Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows
1/30/2014 3:53 PM
In this post—part three of a multi-part series—we will explore and compare two popular window framing materials, aluminum and vinyl.
If you missed part one—Fiberglass vs. Wood Windows—or part two—Aluminum vs. Fiberglass Windows—be sure to check them out for a short comparison of how fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum windows compare when it comes to aesthetics, energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements!
Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows – Aesthetics
Vinyl windows, while an economical and practical choice for homebuilders and homeowners looking for new replacement windows at an affordable price, are not generally lauded for their aesthetic qualities. This is not to say they are not attractive, they simply lack the same architectural qualities of architectural grade aluminum-clad or wood windows.
Unlike most vinyl window manufacturers, Weather Shield exclusively offers a vinyl-clad wood window with real milled wood interiors. This provides homeowners the classical warmth and aesthetic of real wood inside their homes, with the low maintenance benefits of a vinyl exterior.
For homeowners who seek only the highest quality aesthetics—inside and out—or those who must meet strict HOA or historical guidelines, aluminum-clad windows from our Premium Series line are the product of choice. Designed for the most discriminating architects and homeowners, our Premium Series aluminum-clad wood windows are an architectural grade product featuring virtually limitless design possibilities.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows – Maintenance
Both aluminum and vinyl windows are noted for their strength, durability, and low maintenance. There are no significant differences in maintenance requirements between the two materials. Aluminum-clad windows with wooden interiors may need to be re-finished in time while all-vinyl windows do not, but in general, both aluminum and vinyl windows can retain their like-new appearance for years to come with a simple cleaning.
Over time, aluminum frames can be susceptible to corrosion if you live in coastal environments, but this risk can be mitigated if your windows are well maintained and are coated in a corrosion-resistant paint.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows – Energy Efficiency
One of the major drawbacks that aluminum windows have always had versus their counterparts has been energy efficiency. As you know, metal is a great conductor of heat—which negatively impacts energy efficiency. Although today’s aluminum windows incorporate a number of energy efficient features like low-e glass, multiple panes of insulated glass, and warm edge spacers, vinyl windows with comparable features will often provide greater energy efficiency.
As we mentioned in previous blog posts in this series, the most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for energy efficient windows is that windows are only as efficient as their installation. Even the most energy efficient windows will provide you with little value if they are poorly installed. If you are considering a window replacement project, contact a Weather Shield dealer in your area. They will help you pick the best window for your home and needs and provide a high-quality installation that makes the most of your investment.
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