Energy Efficient Home Exterior
With Winter on the way, one of the best ways to save money and add value to your home is to focus on energy efficiency when choosing your new home exterior. Windows, Siding, and Roofing are first line of defense against the elements and choosing energy efficient styles can go a long way.
Roof: Metal roofing is one of the energy efficient roofing choices. A properly installed metal roof can save up to 40% on air conditioning costs. It is reflective which bounces solar radiation away from the house. Sturdier and longer lasting than a traditional asphalt shingle roof, a metal roof may be the perfect upgrade to consider when it is time to replace your roofing.
Windows: Energy transfer through windows accounts for 25 – 30 percent of energy loss in a home. These tips from energy.gov are great strategies to look at when selecting your energy efficient windows.
Window Selection Tips
- Look for the ENERGY STAR and NFRC labels.
- In colder climates, consider selecting gas-filled windows with low-e coatings to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, select windows with coatings to reduce heat gain.
- Choose a low U-factor for better thermal resistance in colder climates; the U-factor is the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow.
- Look for a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). SHGC is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a window. Low SHGCs reduce heat gain in warm climates.
- Select windows with both low U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings in temperate climates with both cold and hot seasons.
- Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.
Siding: Insulated Vinyl Siding can be as much as 4 times more energy efficient than traditional siding. Keeping heat and A/C from crossing the barrier of your house is vital to energy efficiency and what better place to look than the largest surface on your home, the exterior walls. Insulated siding has been estimated to save as much as 20% on annual heating and cooling costs. Insulated siding has a few additional benefits as well such as being more weather resistant, better able to withstand extreme conditions, and having a higher sound proofing rating. When replacing your siding, it is a great time to look at the cladding underneath as well. Waterials such as a Tyvek layer can protect your home against water, moisture, air, and have great cooperative insulating properties themselves as another line of defense for the exterior of your home.
When looking to make your home more energy efficient, the exterior barriers of your house are certainly the first place to start checking out. Many people are surprised to find out how poorly rated the insulation values of their home are and some homes have open areas with very little or no protection from the outside elements at all hiding away from sight. Make sure to have a trained professional give your home a thorough examination for areas where your efficiency can be improved when it’s time to upgrade your home’s exterior and windows.