When you mention green homes and lowering your energy bill, the first thing that people think about are most likely going to be thermostats and buying modern appliances that use lest energy. However if a remodel of your house is in the near future you should consider taking a look at new windows and even some new siding. Both of these items can drastically reduce your power bill, although they do require a pretty large investment of both time and money. Let’s take a look at some of the best windows and siding for sustainable homes and some of the options that are available for people going down this road.
In a number of aspects, having energy efficient windows are just as important as having a modern air conditioning unit. Think about it. You can have the most efficient air conditioner but if your windows are old and leaky, you’ll be spending most of your money trying to cool the outside. That’s an expensive proposition especially in the summer! But, depending on the age of your current windows, upgrading to new energy efficient ones will easily pay for themselves in a couple of years. So what makes a window energy efficient?
Energy efficient windows can be designed to look just like the normal windows that you’re used to. But these windows are coated with something called Low-emissivity glazing.
This is a substance that helps the glass control heat gain and heat loss. There are multiple types of glazing that you can have on your windows and it’s probably best to talk with your contractor about which glazing would work best for your particular climate.
While not necessarily part of the window glass, the way that you seal your windows is an equally important thing to consider. Leaky seals will once again lead you to trying to heat or cool the outdoors. Plus, it can even result in water damage or mold if your region is prone to anything from light rains to hurricanes.
There are a few options available when it comes to siding. You have a couple of choices when it comes to modern siding. Since asbestos is probably off the table!
- Cement fiber
Vinyl is one of the most popular siding choices in nearly all climates. Because of this, it is also one of the most hotly debated siding with a slew of people that support it and those who recommend other siding options.
One of the things that make it so popular is its lifespan. A house with properly installed vinyl siding can easily expect to get a good 40 to 50 years of use out of it. Making it one of the most durable siding options that there is.
In terms of green living, vinyl has also been praised as being very green in the way that it is made, mostly because it can be completely recycled and used to make new vinyl.
While vinyl can be recycled, wood is probably one of the most sustainable siding that you can get for your house since it is made out of a renewable resource. Unlike vinyl there are multiple types of wood that you can choose from. The most popular type of wood for house siding is red cedar.
Unfortunately, wood will degrade over time. However, with proper maintenance a homeowner can get close to the same lifetime of that of vinyl but that’s just one more household chore to take care of so make sure that you do as much research as you can about how to maintain your wood siding before taking the leap.
Is a relatively new type of siding that has quickly become the go-to product for most new green homes. Much like vinyl, fiber cement boasts a very long lifetime with low maintenance. Some companies actually offer a 50 year warranty on their fiber cement siding. It’s that durable.
In terms of green production, fiber cement planks usually contain some form of recycled material. Most commonly this material is fly ash which is otherwise unsafe to dispose of. So using it in order to make house siding is a great way to reduce the amount of pollutants floating around.
What do you think?
Have you recently remodeled your home or just put in new windows or siding? What was your experience and what kind of material did you use? Let us know in the comments section.
Protect Your Home is one of the largest home security companies in the world. Founded more than ten years ago, PYH now has install locations in every state in the US. Naomi works in partnership with Protect Your Home promoting the numerous advantages of having an ADT monitoring system to keep you and your loved ones safe. Learn more about Protect Your Home on Facebook and Twitter!