Vinyl siding is popular among homeowners. This is mainly because of its affordability, durability, and ability to protect a home from moisture infiltration. The question is: can it also improve the energy efficiency of a home?

Yes, vinyl siding is great at insulating homes because it is a poor conductor of heat. You can get an even better insulating effect by using insulated vinyl siding. This siding is thicker and comes with an added foam layer.

Here is what you should know about vinyl siding and its insulating effects.

While the main material in both vinyl siding and insulated vinyl siding is vinyl, there are significant differences between the two. They differ in terms of durability, cost, installation process, moisture management, and the ability to save energy. Here is what you should know about the differences between the two materials.

Cost compareLowHigh
Regular siding$3.5$7
Insulated siding (Foam backed)$7.50$12.50

Generally, insulated vinyl siding costs more than regular vinyl siding. On average, it costs about $4 -$20 per square foot while regular vinyl siding costs between $3.5 and $7 per square foot. This difference is mainly because of the following reasons.

  • In order to create insulated vinyl, manufacturers tend to use more materials. This usually translates into higher materials costs and hence a higher price point.
  • Shipping insulated vinyl siding tends to cost more. This is thanks mainly to the fact that it is bulkier.
  • Installing insulated vinyl sometimes requires additional steps. This means spending more time installing it. It also makes the installation process relatively more labor-intensive process.
  • In terms of high-end and premium options, insulated vinyl sidings offer more options. The options tend to also have better profiles and premium colors, something that makes them generally more expensive.
Does vinyl siding insulate a house

Appearance

Insulated vinyl siding tends to come in richer and darker colors than regular vinyl siding. This is because regular vinyl tends to be a little bit more vulnerable to direct sunlight and so manufacturers tend to produce them in less rich and darker colors in order to minimize the effects of direct sunlight.

As for insulated vinyl siding, it tends to enjoy the structural benefit of having contoured foam. It is less susceptible to the harmful effects of direct sunlight. As a result, manufacturers don’t have to worry about using richer and darker colors since they know that the siding has the added support of contoured foam.

Insulated vinyl siding also tends to create an appearance that is as close to real wood as possible. This is because the added support of contoured foam makes it possible for the sidings to create profiles that are sharper and way more crisper.

Energy savings

When it comes to energy efficiency, insulated vinyl siding is flat out better. This is because it contains an extra layer that enables it to provide additional insulation. As a result, it is better at reducing air conditioning costs, by up to over 14%, just because it is better at slowing the rate at which a home gains and loses heat from and to the external environment.

Installation

As far as installation is concerned, regular vinyl is easier to install than insulated vinyl. This is mainly because insulated vinyl is typically thicker, and this added thickness usually for an installer to go an extra mile.

The first thing that presents a challenge is cutting. Insulated vinyl isn’t as easy to cut as regular vinyl siding. As a result, in order to cut it properly, it is always advisable that you use a saw as opposed to hand snips.

The second challenge that you have to overcome is how the added thickness affects how the siding fits with the windows, trims, doors, and other in-wall accessories. As a result, you may have to use additional accessories in order to avoid an awkward-looking installation. This is a problem that you typically don’t face when installing regular vinyl siding.

Durability

Both types of sidings are incredibly durable and easy to maintain. And while vinyl-based siding had earlier created a reputation of being susceptible to warping, cracking, and fading, current vinyl-based products contain additives that enhance their ability to withstand direct sunlight and harsh environments.

However, there is a difference between the two types of vinyl when it comes to their ability to absorb physical impact. Insulated vinyl siding is better placed when it comes to resisting impact. This is because the added layer of foam that it has seals the gap that usually exists between vinyl siding and the wall. This is in addition to providing additional structural support.

The fact that insulated vinyl siding has an additional layer also presents manufacturers with the opportunity to make it more durable than regular vinyl siding.

For example, some manufacturers infuse the foam layer with insecticides. This helps prevent termite attacks, something that definitely goes a long way towards increasing the longevity of the siding. This is something that regular vinyl siding doesn’t enjoy.

