PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows

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There is no complete house without windows. Windows allow natural light to enter inside the rooms and help to keep the house properly ventilated. Windows will also enable the people occupying the house to enjoy better views of their external environment. As a result, if your house has enough windows, it will never feel stuffy or gloomy. Windows can make your home more energy efficient by allowing natural light into the home while retaining warm air inside the house. Also, windows can increase the visual effect and appeal of your home.

However, the materials used in making window frames are not the same. A window can offer durability, maintenance reduction, energy-efficiency, and insulating value depending on its material. That is why; whether you are installing new windows or replacing existing ones, it is important to be better informed about different window frame materials if you want the outcome of your project to be successful and to meet your requirements.

Any window material you choose should provide numerous benefits. It should be able to upgrade the interior and exterior of your house. Also, it should make the cleaning of your home easier.

What is the best material for windows?

Most people who want to install or replace their windows often think only of the window style or glass type. They often forget that the material used in designing the window is important also. That is why; you need to explore the different window materials available and their benefits. Also, you should consider their installation, maintenance, cost and many other things.

Most of the available windows in the market are made from Wood, PVC, Aluminum, and Vinyl materials. The materials with the highest quality are often expensive and have higher chances of weather-stripping. Moreover, they can prevent air from passing through from the sashes. Almost every window material can prevent wind when the weather condition is comfortable. However, if the temperature happens to drop below the freezing point, most of their weather-stripping can stiffen, shrink, or become brittle. As a result, they are likely to crack. That is why the best window material should be the one that can hold its own and offer high-performance even at 0 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. ?

However, for you to get the best material for windows, there are certain factors you should look out for. Such factors like;

R-value

This factor measures the capacity of the window to prevent the transfer of heat. R-value can determine how the window retains a comfortable temperature inside and how it can keep the uncomfortable temperatures outside the house from entering. It is, therefore, better for a window material to have higher R-value.

U-value

The window material’s U-value otherwise known as U-factor is greatly the opposite of the R-value. What it determines is the heat transfer tendency. That is why; it is better for a window material to have lower U-value.

Solar Heat Gain

This particular factor is also regarded as SHGC {solar, heat, gain coefficient}. Its function is to determine how windows can heat the room as the sun shines. During cold weathers, solar gain is perfect for a window material. But during the summer, it can increase your air-conditioning costs. If the number of solar gains is high in the material, the heat gain will also be greater.

Wind Resistance

Window resistance otherwise known as air leakage can be determined by CFM {cubic feet per minute}. It usually comes in two numbers which are 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. It is great for the seal if the numbers are lower.

For this article, we are considering PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows. Each of them comes in diverse colors, sizes, and shape options. Moreover, some of these materials offer better thermal resistance than the other ones. Also, they have their pros and cons which you should consider before choosing the appropriate one for your project. They are as follows; ???

 

PVC Windows

PVC windows are among the popular options available today. Moreover, it is resistant to weather and impact. Unlike wooden windows, you do not need to stain or paint PVC windows.

Pros:

  • They are recyclable
  • PVC windows only require low maintenance. As a result, homeowners can save money and time.
  • Since PVC windows do not change shape or warp, you may not need to replace it.

Cons:

  • You have to get the best quality of PVC to get that aesthetic appeal of aluminum or wood.
  • If you are unfortunate to get poor quality PVC, it can discolor or become brittle.

Vynil Windows

Vinyl windows consist UV-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride and are high-performance and affordable. They can accommodate many other applications. They offer high moisture resistance, almost maintenance free, and do not require painting. The best part is that you can insulate vinyl windows to enhance energy efficiency. Moreover, technology upgrades have increased its manufacturing processes. Thus, it enables vinyl windows to overcome its poor reputation of being substandard.

Pros:

  • It is the most affordable window among all the other materials
  • They can be insulated with foam or kept hollow which makes it energy efficient.
  • Vinyl windows retain its beauty for years and do not need maintenance.
  • It is UV-resistant and non-corroding.
  • Water and air infiltration are prevented due to the welded seams of vinyl. The welded seams also promote its durability.
  • The vinyl that has high-quality titanium dioxide is more resistant to heat.
  • There are also various color options to choose from than the standard tan and white.

Cons:

  • You cannot stain or paint the interior to suit the d?cor. If you do, it is likely to peel away and need reapplication in the long run.
  • There are so many sub-standard vinyl products available, and if you are not careful, you may end up with one. Thus, you are reducing its insulation value and durability.
  • Vinyl windows most times have no room for customization and as a result, may not suit traditional architectural designs.
  • They are likely to warp as time goes on and can even damage during its installation.
  • Changes in seasonal temperature can induce vinyl windows to contract and expand. As a result, the glass seals may break and cause moisture and air infiltration.

Wooden Windows

Wooden material is the favorite of most homeowners who are installing or replacing their windows. Moreover, for eons ago, wooden materials have been the choice for construction. No doubt, it is as a result of its complete energy efficiency, its architectural matching ability, and warm appearance.

Pros:

  • You can fabricate a wooden material into numerous sizes and shapes.
  • Woods are natural resources and environmentally sustainable
  • It provides maximum insulation value, which is cold transfer and low heat.
  • Wooden windows are highly durable and strong. In short, it becomes stronger over time.
  • You can stain or paint wooden window to your suit your specific exterior d?cor.
  • Due to its warmth and natural beauty, wooden windows can provide you with a greater return on your investment.

