One essential factor for saving energy and maintaining indoor air comfort is sealing the exterior of the home. Insulation and energy-efficient windows play important roles in preventing air leaks where obvious holes are present, however, one hidden area susceptible to energy leaks is the home's framing.
"Homeowners are looking for ways to improve their home's energy performance," says Jery Y. Huntley, president and CEO of the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), the trade association for manufacturers of vinyl and other polymeric siding and suppliers to the industry. "A common problem with homes today is the thermal bridging effect, which can rob a home of heat and waste energy and money."
In thermal bridging, the studs act as a passageway for heat to escape. Most insulation helps seal wall cavities, but the wall studs on either side of the cavities are often left exposed, reducing the insulating value of the entire wall.