Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows: Which is Better?

July 20, 2010

Choosing new windows can be tough. Deciding which selling points matter the most to you can help you determine which replacement windows you should purchase. Start with comparisons, such as this one between aluminum vs. vinyl windows.

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Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows: Which One Wins?

Aluminum windows have long been preferred in industrial settings, but they are common in homes, too. Will aluminum replacement windows be right for your needs?

  • Aluminum offers excellent noise reduction. A double-pane window set into an aluminum frame can block a great deal of noise simply due to the overall mass. If you live in a place where noise is an issue, such as near an industrial area, aluminum windows might be your best bet.
  • Aluminum windows can be easily painted to match the color scheme you like best.
  • Though aluminum windows can corrode when constantly exposed to moisture, they are also very durable, so they make a great option for areas near the coast where gales and storms are a regular threat.
  • A broken pane of glass is easy to replace in an aluminum frame, thanks to the design--simply remove a few screws to get the new pane in, and you're done.
  • Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, which means it is not as energy-efficient as other window types.

Vinyl windows are quite popular on homes these days, but they do have a few negatives mixed in with the positives:

  • Vinyl windows never need painting, and rarely need more than a gentle cleaning from time to time. The ease of maintenance is a huge selling point.
  • Vinyl windows are not appropriate for areas that experience high winds. In places where temperature varies widely throughout the year, vinyl windows might eventually warp or bend.
  • Vinyl replacement windows are a very energy-efficient option. The rate of heat transfer is much less than that of aluminum windows.
  • Vinyl will not corrode, rust, flake, or otherwise suffer the wrath of the elements. The only issue, over time, might be a slight fading of the colors thanks to the constant touch of the sun.
  • Replacing a broken pane is rather difficult, and might require the purchase of a new window.
  • Vinyl windows often come with a warranty that lasts for decades.

Understanding all the pros and cons of a particular window type will help you choose which new windows are right for your home and personal style.

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