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Energy-efficient siding can reduce your carbon footprint, save you money by lowering your energy bills, and put less strain on your HVAC system. Not only that, but it usually requires less maintenance and can raise the value of your home. So which siding is the most energy-efficient?
Insulated vinyl siding is thermally resistant, making it highly energy-efficient. Insulated siding adds an extra layer of insulation when compared to standard vinyl siding. The extra insulation stops cold air from entering your home and stops the warm air inside from escaping, significantly reducing your energy bills.
There are lots of different options available besides vinyl siding, each with its pros and cons. I’ll now take you through each one so you can make an informed decision.
Vinyl siding is a great choice for your home as it is a green product and doesn’t need to be caulked or painted. It is also easily recyclable. By using vinyl siding, you can create the same look for your home as using other cladding types such as stone, slate, or wood, but for a much cheaper price.
Vinyl is an excellent material to use for siding if you want to make your home more energy-efficient as you can easily use it with insulated siding. Insulated siding is a type of foam that will add an extra layer of insulation to your house. If you use insulated siding with vinyl, then it can greatly reduce outside noise, usually by around 40%.
Not only that, but vinyl is strong and durable and can stand extreme weather conditions such as continual rain and high temperatures. It is so strong that it can take winds of over 100mph (160km/h) without being damaged.
Vinyl siding doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance as, unlike wood, it doesn’t crack or warp and cannot be damaged by insects or birds such as woodpeckers. From time to time, you can just hose it down with water and soap to keep it clean.
- Cost-effective. It’s inexpensive and can easily be retrofitted.
- Thermally resistant, which makes your home far more energy-efficient, especially if you also use foam insulated siding.
- Comes in a wide variety of colors and styles available.
- Weather-resistant and can stand up to extremes of weather.
- Doesn’t need a lot of maintenance.
- Repainting can be difficult and may void the warranty.
- Damage will usually result in the whole panel needing to be replaced.
- Only lasts 10 to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
Cedar siding is widely used and is a popular choice for several reasons. It is extremely energy-efficient, appealing to look at, provides good protection from the weather, and is strong and durable. As it is biodegradable it is also eco-friendly and cedarwood doesn’t need much processing or treatment to get it ready to use.
Cedarwood siding is an excellent insulator. It keeps your home warm in the winter by preventing heat from escaping and cool in the summer by trapping the cool air in.
- Naturally insulating, so makes it an energy-efficient choice.
- Aesthetically appealing.
- Available in a wide variety of paints and stains.
- Requires maintenance such as repainting and staining to prevent rotting and warping. If you don’t maintain it regularly, then it could end up needing bigger and more expensive repairs.
- Not suited to hot areas as it is a fire risk.
Stucco is made from Portland cement, limestone, sand, water, and additives that improve the strength and flexibility of the siding.
It is strong and durable, so much so that it regularly comes with a warranty of 15 to 20 years. In fact, if it is properly looked after, it can actually last much longer, up to 100 years or more.
Stucco siding can be used in any climate so long as it is well-maintained, but sometimes moisture can get in through the stucco, which could cause problems in damper climates as it can lead to moisture problems in the frame of the house.
In particularly cold or freezing temperatures, water can find its way into cracks in the stucco, causing damage through the repeated freeze-thaw action.
- Attractive and pleasing to look at.
- Can last for more than 100 years so long as it is properly looked after.
- Provides good protection against pests.
- Doesn’t need painting
- Can be as expensive to use as wood.
- Unsuited to damp climates as it can be damaged by continual rain.
- Can crack, which leads to expensive repairs if it has not been mixed with epoxy.
Fiber cement and composite siding
Fiber cement is made by mixing sand and cement with wood fibers. This is the thickest siding that you can use, and it is particularly strong. It is an excellent choice to use if it needs to withstand high winds and snow or hail.
Paint lasts much longer on fiber cement siding, so it doesn’t need to be repainted as often as wood siding does. If you need a siding that is strong and will last for a long time, then fiber cement is definitely a good choice.
- More affordable and a good alternative to stone or wood sidings.
- The wood fibers in it keep their natural insulation properties.
- Fire resistant
- Pest resistant
- Low maintenance and long-lasting, lasting for around 50 years.
- Extremely durable, so a good choice for homes in areas of extreme weather.
- Not as energy-efficient as stone
What is insulated siding?
Insulated siding is a material that adds another layer to the back of the siding material, and it is usually added to vinyl siding. This is so that it creates a siding that has additional insulation combined with the benefits provided by the external siding material.
Although there are quite a few types of insulation that can be used, the one most frequently used is a foam core underneath the external siding material.
Benefits of insulated siding
Even though your house is probably already pretty well insulated, it is still a good idea to add insulated siding rather than standard siding. This is because the insulated siding adds another layer of insulation to your house, making your house more energy-efficient.
It makes it more energy-efficient by trapping warm air in the house during winter, which reduces your heating bills, so it’s well worth the investment.