21st Century Texas

Important Information about Insulated Siding

What is insulated siding?

Insulated siding is home siding that includes rigid foam insulation which is fused behind the exterior surface of the wall for the purpose of reducing energy consumption and increasing the insulation value of the wall system. Insulated siding also improves the stability and appearance of the siding. Currently, it’s only available as a type of vinyl siding.

How does insulated siding improve energy efficiency?

Insulated siding improves energy efficiency. How? By reducing thermal bridging. What is thermal bridging? It occurs when materials that are poor insulators, like wall studs, come into contact and allow heat to flow through the path of least thermal resistance. This allows little heat transfer between nearby layers or material separated by airspace. Therefore, insulated siding acts like a blanket, providing continuous insulation over the studs. This helps homes stay warm in winter and cool in summer.

Study results showing what insulated siding can do for you

In a recent study of five homes that had insulated siding, it was discovered that there was an average improvement in tightness of 11 percent, an average energy savings of 5.5 percent and an improvement of 2.0 to 8.0 points in the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). This is the nationally recognized score of a home’s energy performance.

Insulated siding keeps the wet away

Some say that insulated vinyl siding provides measurable but modest improvements in the thermal performance of homes retrofitted with it. They think that there may be little to no benefit to the insulated siding. It’s important; however, to note that a study conducted showed that insulated vinyl siding had the best drying capacity after a wet event. This may be significant for folks who live in very wet areas.

A little background on insulated siding

Insulated siding was first introduced commercially in 1997. It incorporates a substantial thickness of rigid-foam plastic insulation that is laminated or somehow permanently attached to the vinyl. EPS (expanded polystyrene) is rigid and stable and achieves higher levels of thermal performance. It’s the most common material used in insulated siding.

DOE and EPA recognize insulated siding as a help

Both the DOE and EPA recognize insulated siding can improve a home’s energy efficiency. When properly installed, the insulated siding can meet the performance guidelines of an Energy Star qualified new home.  The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation level is and the better the energy efficiency for your home.

We, at 21st Century, don’t really take a position on insulated vinyl siding. We will do what you want to your home to make you happy. The jury is kind of out on how effective it is. Regardless, we can place vinyl siding on your home, insulated or not and are happy to work with you. Give us a call today at 512-219-0342.