Vinyl Vs Aluminum: Which Replacement Windows Are Right For Your Home? | Hawaii
Of the many home improvement projects, window replacement may have the most overall benefits. Upgrading your windows can increase curb appeal, reduce energy costs and offer a great return on investment.
Besides choosing between the correct size, shape, and color of the windows, homeowners must decide on the best material. Vinyl and aluminum replacement windows are both durable, yet each has its set of pros and cons. Here’s a look at the similarities and differences between the two materials and which is best for your home.
Both vinyl and aluminum windows come in various colors, shapes, sizes, and styles. Depending on the type of window you need, vinyl windows may have a thicker frame, and some people may prefer the sleeker look of metal windows.
Aluminum frames often have coatings that make them more durable. The lightweight material makes them suitable for windows with exquisite designs and peculiar shapes.
Vinyl windows are available in smooth or textured finishes. The metal nature of aluminum does not allow for such variations. Homeowners replacing wooden frames will benefit from the faux wood textures of some vinyl replacement windows. They can preserve the look of their home while having more durable windows.
Homeowners can change up the look of both window types by repainting them. However, the paint may not adhere well, and you could void the warranty on some windows.
The ultimate cost of buying and installing replacement windows will depend on the size, glass type, condition of the home, type of windows, customizations, or other considerations.
Aluminum windows typically cost more than vinyl windows. Aluminum is more robust and is often used for overly large windows. Its resistance makes it the most suitable choice for homes in places prone to natural disasters. You may find impact-resistant vinyl windows, but they cost much more than aluminum windows of the same type.
Due to their flexibility, vinyl replacement windows are easier to install and don’t require a lot of insulation. Aluminum frames may require more insulation and caulking if they do not fit nicely. Installation costs will increase if the installer has to make any adjustments to the windows and the process takes longer than expected.
Likewise, the condition of the window opening and walls will affect the process. A window installer must repair any damaged siding to ensure the frame won’t fall out, resulting in higher costs.
It would be best to regularly wipe down aluminum replacement windows to avoid moisture build-up and rust. Should the coating chip or fade, you can easily apply another layer to make the windows last longer. Ensure you lubricate the metal hinges from time to time to keep them working smoothly.
As for vinyl windows, you do not need to maintain them as often. You should, however, reapply the caulking once you see cracks. Doing so will improve insulation and energy efficiency.
If you live on a busy street, you should opt for aluminum frames. These metal frames can better insulate against noise because they have more mass than vinyl replacement windows.
Because of its resistance and strength, aluminum is the preferred choice for exterior replacement windows. It can withstand drastic weather changes, and with proper care, it will last for decades.
In coastal areas, aluminum may not be the best option. The high humidity and salt water can corrode untreated aluminum and cause it to rust. It would help if you gave these windows extra attention and frequently applied protective coatings to make them last longer.
Vinyl, or PVC, is a flexible plastic used in various applications. Windows with a vinyl frame fit easily into window openings. They also do not dent, fade in the sunlight and show scratches as readily as aluminum frames. However, the brittle plastic is more likely to warp and crack under extreme weather conditions and is especially susceptible to heat.
In warmer climates, vinyl windows can limit heat transfer and reduce the need for air conditioning. They offer better insulation and are more efficient in keeping the cold out, helping you save on heating costs. Because they conduct heat and cold, aluminum windows cause HVAC systems to work harder. These windows are better suited for mild climates.
Ensure you get ENERGY STAR-certified windows rated for your region. But even the best windows are only as good as their installation, so you should hire a professional to replace them.
Both vinyl and aluminum replacement windows will increase your property’s value, and homeowners should consider it an investment.
Still, aluminum frames, though durable, may not be a popular choice among home buyers because these windows do not conserve energy as efficiently. According to Remodeling’s 2022 Cost Vs. Value Report, you can recoup 67% of the replacement cost if you install vinyl windows.
Upgrade Your Home with the Best Windows
A seasoned DIYer may want to take on a window replacement project themself. But why struggle when you can hire a top-rated fenestration expert? Here at Sunburst Windows, we offer our clients only the best windows on the market.
Once you have found your windows of choice, our experienced professionals will ensure that each window is securely installed, adequately insulated, and blends well with your home’s exterior. Should anything happen to your new installs, our replacement warranties will have you covered. Give us a call to start saving today.
In A Nutshell
For homeowners, deciding between vinyl and aluminum does not have to be a difficult question. While aluminum is durability and weather resistant; on the other hand, vinyl can better withstand salty air and is more energy-efficient and budget-friendly.
High-quality vinyl replacement windows from top brands may not be cheaper. However, you can benefit from the long-term warranties. If neither of the two options satisfies you, opt for wood or fiberglass windows. Check with Sunburst Windows for the best solution for your home.
See our previous blog on this topic here.