Your roof, siding, and even windows can all make a big difference in your home’s energy efficiency and the quality of its building envelope. You may be concerned about this mainly for the purpose of saving money on your energy bill, or you may want to increase home value or environmental friendliness.
Either way, here’s what you need to know about how to get the most out of outdoor remodeling materials for energy efficiency.
No matter which part of your house you’re replacing or remodeling, its insulation value (measured in R-values) can add to or detract from your home’s energy efficiency. For instance, the siding can hold heated and cooled air inside your home, and a roof with insulating qualities can reduce heat transfer into and out of your attic during extremes of hot and cold weather.
For roofing materials, the most insulated varieties you’ll find include thick tile roofs. For windows, double-glazed windows have much better insulating properties than single-layer windows, and triple-glazed windows are even more insulating. Siding may come with insulation pre-installed on the material in some cases. Choose materials with high insulating qualities to maximize energy savings.
Correct sealing and weatherproofing are essential for several reasons. For example, poorly sealed and non-weatherproof windows and siding could make your home draftier.
A drafty home means that outside air blows right in through the sides of your house. In the summer, this could be extremely hot air that your AC system now has to expend energy to cool down. You can imagine how this could affect your energy bill by increasing electricity needs.
First of all, your windows need to be well-fitted into the walls by an expert who can ensure no air gaps exist around the window. Then, you’ll need to make sure your windows receive a good weather stripping each year. Materials needed for this may include caulk and spray foam to fill in any gaps.
For roofing, you don’t need to worry too much about air sealing, since your roof actually needs to be well-ventilated. The only weatherproofing needed on the roof itself is the flashing around vulnerable points, such as chimneys. To avoid a drafty roof, you’ll need to check the attic floor for air gaps, many of which your contractor can fill in with spray foam.
Going back to the materials themselves, you’ll want to consider how well they reflect light and heat. For example, a highly reflective roof can keep the roof cooler in summer, reducing your AC bills. A low-emissivity window (with reflective microscopic coatings to reduce emissivity) can reflect direct sunlight back away from the house, reducing excess heat gain.
If the roofing material you choose isn’t marketed as highly reflective (or as a cool roof), you may want to consider adding a cool roof coating. Likewise, if you’d like your new siding to be more reflective, consider a type of paint designed to increase reflectivity and energy efficiency, such as a low-emissivity paint.
Don’t forget that your roofing or siding material works together with its underlayment, and your window glass works together with the frame. The window frame can be a big player in whether the entire window works together well as an energy-efficient system or whether it loses a lot of energy.
Look for windows that come with energy-efficient window frames, and look for roofing or siding underlayment that adds insulation value.
If you’re interested in energy efficiency as a green living factor, don’t neglect the other green possibilities of these outdoor remodeling materials as well. For instance, you’ll want to consider whether the materials used are recyclable, whether they have recycled content, how much energy their manufacture requires, and so on.
For more information on the remodeling services and materials we offer and how they can help your green living goals, get in touch with Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc today.