Today's PVC Windows - Learn about PVC Windows

July 30, 2010

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) windows are very popular in today's homes, and can be considered a "green" option. They are often referred to as "vinyl windows." Depending on how they're constructed, they can be either budget-priced, moderately priced, or top quality ENERGY STAR rated windows. Medium to high cost ENERGY STAR PVC windows reduce heating and cooling costs enough to qualify for government rebates. Here's what all PVC windows have in common:

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  1. PVC is inherently thermal resistant. It is effective in reducing the transfer of heat and cold from outside to inside your home.
  2. Ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers are added during manufacture of the PVC to prevent sunlight from deteriorating the material.
  3. Like other plastics, PVC resists moisture. This prevents dry rot and decay.
  4. PVC windows are quite pest resistant.
  5. Extremes of temperatures can cause warping or cracking.
  6. While PVC windows are not as strong as metal or wood, aluminum or steel-reinforced PVC windows are available.
  7. The frame color is part of the PVC material itself. Some fading may occur over time.
  8. Maintenance requires no more than washing the frames and glass.

Less expensive PVC windows

Need a less expensive window for your garage or a rental unit?

  • The cheapest vinyl windows have a hollow frame, and are less energy efficient, though better than aluminum. These may be sufficient in mild climate areas, especially with double pane glass.
  • Look for tight seams with no gaps.

Moderately priced PVC windows

These are the most popular windows in the U.S. today.

  • Insulated PVC windows have insulation filling the core of the frame for greater resistance to thermal transfer.
  • Vinyl clad windows have wood window frames on the inside for wood's unique beauty. The outside of the wood frame is clad with vinyl for all the advantages of rain or sea air resistance, and ease of maintenance.
  • Double and triple-paned windows are available.

Top quality PVC windows

If you're building a new home or doing a major renovation, you may wish to put off some extra non-structural touches for a later date so that you can choose the best residential windows possible at the outset. Choices include:

  • Insulated vinyl windows reinforced with aluminum or steel.
  • Gas filled double or triple pane windows for maximum thermal efficiency. These also reduce thermal transfer from very large view windows that face east or west, or are in extreme climates.

Your home must be comfortable. Start studying replacement window ratings now to make your castle a snug one!

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