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Which Siding is Best for Improving Energy Efficiency?

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In an effort to keep overall household costs down, energy efficiency is a major concern for homeowners. There are a couple of reasons for ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible. Firstly, the cost of keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter can be high, which means a conscious effort to use energy efficient materials is important.Secondly, many homeowners these days are concerned for the environment, so they look for eco-friendly products that help reduce their home’s impact on the environment. 

The purpose of this article is to provide homeowners an insight into the energy efficiency of different siding materials so you can determine the right one for your home.

Wood Siding 

Cedar siding is one of the most popular siding choices, and not just for its excellent energy efficiency. Cedar siding has an attractive exterior, better protection from the elements and it is extremely durable and resistant to weather. Cedar wood is also very eco-friendly as it is biodegradable and requires minimal processing and treatment. It is also a great insulator as it prevents the loss of warm air during winter and keeps in the cool air during summer. It also protects the structure of your home from excessive heat, water and dryness.

Advantages

  • Excellent insulator
  • Eco-friendly
  • Attractive finish
  • Can be easily replaced
  • Durable and resistant to harsh weather

Disadvantages

  • Can be costly
  • Requires regular maintenance (staining/re-painting)
  • Termites can be a big problem if wood is not maintained

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is made of wood fibers that have been mixed with sand and cement. This siding is thicker than other siding and has the ability to withstand extreme weather such as strong wind and hail. It also does not require refreshing as often as wood siding as the paint lasts longer from the time of installation. If you want something that is durable and long-lasting, fiber cement has a good reputation for its quality.

Advantages

  • Not susceptible to termites
  • Water resistant
  • Incombustible
  • Many options for texture and colour

Disadvantages

  • Installation can be more complicated as the material is very heavy
  • Costlier than other types of siding 

Vinyl Siding

For those in the Maryland and Virginia area, vinyl siding will generally the most popular choice. Vinyl siding is known for its ability to withstand the harsh elements, and it can perfectly mimic the look of many types of cladding including stone, wood and slate, for a fraction of the cost. Vinyl siding is also a great choice if you want to increase the energy efficiency of your home as it can be paired with insulated siding, which is a foam that adds another layer of insulation to your home. More on insulated siding below. 

Advantages

  • Durable and resistant to harsh weather
  • Widely available
  • Cost effective
  • Eco-friendly

Disadvantages

  • Cannot be painted once installed
  • Repairs require replacement of entire sections
  • Style/color selection is not as extensive as other types of siding

 

If you want to really increase your energy savings, consider insulated siding. 

 

What is insulated siding?

Insulated siding is a special material that combines the benefits of exterior siding with the addition of an extra layer to the back of the material. Commonly, insulation is added to vinyl siding rather than other types of siding. There are many types of insulation, but the most common option is insulation that offers a foam core underneath the exterior material.

The benefits of insulated siding

You might be wondering what the benefit of added insulated siding is, considering most of the walls of your home are already insulated. The truth is that any type of insulation creates a ‘blanket’ over your home. The more insulation you add, the more ‘blanket layers’ you are adding. This helps further traps the air inside your home and minimizes the amount of air that that enters your home. This can make your home far more energy efficient and make a significant different to your utility bills.

 

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Topics: Siding, Summer