Vinyl is the most energy-efficient major plastic. It is largely derived from salt – an abundant and inexpensive resource. Vinyl products consume less energy, generate fewer emissions and save more energy than many competitive products.
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. Wall studs, both wood and metal, are poor insulators — when they come in contact with the exterior cladding, they allow heat to pass through them (which is called a thermal bridge). Because these studs represent up to 25 percent of the wall surface of an average home, it’s like having an entire exterior wall with no insulation at all.
Insulated siding improves energy efficiency by reducing thermal bridging — like a blanket, it is continuous insulation over the studs, which helps homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
While many homeowners are familiar with ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances and energy efficient windows, they may be surprised to learn that insulated siding can also improve a home’s energy performance. Insulated siding is now accepted as home insulation in various energy efficiency programs — including the checklist of building products or methodologies that can help meet the requirements to qualify under ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes (V.3).
Insulated siding is included in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code among the materials that can be used as continuous insulation outside of the building framing to provide the required total wall R-value for buildings in the coldest climate zones (see section 402 to calculate the energy performance of the entire wall).
Insulated siding is also available as a single course and in several deep reveals for exceptional aesthetics. Its rigid foam insulation is laminated or permanently attached to the panel.