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Aluminum Windows vs Vinyl Windows - Which is Better?

Jul. 26, 2022

If you are considering new windows for your home, you will find that there are now more options than ever before. There is a virtually unlimited selection of colors, finishes, styles and materials to help you find the right look for your home.

 

The two main window material choices for new construction windows today are aluminum and vinyl. Wood windows are typically found on older homes, but are usually not as popular as the new technology and energy efficient windows currently on the market.

Both aluminum and vinyl windows have advantages and disadvantages, and it is helpful to understand the advantages of each type in order to purchase new windows. We've listed some of the pros and cons of aluminum and vinyl/PVC windows, as well as some additional helpful information to help you make the right choice before buying new windows.


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What are the benefits of aluminum windows?

Aluminum windows are often associated with corporate and commercial structures and tend to have a typically industrial look and feel. Aluminum windows for your home offer the benefits of commercial windows and provide the longevity and reliability you won't see in vinyl or wood windows.

● Longevity - Aluminum windows are durable and have a longer lifespan than vinyl windows. With proper care and maintenance, your windows can last 40-50 years. They are strong, durable and very long lasting. Compare that to wood windows, which take an average of 10-15 years to require maintenance or repair. Plus, aluminum doesn't degrade like vinyl does.

● Advances in energy efficiency - In the past, aluminum was considered less energy efficient than vinyl. Advances in technology have made great strides for aluminum windows. Double-glazed aluminum windows can be as energy efficient as vinyl windows. Additional coatings can be applied to help improve energy efficiency, and insulation can be enhanced with thermal breaks that prevent a lot of heat and cold from being transferred into your home.

● Better security - Security is also a top consideration when purchasing new windows. Aluminum is a stronger and more durable material than vinyl and offers structural advantages due to its strength of construction. In addition, the quality and design of the locks help improve the security level of the windows.

● Stronger than vinyl windows - If you want a window with larger glass or weatherproofing, aluminum is a better choice than vinyl windows because it is stronger. To get the same level of protection from vinyl windows, the cost increases by 25-30%, making vinyl a more expensive option compared to aluminum windows.

● More modern styling - Aluminum has a sleek and modern look, offering different finish and color options for homeowners looking to go beyond the status quo. Fewer frames and a slimmer profile offer a more streamlined, modern aesthetic than bulky vinyl windows. Aluminum frames also allow for larger panes of glass, better views and more light in your home.

 

What are the benefits of vinyl/PVC windows?

While aluminum windows have some amazing benefits, vinyl windows do offer benefits of their own.

● Vinyl/PVC windows tend to be cheaper than aluminum windows- Since aluminum windows are stronger, more secure, and last longer with more customization options, this does come at a cost. Aluminum windows may cost more upfront, but ultimately, it may be more cost effective over the lifetime of the window, resulting in long-term savings. But in the short term - plastic is usually cheaper.

● Soundproofing - Vinyl windows do have a slight advantage over aluminum windows when it comes to soundproofing. This in no way implies that aluminum is not good at soundproofing. While both materials offer superior levels of sound insulation, vinyl's advantage is only marginal.

● Energy efficiency - Vinyl windows are known for being more energy efficient than aluminum. While this was true in the past, innovations have helped aluminum windows catch up with PVC windows and aluminum windows have the option to match the energy efficiency of vinyl windows.

● A more traditional look - If you want a window that looks like the typical window in every house, vinyl windows are your choice.

● Less maintenance - This is a popular feature of vinyl windows, but it also doesn't mean that aluminum windows are overly cared for and maintained. It is generally comparable to vinyl window maintenance, requiring extra attention to aluminum condensation and proper lubrication of moving parts to prevent wear and tear and extend the life of the material.


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Disadvantages of Aluminum Windows

Some of the disadvantages of aluminum windows we discuss here can be mitigated with additional options, while others are minimal and may not be a deciding factor in purchasing aluminum windows over vinyl.

● Aluminum windows cost more than vinyl - If you are looking for durable windows, even if the upfront cost is higher, the cost of aluminum windows will be lower in the long run.

● Efficiency- Aluminum conducts heat and cold and is a poor insulator in its own right. Vinyl is more energy efficient, but recent advances in aluminum windows, such as coatings and insulation, have helped improve their efficiency to be comparable to vinyl.

Non-traditional style - If you are looking for "window style windows", then aluminum is not for you. The strength and construction of aluminum windows allow for more glass and more unique designs, such as tilt and turn windows. They are a great solution for new windows with multiple opening and tilting options, unlike traditional top and bottom windows. Unless you want a basic traditional window, this is certainly not a disadvantage.

 

Disadvantages of Vinyl/PVC Windows

Some of the disadvantages of vinyl windows have already been mentioned. If these factors don't fit your requirements for new windows, then purchasing aluminum windows for your home instead of PVC windows is a better option.

● Not environmentally friendly- There is no way around it, vinyl is not a natural material like aluminum and in turn, it is not a sustainable material that can be recycled. If you want to stay environmentally conscious, vinyl is not the way to go.

● Not as strong as aluminum- Aluminum widows have a stronger frame and can use more glass. This allows for a larger view and more light to pass through, especially in the case of Slider Windows.

● In terms of style, they are both simple and basic - most vinyl windows look like ...... windows! If you want the typical window look and want your windows to look like all the neighborhood or big box store inventory, then vinyl is the way to go.

● You can't change the style - you can paint or refinish the aluminum. With vinyl, the windows you have are the windows you will have, so make sure you like it enough to keep it for years to come. If you prefer to replace it every few years, repaint or repaint - aluminum may be a better choice to make sure your windows are updated as your tastes and style change.

 

Which is better for my home - aluminum replacement windows or PVC/vinyl windows?

Once you've weighed the pros and cons of aluminum and vinyl windows, the final choice is ultimately which system is better for you and your home. 

If your window choice is simpler and you don't need the highest level of security, strength style or durability, then vinyl windows may be the best fit for your project.

If your window requirements are more demanding and you prefer the highest level of security, strength, durability and value, as well as modern style options, then aluminum windows may be best for your space. As aluminum continues to grow in popularity, affordability and pricing are becoming less of a disadvantage compared to vinyl windows.

 

The types of aluminum windows you may consider for your home include.

Aluminum Clad Wood Windows/48×72 Window

Custom Aluminum Windows

Aluminum casement window in accordance with US standard

Commercial and High quality Aluminum Casement Windows

 

The right windows will add value to your home that you will enjoy for years to come. If you need more information and have any questions about custom windows for your home, please contact SKYLAND at +86 139 2456 0817 or use the form on our contact page to request more information.

 

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