When trying to reduce their utility bills, many homeowners focus on low-hanging fruit like:
- Swapping out incandescent bulbs with LED alternatives
- Replacing older appliances with energy-efficient ones
Such improvements can offer significant gains — and you should absolutely explore these green solutions. Every little bit helps.
However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for more than 50 percent of residential energy spending; and if your home lacks proper insulation, much of that energy simply goes to waste:
- During the summer months, warm air rushes into your home, forcing your air conditioner to work much harder than it should.
- During the winter months, warm air escapes from your home, placing tremendous stress on your furnace.
Yet by equipping your home with energy-efficient, insulated siding, it's possible to reduce this waste and dramatically cut your spending. As you’ll soon see, the benefits of this money-saving improvement extend well beyond the pocketbook.
The Financial Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding
No matter the material used, siding represents the first line of defense against the elements. This protective layer does for your home what skin does for the human body.
When that siding is properly insulated, it doesn't just shield you from the wind, rain and sun, it also prevents uncontrolled heat transfer between the interior and exterior of your home.
It's impossible to overemphasize this point.
In layman’s terms, this means spending only $700 a year instead of $1,000.
With savings like these, insulated vinyl siding is an investment that pays for itself. In fact, many homeowners enjoy ROIs in excess of 80 percent.
But the financial benefits don't stop there:
- Improved insulation ensures that your air-conditioning systems and furnace suffer less wear and tear. This means they’ll last longer and require fewer repairs and replacements down the road.
- Improved insulation also offers better protection from the elements. Your entire home suffers less wear and tear, allowing you to fetch a much higher asking price should you decide to sell later. Some homeowners report a return on investment of nearly 90 percent from this simple fix.
However, energy-efficient siding isn't simply good for your bank account — it's also much better for the environment.
Let's take a look.
How Improved Siding Helps the Planet
Remember that uncontrolled heat loss equals waste:
- During the summer months, about 20-30 percent of the cooled air your air-conditioning units produce escapes into the outside world.
- During the winter months, your furnace isn't simply keeping your home warm; it's also heating the entire neighborhood.
In other words, the carbon footprint of your HVAC system is much larger than it needs to be.
Yet energy-efficient siding allows you to maintain consistent indoor temperatures using far fewer resources. As a result, this simple home improvement strategy helps you dramatically reduce the environmental impact of your heating and cooling.
That's a wonderful legacy to leave for future generations.
However, the benefits of insulated siding extend even further than financial and environmental savings.
Additional Advantages of Energy-Efficient Siding
Lower monthly utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. These benefits alone make insulated siding a no-brainer.
There are two additional benefits worth discussing:
- Greater year-round comfort. With improved siding, you'll enjoy consistent and comfortable indoor temperatures all year. No longer will you have to strip down to your undies to beat the summer heat; and you can keep the long-johns and furry slippers in storage during winter.
- Improved soundproofing. Insulated siding doesn't just reduce energy spending, it can also help block out noisy neighbors and rush-hour traffic. This one simple improvement can transform your home into an oasis of tranquility.
Energy-Efficient Siding: the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Extra money in your pocket. Increased property values. A cleaner planet. A quieter home. Improved comfort.
Energy-efficient vinyl siding may not be low-hanging fruit, but when compared with LEDs and ENERGY STAR appliances, this home improvement delivers the greatest overall bang for your buck.
Author bio: Mike Peters is General Manager at Midwest Window & Door, which has locations in Montgomery and Elk Grove, Illinois. Midwest Window & Door specializes in replacement windows, doors and siding. It exclusively sells Marvin wood and fiberglass replacement windows.