New siding can give your home's exterior an attractive appearance that also helps the home to resist the forces of the weather. Most homeowners choose siding products to give their home's exterior a face lift, and some homeowners install siding to protect the exterior from weather-related damages. There's a third reason that siding can be a beneficial home improvement, though. It comes as a surprise to many homeowners that siding insulation can dramatically increase the savings in utility bills over time.
Siding insulation is different from the normal insulation that is installed between the studs of the walls when the home is built. This insulation, which is usually made from fiberglass, is an important factor in keeping the home's interior temperature cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
In contrast, siding insulation is installed between the home's old exterior walls and the new exterior siding. Often made from styrofoam or from recycled paper products, this type of siding adds an extra layer of material that adds to the home's efficiency in protecting the interior from temperature extremes.
Siding insulation is best installed just before the final siding material is put into place, but it can also be injected underneath existing siding. Some liquid siding insulation materials can be injected into the small space between existing exterior walls and siding material, and this then expands after it is injected during the drying process so it fills all of the available space.
Siding insulation varies in its ability to prevent the transfer of heat or cold; the rating by which siding insulation products are ranked is known as the R-value. The R-value measures the insulation material's thermal resistance; the higher the R-value, the better the siding insulation's effectiveness.
Another way to achieve the benefits offered by siding insulation is to choose a siding with a built-in insulation component. Known as insulated siding, these products are manufactured with a layer of rigid foam or other insulating material that is fused to the exterior surface of the siding panels. This type of insulation is generally extremely efficient because the insulation follows the contours of the siding and completely fills any gaps or crevices.