Windows play an important role in the beauty and function of your house, as old windows can be an eyesore. What is the best type of window to replace them with? If you’re replacing wooden or aluminum windows, consider vinyl windows as a different option. The benefits of vinyl windows are extensive and could be optimal for your home.
What Are Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl windows first appeared in Germany in the 1950s. After World War II, there was a shortage of wood and aluminum, driving a need for a new type of window material. Thus, vinyl windows were created. In the 1970s, vinyl windows started becoming popular in the United States, and they’ve been a staple in homes across the country ever since.
Vinyl windows are like any other window in that they have both a windowpane and a window frame. The windowpane is the familiar sheet of transparent glass. The frame is what houses the windowpane and is commonly made of wood, aluminum and vinyl. How does vinyl differ from these other materials? And what are vinyl windows made of?
What Is Vinyl Made Of?
Vinyl is a plastic made by combining ethylene and chlorine. This forms polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC. You may be familiar with this material as it is used in various piping and plumbing applications. It is water resistant and can withstand breaking down in the sun’s rays. This makes it a popular and necessary component of the construction industry. Thanks to vinyl, there have been great strides in creating safer, more durable ways to make everyone’s lives easier and more comfortable.
Like many human-made materials that are meant to replace natural items, vinyl had major shortcomings early in its implementation into windows. Today, vinyl windows are on par with other windows on the market. In fact, they account for over half of the residential window market. Vinyl even provides some benefits that are not typically associated with the other materials. Given these positives, homeowners continue to turn to vinyl for their replacement windows. But, the question remains: Are vinyl windows right for you and your home?
Advantages of Vinyl Windows
More and more people have turned to vinyl replacement windows for their homes since their popularization in the United States in the 1970s. This is due to several advantages that can make them more appealing than wooden or aluminum windows for some homeowners. The following pros of vinyl windows can help you understand why:
- Durability: You won’t have to sand, stain or paint your vinyl windows. They are naturally durable, withstanding direct sunlight and rain with minimal discoloration or signs of weathering. With proper care, they can last from 20 years to 40 years.
- Low maintenance: It’s easy to clean vinyl windows. Pressure wash them on a low setting once or twice a year to keep them looking clean and new. You won’t need to use any special cleaners. A simple detergent or general house cleaner will get the job done.
- Affordability: Vinyl windows are inexpensive compared to their wooden and aluminum counterparts. If you’re going to be replacing several windows and want something that is both durable and affordable, vinyl windows could be the right option for you.
- Energy efficiency: Wood and aluminum are both conductors of heat. Vinyl, on the other hand, is a great insulator. Vinyl windows’ multichambered vinyl frames provide additional insulation not possible in other types of window frames. You can enjoy more comfort and a potentially lower heating bill when you choose vinyl replacement windows.
- Customizability: Vinyl comes in a variety of colors. You can choose the perfect color for your vinyl windows that matches the color scheme of your home. Vinyl windows also come in many shapes, sizes and layouts, so you’re sure to find the perfect vinyl replacement windows for your home.
- Recyclability: Since vinyl is a human-made plastic, it is recyclable. If you decide to go with vinyl replacement windows, you can know you are making an environmentally friendly decision. If the time ever comes to get rid of them, they can be repurposed for other vinyl products.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Windows
You should also consider the disadvantages of vinyl windows when shopping for your home’s windows. While the above advantages are appealing to homeowners looking to buy something both affordable and long-lasting, no material is perfect or invincible. Here are some cons of vinyl windows:
- Warping: Even with their great durability, vinyl windows do warp in some circumstances. This can happen during periods of intense heat. Under the most extreme circumstances, vinyl window frames can sag and shift, causing them to look warped. This also makes opening and closing the windows difficult.
- Seal failure: Fluctuating temperatures cause vinyl windows to expand and contract. This back and forth can cause vinyl windows to break from their seals, letting air from the outside seep through the cracks.
- Less glass space: Vinyl is more flexible and lightweight than wood and aluminum. Because of this, the vinyl frames need to be larger to securely house the glass windowpanes. This results in a loss of glass area. The vinyl frames take up more space and may reduce your area of sight outside.
- Fewer trim options: While vinyl windows are available in several colors to fit your needs, they may lack the interesting trim options available in wooden or aluminum windows. Some homeowners are more fond of the styles found in other windows and prefer to pay more for a window frame that matches their home’s aesthetic exactly.
There are trade-offs to consider with vinyl windows. Beyond their shortcomings, vinyl windows offer homeowners a customizable, affordable and long-lasting option.
Contact Wize Home Direct for All Your Vinyl Window Needs
At Wize Home Direct, we want to make the window replacement process easier for you. We strive to be a trustworthy, convenient and affordable solution for all your home improvement needs. We want to make the process as easy as possible for you, because we know you already have enough to worry about. We even offer financing options to make sure prices and costs don’t get in the way of your dream home.
We look forward to helping you turn that dream into a reality. Contact us today and discover how we can help you with your vinyl window replacement project.