Buying new siding for your home, whether you are remodeling or building, is a big decision that requires you to make a number of choices. For instance, you will have to decide what contractor to choose, what siding product is right for your home, what color you want it to be, what the trim will look like, and more. As you walk through all of your options, one mistake you should never make is to pass up this great opportunity to add insulation to the outside walls of your home.
It will never be easier or more affordable to insulate the exterior of your home than when you have new siding installed. While you’re making the investment in your home, why not invest a little more to lower your utility bills every month for as long as the siding is on your home? You may have some questions about why you should add siding insulation to your new siding. Below are some answers to a few of those questions:
Q: Why do I need insulation on the outside of my home?
A: Exterior insulation helps to break your home’s thermal bridge, an energy leak in the walls that you might not even know is there. Check out this house as an example. Thermal imaging helps reveal where heat is escaping from this house (yellow, orange and red indicates warmth while blue and green is cooler). As you can see, the yellow lines are revealing this hidden energy leak. Heat from inside the home is bypassing the pink insulation in the wall cavities and escaping to the cool outdoors across the wooden studs and other framing members in the wall. This is what building scientists call thermal bridging.
Q: How dramatic is the heat loss due to thermal bridging?
A: The studs and wooden framing members that causes thermal bridging account for 25% of your wall surface. This means that if you took all of the studs in your home and pushed them together, it would be like having one entire wall of your home with no insulation at all!
Q: If I break the thermal bridge with exterior insulation, how much will it reduce my energy bills?
A: As you can see from this after picture, the home from before has now broken the thermal bridge with exterior insulation. The big energy leaks are eliminated, which helps to reduce the homeowner’s utility bills. Every home is different, which makes it hard to estimate how much you will save on your utility bills every month by installing exterior insulation under your new siding. The amount you save will vary based on your location, your home and the products you choose. We suggest having a certified energy rater perform an energy evaluation on your home to give you an accurate representation of how much you can expect to save.
Q: Are there additional benefits of adding insulation, beyond energy savings?
A: There are plenty of other benefits to adding exterior insulation under your new siding. Rigid siding insulation will help to level out the wall surface, enhancing the appearance of your new siding. Some siding insulation products provide protection against moisture damage and pest infestation. In addition, there are other siding insulation products contoured to fit the unique profile of the siding you choose. This helps to provide more support to the siding panel, allowing for wider, flatter profiles in some cases as well as enhanced durability.
When you’re ready to have new siding installed on your home, don’t miss the opportunity to easily add insulation to the exterior of your home. You will enhance the performance and energy efficiency of your siding for now and years to come!