“Hey Vern,

After years of wood siding upkeep and rot control we’re having it all replaced with vinyl.

My question: 

We’re considering insulated vinyl siding… but is it worth it? I know it’s energy efficient and can help add insulation. But does it add enough to justify the cost?

Is it something we should seriously consider or just a scam? 


Cody from Hamburg, PA”


After upkeeping wood- you’re going to love the low-maintenance of your new vinyl. 

Today’s vinyl siding isn’t like what they installed back in the 90s. Manufacturers have responded to the product’s growing popularity by offering upgrades in style, durability, and- you’re right- even insulation. There is a lot to talk about when it comes to choosing new vinyl siding.

Before we talk about the pros and cons of insulated vinyl siding- let me give you a quick look at what it is.

From our end, as a contractor, the biggest difference between insulated and standard vinyl siding is just the extra insulation. There isn’t going to be a significant difference in installation price per ft. 

The siding itself remains the same, but when insulated, there is a layer of foam installed between the siding and your home. 

Here’s what that looks like: 

Diagram of insulated vinyl siding

As you said, the added insulation’s job is to make your home more energy efficient by lowering the internal temperature of your home. In fact, that’s the biggest reason people choose it. 

Regulating Air Flow 

Home with vinyl siding

It sounds like you’ve done some research on this product already- so the term “R-value” probably looks familiar. R-value is a measurement of heat flow resistance of insulation…not just on siding but of fiberglass, blown-in, windows, etc.  

Insulated vinyl adds an insulative factor of R-2 to R-5. Just to give you something to compare, the standard attic is insulated to R-38 or higher. 

In my opinion? This small addition really doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to energy efficiency. 

That’s not to say the insulation doesn’t have some benefits. The insulation in vinyl siding does offer: 

    • Firmer appearance
    • Resistance to Impact Damage 
    • Noise Reduction 

But if you’re trying to save on your energy bill? You might not see the big savings you expect. 

Moisture Risk: Misconception or Potential Problem?

Exterior shot of ply gem siding

One big question we get when asked about insulated vinyl siding is:

Does insulated siding put my home at greater risk of mold?

This popular question stems from the belief that the foam insulation will absorb and hold moisture- creating mold. 

Even the strongest siding allows a little water to leak through. Because of that, it’s important to only work with materials that dry out quickly. 

Home Innovations Research Lab compared insulated siding to nine other popular materials and compared how each held moisture. Insulated vinyl outperformed every other material. 

But this added protection comes at a high price. Adding insulation to your siding can raise the cost by as much as 50%.

Insulated vinyl isn’t the only way to protect your home from moisture. Our supplier, Ply Gem, offers the most storm resistant siding available, meaning you can get the protection without the high price. Their sustainable siding is designed to protect against impact and water damage.

Ready for New Siding? 

Would I choose insulated vinyl siding for my home? For me- I’m not sure it’s worth the cost. If you’re wanting a more efficient home, the money may be better spent making sure your attic is insulated and ventilated properly- or upgrading your windows. If your home is drafty and you’re looking for a way to improve your utility bills- call us and we’ll come take a look.

But it’s a personal decision. Any way you go, you’re going to see a big difference between your current wood siding and your new vinyl when it comes to exterior protection. 

No matter what kind of vinyl siding you choose to work with, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, need help choosing the right color or style for your home, or want a professional installation you can depend on- give me a call at 570-345-0406 to talk more about your project. 

Until next time, 


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