Insulated vinyl siding was first introduced to the market in 1997. Insulated vinyl panels are reinforced with a foam-core backing laminated to the sheet. These panels look straighter and offer improved resistance to hazards such as hail and baseballs.
Insulated siding can improve a home’s energy efficiency. Most exterior walls have insulation in between the wall studs, but allow significant energy loss through the studs themselves. Wood and metal wall studs are poor insulators because they allow heat to pass through them (a.k.a. Thermal Bridging). And these studs represent up to 25 percent of the wall surface of an average home.
Insulated siding improves energy efficiency by reducing thermal bridging. It offers continuous insulation over the studs, to help homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
Just like ENERGY STAR® appliances and energy efficient windows, insulated siding can also improve a home’s energy performance.
Advantages of Insulated vinyl siding:
- Reduced energy use ranging from just 1 percent to about 11 percent.
- stands up slightly better to wind, hail and being hit by objects
- allows for slightly faster drying than standard siding
- reduces outside noise levels
Disadvantages of Insulated vinyl siding:
- Cost increase averaging 50 percent for siding and 20 percent for trim over standard vinyl siding
- number of styles and colors is limited
What is “R-value”?
Technically speaking, R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. In theory, the higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. But there are actually four key factors that determine an insulation material’s effectiveness. R-value only measures conduction. But heat moves in and out of your home in other ways too, including convection, radiation and air infiltration. And because R-values are measured in a lab, we have to account for the other factors that affect it, things like wind, humidity and temperature changes.
So, when you’re looking for good insulation for your home, be sure to check R-value so that you’ll know it can prevent heat loss via conduction. But it should also prevent heat loss via convection, be densely packed so that it can prevent heat loss via air infiltration and radiation. Insulated vinyl siding is available in various thicknesses and types of insulation, so the R-value of these products varies.
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