We tend to miss the big stuff.
When we think of the energy efficiency of our homes, we’ve been trained by decades of advertising to think of windows and Energy Star appliance ratings. We rarely consider the material that covers the house. That’s a mistake.
Put simply, the key to an energy efficient home is an efficient envelope that seals your interior against the effects of weather. To keep in the air you pay to cool in summer and heat in winter, you need the most airtight seal you can get.
That envelope is made up of the walls of your home, inside and out. Layers of paint, drywall, studs with insulation between them, and exterior material are what separates your air-conditioned comfort from the humid heat of this brutal summer.
That exterior material can be made of many things, and each performs differently.
Engineers measure the energy efficiency of insulation with R-value – a measurement of how well the material resists heat flow. Most state building codes require homes to have a R-value of 13, and most exterior materials make up a fairly small portion of that value. Brick or stone veneer, for instance, has an R-value of 0.11, according to tests performed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers.
Traditional vinyl siding has an R-value of about 0.61 – nearly five times as efficient.
And, you’ll notice, we just used the word “traditional.” There are better options.
Insulated vinyl siding – vinyl backed with foam insulation bonded permanently to the siding panels – carries an R-value from 2 to 5.
Insulated vinyl siding, according to some studies, can cut your heating bills by as much as 20 percent. It’s also more durable than traditional home cladding, better withstanding impacts from storms, and errant neighborhood baseballs. It even offers better noise insulation.
Window Nation’s reinforced siding is installed with our custom Fullback® Insulation backing, giving our siding a rock-solid feel and improved energy performance. The exceptional permeability of Fullback® also provides protection against rot, mold and mildew as well as deters pest infestation with a built-in pest control agent.
Proper installation is vital – even small gaps and imperfections not easily visible can compromise that weathertight seal (the reason insulated vinyl has such a variable R-rating comes down to the skill of the installer). A replacement project also offers the opportunity to consider other weatherproofing projects, such as installing a new homewrap while the siding is off.
It also offers the opportunity to express yourself through your home’s design. While traditional vinyl siding was available only in a limited range of light colors, newer technologies mean a huge range of custom colors is available. Our Trimworks® decorative trim accents allow you to customize your home’s look, with handcrafted trim details around windows, doors, corners and outside eaves.
Properly installed, vinyl siding can improve the look, durability, and energy efficiency of your home for 20 years.
There are many reasons vinyl siding has become the most popular choice in America for both new home construction and remodeling projects. It delivers the warm, quality appearance of wood without the costly, time consuming maintenance and repairs. Vinyl siding won’t split, peel, or rot. Because the color goes clear through the panel, vinyl never needs to be scraped, stained, or painted.
And, with our Fullback insulation, it’s the most energy efficient option.