The U.S. Department of Energy uses a national rating system called the Home Energy Score. The score of a home or building reflects its level of energy efficiency based on several factors. Those factors include the home’s hot water systems, its cooling and heating systems, and its overall structure.
Whether you’re working on a home improvement project or your home is undergoing storm damage restoration, it’s advisable to consider the factors that can raise your Home Energy Score. Not only will your home save more energy, but you will also save money and enjoy rebates and credits while also making your home more durable.
The whole-house systems approach can ensure lower energy use in your home, but one of the things many homeowners fail to realize is that a siding replacement project is one of the most crucial components of that approach.
Siding Replacement for Better Energy Efficiency
Replacing your old, battered siding can lead to significantly lower home energy use. If you want to make your home ultra-efficient, siding replacement is one of the areas you should look into first.
There are different siding materials available on the market today, and the latest technologies in manufacturing them have continuously improved to make the materials better than their predecessors. That being said, not all new siding materials are the same, so some are simply better at providing home energy efficiency than others.
When to Replace Your Siding
Siding replacement is a serious investment, so it’s generally advisable to replace your siding when it has reached the end of its lifespan. Waiting any longer can lead to more damage to other parts of your home. There are several signs that point to the fact that it’s time to do a full siding replacement:
- Widespread Physical Damage
You can still repair or replace specific damaged boards or panels, but if the damage is widespread or if your siding has been in a state of disrepair for a long time, it’s time to do a full replacement. This is especially true if the damage is caused by rot and termite infestation.
- Faded, Peeling or Cracked Siding
New siding is not likely to exhibit signs of cracking, peeling or fading. If these are present, it’s because your siding is old. These signs are usually observed in areas where there’s extreme sunlight or frost and thaw cycles. You can probably paint faded siding and restore its former appearance, but if you keep painting it, and the paint fades quickly anyway, take it as a sign to replace your siding.
- Damaged Interior Walls
Take a close look at your interior walls. If you observe moisture or mold and mildew growth, you can probably trace the problem to the siding. But what if your siding looks fine? Many homeowners would rather ignore the wall problems because their siding doesn’t seem to have any damage, but the presence of moisture and mold on your interior walls points to serious siding problems. Call your siding contractor, and have your siding replaced.
- Swelling or Warping
This doesn’t happen to all siding materials. Water damage manifests itself in another form in others. For example, while wood siding might swell or warp, steel siding might rust. Water damage also leads to rot, fungus, mold and mildew growth, and even insect damage. Water damage in your siding is a sign that you need a replacement as soon as possible.
- A Spike in Your Energy Bills
While siding problems are not the only possible reason behind high energy bills, they are some of the most common. If your siding is punctured, cracked, falling apart, gapped or weakened, it has lost its ability to provide an energy-efficient envelope around your home. It’s difficult – almost impossible – to repair this problem. You’re better off investing money in a siding replacement. This is typically part of storm damage restoration because damaged siding compromises energy efficiency.
How Siding Replacement Improves Energy Efficiency
There are different components of your home that you can replace to improve their overall energy efficiency: siding, windows, roofing system, attic insulation, doors, HVAC system, natural and artificial lighting, etc. It’s important to remember this before deciding to replace your siding. It’s not the only thing you need to replace if you want to have complete home energy efficiency, but it’s a very good start.
Your choice of material is going to dictate how energy-efficient your new siding is. Siding has R-values. The higher the R-value, the better your siding is at improving your home’s energy efficiency. Siding with an R-value of at least 13 is typically good for this purpose. For even better insulation, get siding with higher R-values, like R-15 or R-18.
Insulated siding is the best choice when it comes to improving your home’s energy performance. A rigid foam insulation backing makes otherwise ordinary siding more effective at keeping cooled or heated air in and outdoor temperatures out.
Some siding materials are also manufactured specifically for the climate in your area. It’s important to address this concern with your siding contractor. Siding that’s made for wet and cold climates is not going to perform very well in sweltering heat that lasts almost all year. Likewise, siding manufactured for hot regions is not a good fit for cold and rainy regions. Material performance in a specific type of climate is crucial to your siding’s longevity and value for money as well as energy efficiency.
Another important factor that you should take into account is who will install your new siding. It’s generally advisable to hire a reputable contractor for the job. The best siding professionals have the training and experience to ensure a quality installation. They are also certified by the manufacturers of the products they carry and are allowed to offer the best warranties for the products they use. They may also give you a workmanship warranty.
Looking for someone to help you with your upcoming home improvement projects? AQ Roofing LLC is a reputable siding installer. Get in touch with us if you have concerns about your siding and its energy efficiency. We also offer other services, including roofing, storm damage services and gutter installation. You can call us at (501) 214-7167 or fill out the form on this page.