Your home’s exterior cladding is at the forefront of the house’s performance against mother nature’s elements. It’s the first layer of the home that encounters rain, wind, snow, hail and anything else that the local climate can throw at it. Along with protecting your home’s internal layers from all of the outdoor elements and providing you comfort and peace of mind, your home’s exterior layer should insulate and raise the overall value of the home. And lastly, it should help reduce the strain on the HVAC system, helping lower energy bills or at least allow you to manage energy costs during the useful life of the siding. We’ve put together a great list of homeowners’ most popular exterior cladding materials and how they stack up against each other in the energy savings department.
Energy Efficiency and The R-Value
While the energy efficiency of the exterior of a home is not as important or as hardworking as the walls, wrap and insulation, the exterior does have an important role to play. The construction industry has given this level of insulation a measurement known as the “r-value” of a building, being the higher the r-value, the better the material is at insulating the interior. The exterior cladding plays a small role, in that the building code is usually supposed to be rated 13 at least by r-value and it doesn’t reach over a score of 1 in total. However, there are definitely some insulation level differences between the materials, aside from the curb appeal in your home improvement project.
Wood siding is a long time natural insulating material making it a popular choice for many years, but the problem with wood shingles is that they’re not exactly low maintenance. Once the elements go to work on it, it will warp and require lots of regular maintenance. Due to its outward facing exterior cladding of a home, wood siding will almost certainly swell, warp and rot if it’s not treated and sealed properly and regularly. This will lower the insulation quality of the material over time and it may open the home to drafts and leaks coming through. Although it’s one of the most expensive installations on the market, it has a roughly low r-value at about 1. Despite the lower r-value rating, the aesthetic of a wood siding home is a timeless classic.
Aluminum or Steel Siding
Where the wood siding fails, the steel siding excels in that it’s extremely low maintenance, lasting for 50 years or more depending on the climate. The insulation qualities of aluminum or steel siding is excellent as well and these are completely recyclable materials. Aluminum and steel siding is also naturally termite and other pest resistant and fire resistant and stands up great to many of the weather conditions thrown at it. You’ll rarely find the lifespan of a home that’s longer than 50 years unless it’s being passed down to another family member. Aluminum siding or steel sheathing is not preferred in colder climates because it doesn’t retain heat all too well and has a tendency to be rather expensive.
Stucco works well in cold climates as well as hotter climates in the energy efficiency category, and has a classic rustic aesthetic which is preferred by many designers and architects alike. If applied correctly and maintained properly, stucco will have a lifetime warranty on the exterior of your home and help control utility bills. Stucco is resistant to pests and fires and requires little maintenance over the life of your home. The downsides of stucco are that it can crack and leak in rainier areas, so it may not be suitable for that environment, plus it can be just as expensive as wood.
When paired with the right type of foam insulation, insulated vinyl siding can be an extremely energy efficient type of siding. Of all of the siding products listed, vinyl or vinyl shake siding can mirror the look and feel of wood fiber and cedar siding and won’t require repainting upkeep ever, unless you’d like to completely void the warranty. The energy performance of vinyl building material on the exterior walls of your home will stand up to harsh weather and depending on the wrap of the building, it will not incur any heat loss as well as keep the cold air in, boosting the efficiency of your home. Factory Direct Siding’s vinyl shakes work with the natural insulation of your home to provide you with cost effective composite siding. Replacement siding or installation, Factory Direct Siding is best. The authentic shake siding can be a cost effective new siding option that looks just like wood and has the strength of a composite to withstand big changes in the weather without fading or needing to be painted, ever!
Vinyl Shake Siding From FDS Stacks Up In Energy Efficiency
The contention that vinyl shake siding is not as energy efficient as the other products on the market is just simply not true. Properly insulated vinyl siding carries the same energy efficiency ratings of many conventional products on the market. Why FDS? Because time and time again, Factory Direct Siding shakes out to be the best siding option! Contact us today for a free consultation.