Cons:

  • The price is a bit on the high side than the other materials
  • It is high maintenance. You need to clean, caulk, stain, paint, and sand it regularly.
  • Wooden windows are prone to insect infestation, rotting, mildew, and molding due to weather conditions.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are almost maintenance free, strong, light, and one of the low-cost window options available. Moreover, aluminum window installation is the easiest for traditional home builders for ages now. No doubt, its standard aluminum window sizes, durability, and strength make it a great choice.

Pros:

  • Aluminum windows prices are lesser than the other materials
  • You can maintain aluminum windows easily. Moreover, it comes in baked-on or anodized finishes. As a result, you do not need to repaint it.
  • Aluminum windows provide narrow frames and slim profile which enables better glass space and promotes sight lines.
  • It is lightweight and allows for customization to your particular fitting configuration.
  • Aluminum windows are joined mechanically with corners that are warp resistant to retain its shape for a long time.

Cons:

  • Its U-value is high making it a great conductor of cold and heat.
  • Among the other window materials, Aluminum windows offer the least energy efficiency.
  • Aluminum is susceptible to condensation and is always cold when touched.
  • They are also prone to corrosion when you expose them to salt air and salt water. As a result, it can cause issues with its functioning and performance.

Differences and Similarities

The comparison of the different window materials will be classified by their;

Design

The design of window material is greatly important when you want to get the best. For instance, the interior of a wooden window usually come from Douglas fir or pine while the outside is covered with PVC, fiberglass, or extruded aluminum.

On the other hand, the material design for vinyl windows comes in various finishes. If by chance it is chipped or scratched, its exterior will still have the same look. More especially, since the entire material design is the same. Aluminum window designs are thinner thus, offering a high-end aesthetic look. No wonder most commercial buildings opt for aluminum windows.

Durability

Another important factor that you should look out for when choosing the best window material is its durability. That is the material that can last for a very long time. For example, wooden materials are easy to maintain and repair. Although they may be prone to rot, the newer wooden windows come with protection. Their exterior is covered by durable cladding or finish. While, vinyl window materials can greatly resist marring, cracking, and scratching.

Moreover, you cannot dent them easily. As for PVC windows, they can tolerate poor weather conditions. On the other hand, aluminum windows are resistant to marring, cracking, and scratching as well. However, if they are powder-coated or painted, they may become more susceptible to dents. ????????????

Colors

The color of window material is crucial when choosing the best material option. Aluminum windows do not have many color options. It is either powder-coated or painted. You can paint vinyl window materials, but you will need a special process to get your specific color requirement. PVC windows do not require painting to get your color choice since they come in a variety of colors. On the other hand, wooden windows can be painted to your color choice. However, you will need to repaint them regularly to maintain their color.

Pitting and Fading

PVC windows do not fade easily no wonder they are recyclable. On the hand wooden windows are likely to fade especially the painted surface. Vinyl windows do not have issues with pitting and fading whereas, aluminum windows can pit. Moreover, its painted surface is likely to fade.

Thermal performance and Energy Efficiency

Wooden windows are perfect in preventing the transmission of heat or cold from outside. On the other hand, aluminum windows are known to radiate unwanted heat from outside in the rooms. Even they conduct cold likewise. That is why; they have to be protected with thermal breaks before they can become energy efficient. Thus, it makes their cost to go higher. PVC, on the other hand, is resistant to impact or any weather change. As a result, its thermal performance is okay. Also, it is energy efficient. Vinyl windows also function better regarding thermal performance and energy efficiency. ?

Condensation

Condensation is easily noticed on wooden windows. Moreover, it is easy for vapor pressure to push moisture through wooden windows. Vinyl and PVC are less likely to create condensation. Whereas, aluminum can create condensation and other related issues.

Thermal Breaks

Thermal breaks are vital for aluminum and vinyl window materials since it reduces heat transfers from outside to the inside. Also, it combats the issues of condensation and maximizes energy efficiency. Whereas; wooden windows are non-conductive materials and do not need thermal breaks.

Maintenance

Regarding maintenance, PVC windows only require little or no maintenance while wooden windows need regular maintenance. On the other hand, both aluminum and vinyl window materials do not need maintenance at all.

How much does it cost to replace aluminum, PVC, Vinyl, and Wooden Windows?

When you want to replace your PVC, Aluminum, Vinyl, or Wooden windows, it is important to secure bids from many well-known contractors. At least, you should compare the prices from three different contractors. This is because; their prices are likely to vary from one contractor to another. Moreover, if you are not careful, you may succumb to the high-pressure tactics of their sales representatives.

However, after our research, we can boldly say that aluminum window prices are more on the high side. That is if you go for high-quality and energy efficiency. Vinyl and PVC, on the other hand, provides better value yet, they are not expensive. Wooden windows cost more than all the rest of them may be due to its beauty. ?

Conclusion

Before choosing the best option among these window materials, you should consider their cost, efficiency, look, warranty, etc. You should also ask yourself what you require from a window material when embarking on aluminum window installation or any of the others. Furthermore, each of these materials has their particular place in the market. Therefore, if you install them appropriately, they can provide you with efficiency and lifetime service. ?

 

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