Are Vinyl Windows Good?

Are Vinyl Windows Good?

Updating and installing new replacement windows in your home can lead you down a rabbit hole of material choices. Window frames come in a range of materials that can impact the durability, aesthetic, and energy efficiency of the window and, ultimately, your home. Some window materials also require more maintenance than others. 

Vinyl windows make up the most significant share of the window market, but there are still some questions about whether it's the best choice.

If you've found yourself wondering, "Are vinyl windows a good choice?" or "Are vinyl windows a good investment?" then you're at the right place. When choosing new or replacement windows for your property, it's essential to be mindful of the pros and cons of the material choice that you make.

Let's take a closer look at vinyl windows. 

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How Are Vinyl Windows Made?

Vinyl window frames are made from a durable plastic material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is used in many building materials and can handle extreme temperatures without compromising its function. The other great properties of PVC are its low price, high ranking for hardness and durability, and its excellent strength.

Vinyl windows have been around since the late 1950s as a cheaper alternative to wood windows. Since then, the manufacturing process has improved so that vinyl windows are virtually maintenance-free, with good brands creating products that no longer buckle or warp. 

Why Are Vinyl Windows A Good Choice?

Shop around for a good brand that offers premium quality, and you cannot go wrong with vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are a good choice for many reasons. 

Here are some of the pros of vinyl windows:

  • Eco-friendly. Even though PVC is a type of plastic, it can be recycled and transformed into other PVC building materials. When it comes to other plastics, vinyl has one of the lowest energy requirements in its manufacturing. 
  • Affordable. Vinyl frames are the most cost-effective window material out there. 
  • Energy-efficient. PVC has a high R-value meaning it is thermal resistant and can retain heat. Of course, the window glass quality you choose is what will make an impact. Choose windows with Energy Star Ratings, multiple glazing, and argon gas filling between panes. 
  • Low-maintenance. Vinyl window frames are unpainted, and the plastic is the same color throughout, meaning that scratches will be unnoticeable. Vinyl never has to be painted, scraped, or stained. It's easy to clean off dust and debris with a soapy cloth.
  • Moisture resistant. Unlike wood, vinyl is unaffected by moisture, rot, and rust.
  • Long-lasting. Vinyl frames are slow to aging due to their resistance to the elements. Once you install quality vinyl windows, you don't have to worry about repeating the process for a few decades. 
  • Customizable. Vinyl PVC is available in almost any color, style, and shape imaginable. 

Why Are Vinyl Windows A Bad Choice?

The biggest con to vinyl windows is that the quality can vary across brands. With such a huge demand, shortcuts are taken. This results in the cons that have given vinyl a bag wrap.

Cons that you may encounter with inferior vinyl include warping or cracking due to extreme temperatures and thermal expansion in PVC. Builder-grade vinyl windows are standard in homes and may have these flaws. Many homeowners upgrade their vinyl windows to premium quality vinyl and do not face problems of warping again. 

Are There Better Options Than Vinyl Windows?

You need to choose a material that can tick all the boxes for your home. Vinyl is an excellent choice, but it is only one of many other window choices. If you're specifically looking for durable, eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance, you may also consider Fibrex® windows. 

Fibrex® windows are a composite material made with a blend of wood and plastic fibers. Fibrex® offers strength, energy efficiency, and wood-like beauty, combined with the durability and longevity of vinyl. The Fibrex® material is a solid competitor to vinyl, although slightly more costly and exclusively manufactured by Andersen.

Speak to a Professional Before Buying Vinyl Windows

When vinyl windows fail, it's often due to poor quality. Make sure you order premium vinyl windows from a reputable brand. It may be one of the cheapest materials out there, but that doesn't mean you should compromise on quality to save some cash. Overall, vinyl windows are a great choice. They're low-maintenance, affordable, and energy-efficient.

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