Moisture management

Vinyl is a great material for siding because it is moisture resistant. This makes regular vinyl siding effective at protecting your home from moisture. However, since insulated vinyl siding usually contains a layer of foam, it is not as effective when it comes to moisture management. This is because the foam layer can trap moisture and this can create moisture problems like encouraging mold growth in vinyl siding.

A house wrap is recommended before installing insulated siding to make sure the issue does not spread indoors.

Can vinyl siding make my house more energy efficient?

Yes, vinyl can make your house more energy-efficient. This is because vinyl is a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, when you install it, you are effectively giving your house an additional coat of insulating material.

The added layer simply reduces the rate at which your home loses heat. It also slows down the rate at which it gains heat from the environment.

As a result, your air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard as it usually does in order to either cool or heat your home. It thus effectively makes your house more energy-efficient.

You can make it even more energy-efficient if you opt for insulated vinyl siding. This type of siding usually contains an additional foam layer that helps to enhance the siding’s insulating effect. In fact, research has shown that it can improve a home’s energy efficiency by up to 14.3%.

Does vinyl siding maintain dryness inside my house?

Yes, vinyl will maintain dryness inside your house. This is because vinyl is moisture resistant. As a result, when it is properly installed, it will act as an effective moisture shield that will protect your house’s framing, framing, insulation, and other parts of the house, from moisture infiltration.

Does vinyl siding create moisture problems?

Vinyl siding doesn’t typically cause moisture problems especially when it is properly installed. It is inherently moisture resistant. If anything, it usually helps to prevent moisture problems.

A moisture problem tends to arise in cases where there is a poor installation. This is so especially in cases where homeowners install the siding with a foam backing. The combination of the siding and the foam sometimes creates a moisture trap that can expose your home to problems such as mold and rotting.

Does vinyl siding create moisture problems the house with vinyl siding

What is the lifetime of vinyl siding?

The lifetime of vinyl usually ranges between 20 to 40 years. The exact lifespan of your vinyl siding will however depend on how well you installed it, the degree of sun exposure, and the nature of maintenance activities that you carry out to keep it in shape.

Is the maintenance of vinyl siding easy?

Yes, maintaining vinyl siding is easy. All you have to do in order to maintain its aesthetic appeal is to occasionally hose it down with clean water. Wiping it with soap and water is usually enough to remove stubborn stains. And you can always refresh its look by giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Will vinyl siding increase the resale value of my house?

Yes, a new vinyl siding installation will increase the resale value of your house. This is simply because it will improve its aesthetic appeal. And when you use higher quality siding like insulated vinyl siding, you can be able to command more in terms of price as most people appreciate the benefit of having a home that is energy efficient.

Is vinyl siding cheaper than other exterior finishing materials?

Yes, vinyl siding is among the cheapest exterior finishing materials. It is relatively cheaper than stucco, wood siding, and even aluminum siding.

FAQ’s

Yes, vinyl siding is worth it because it improves the energy efficiency of a home. This usually translates into significant cost savings. And when you consider the fact that it helps to keep moisture problems at bay, and that it requires little to no maintenance in order to enjoy all the benefits that it comes with, it is definitely worth it.

Yes, vinyl siding works. It works in terms of improving the energy efficiency of homes. It is also an effective moisture-proof cover that helps to keep homes dry and warm.

The cost of vinyl siding ranges between $3.50 and $7 per square foot. However, the exact cost will depend on the quality of the vinyl siding and the type of vinyl that you opt for. For example, since insulated vinyl siding comes with an extra layer of foam, it tends to cost more than regular vinyl siding.

Reinforced vinyl siding is the most durable vinyl siding. This is because it contains additional layers of material that provide extra support to the vinyl. In addition to creating better structural support, this added material typically acts as a shock absorber. This makes the vinyl less prone to developing dents from physical trauma.

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FAQ’s Does vinyl siding insulate a house

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.