Vinyl windows have numerous advantages and are somewhat similar to fiberglass windows with their durability and energy-saving efforts. Vinyl windows are also relatively low maintenance and require little effort to keep clean.
What are Vinyl windows made of?
Vinyl windows are made out of Polyvinyl Chloride -PVC, highly durable material and will not deteriorate when exposed to elements. PVC is the same material used to make plumbing pipes, exterior house trim, and doors. The material isn’t just rigid; it’s tough enough to stand up to almost any climate.
For enhanced insulation and energy efficiency, look for vinyl windows with an insulation foam-filled cavity. Aside from having an energy-efficient frame, vinyl windows are available in dual or triple-pane glass and low-E glass coating. Most vinyl windows are Energy Star qualified and will earn you a tax credit. Additionally, vinyl windows can help you lower your overall heating and cooling bill in most climates. Whether your current windows are worth replacing for the energy savings is up to your existing windows. Do you feel drafts or cold near the windows? It might be time to replace your windows with vinyl.
Vinyl Window Maintenance
One significant advantage to vinyl windows is their lack of maintenance need. They never require painting or scraping and can be cleaned with soap and water. The windows are also nearly scratch-free, making them popular options for people with kids or pets, as toys and pet nails won’t knick or scrape the window frames. It would be best to clean the exterior frame once in a while with soap and water to keep a fresh look, but overall the cleaning process for vinyl windows is relatively easy. Another important and often understated area that applies to vinyl and fiberglass windows is cleaning their tracks. Tracks are the open slides that allow the window to open. Having dirt or debris trapped in the tracks makes the windows less energy-efficient and more challenging to open. Particular debris such as leaves will hold moisture and lead to future rusting of the tracks.
Though vinyl windows can last a long time, they do have several disadvantages. The vinyl frame may wrap and bow with time under direct sunlight leading to air leakage. They also tend to discolor over time if subjected to direct heat and cannot be painted. Vinyl windows are suitable for any home, given their cost, overall durability, and low maintenance. When on a budget for window replacement, several window companies offer contemporary styles with slim, clean lines in different colors to get the job done and provide a stylish look.
Cost Advantages and Disadvantages
Vinyl can be a cheaper and more durable option for windows unless you want to customize them. Vinyl windows are difficult to shape and cost a premium to make a custom design for unusual windows or something different from the rest of the neighborhood. They are also cheap because they are limited color options and cannot be painted, unlike wood. Even if you want something custom, a custom vinyl might still be an inexpensive design compared to others.