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One of the most important choices you will need to make is the frame material for your new windows. In this article, we will look at the two most popular choices, and examine the differences between aluminum and vinyl windows.
Although they are both very common choices, they have some very distinct characteristics. Below we will delve into important differences, to help you make the best choice for your home.
Windows are a big part of the overall look of your home. In some modern homes, they can even be the focal point. So it’s important to get windows that will not only improve the curb appeal of your house, but also raise its value. And when it comes to vinyl or aluminum windows, both come with good aesthetic qualities and can come in many different colors and finishes.
When it comes to choosing one over the other, it largely depends on your house. Vinyl windows are the most popular window choice for your standard house. But if you have a very modern house with large windows, aluminum tends to be the best choice. That’s because they have a more contemporary look, and a bigger glass area thanks to their slimmer frame profile.
Durability and Maintenance
This is another area where it’s hard to determine a clear winner. Vinyl windows have reinforced frames that are made with multiple chambers, providing them great structural integrity and strength. They will easily be able to handle almost anything thrown at them.
As for aluminum windows, well most of us already know that aluminum is a very strong and durable material. Just like vinyl windows, they are practically maintenance free and never need to be repainted.
When it comes to energy efficiency, vinyl windows do have the edge here, because aluminum absorbs more heat and pass it into your house. For this reason, in the past aluminum windows were only recommended for warmer climates. However, now with the introduction of many technological innovations such as thermal breaks, aluminum windows are much more efficient than before. Although still not as good as vinyl, but now the difference isn’t as big between the two.
Both may feature insulated frames for added efficiency. Especially when combined with the addition of low-E or argon gas-filled glass, you will greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Having windows that reduce outside noise is pretty important. Who wants to hear their neighbor mowing their lawn in the morning? Although noise reduction is largely affected by the number of glass panes a window has, the frame material does play a role as well. Because vinyl isn’t as strong of material as aluminum, they come with thicker frames. This means vinyl windows will have a slight edge in the overall noise reduction.
Windows that constantly accumulate condensation can be a really annoying problem for any homeowner. This means you need to always wipe them down, to avoid mold or other problems. Here the vinyl windows come out on top again. Since vinyl doesn’t get affected as much by temperature changes, it will produce less condensation than aluminum windows.
Anyone who looked at the prices of new windows will know the answer to this one. Aluminum windows are almost always more expensive. This is another reason why for most standard homes, vinyl is the go-to choice. Aluminum is used more in either expensive modern homes or commercial buildings.
To summarize, both aluminum and vinyl have their pros and cons. The final choice will boil down to your budget and house design. If you live in a huge neighborhood where most homes are similar, vinyl will probably be the better choice, and is probably what you currently have already. For more higher-end homes with a modern design, most people will choose aluminum windows.