewhere in the middle at 0.61 and 0.40, respectively.
These differences are the reason why several regions across the United States have their preferred choice of siding material. For instance, residential properties in the South tend to have stucco exteriors because air circulation is given more importance over insulation. Houses in the North, meanwhile, consider vinyl or wood as better options because of their ability to protect against a wide range of elements.
The Importance of Insulated Siding
Insulated or thermal siding has a permanent foam backing that fills in the gaps between the siding and the wall. This additional component helps raise the exterior cladding material’s R-value, albeit a little bit. It might still be well below the code requirement for walls as a whole, but you may see some significant improvements in both comfort and energy performance if you install this kind of siding. In fact, thermal siding provides insulation to wall studs, which makes up one-fourth of your home’s walls. Wooden studs are poor insulators, after all, and can contribute to the heat loss and gain in extreme temperatures.
Vinyl remains the most sought-after material for insulated siding. Others like steel, aluminum, and fiber cement also come in insulated varieties. Some experts argue that insulated siding can help save up to 20% in yearly energy bills. Foam-backed siding is also said to withstand strong winds, hail, and other damaging weather conditions, and can reduce outdoor noise transmission.
Additional Tips to Consider
High R-value materials and insulation at the back of the siding won’t be as effective as they are if the surface below your chosen siding product cannot properly protect against the elements. Tackling a siding replacement project allows you to install additional barriers between the walls and the siding, including a house wrap and a separate layer of rigid foam insulation. Both of these components not only improve your home’s energy performance but also protect against the condensation and moisture that cause mold infestation within the wall cavities.
In addition to replacing your siding, there are other exterior renovation ideas you can consider to keep your home’s energy envelope as airtight as possible. If you have old windows and doors, for instance, consider fixing or replacing them. Unless you have the budget for replacements, take the time to ensure they are sealed around the edges so they don’t leak air and water in. Otherwise, choose windows and doors with the ENERGY STAR® label. When it comes to windows, consider dual-pane glazing for their thermal performance.
Another exterior component you want to take a look at is your roof. One of the most important things about your roof, however, is the insulation in your attic. Together with your siding, it helps keep the temperature in your home steady and combats seasonal heating and cooling cycles.
Count on Us for Your Siding Needs
At Peninsula Siding Company, Inc., we work with the best building materials available, professionally installed by our highly trained siding installation teams and professional management staff. We take pride in installing siding products from the top brands in the industry, including James Hardie® and LP® Building Solutions.
Call us today at ?(650) 529-6798 to discuss your siding replacement project. You may also fill out our contact form to request a quote.