Most Common Questions About Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass Windows FAQ: Most Common Questions About Fiberglass Windows

When it comes to replacing the windows in your home, you will need to make a lot of decisions. Since the replacement job will likely require a significant investment, you will likely want to make the right decisions the first time around.

Whether or not you will choose to go with fiberglass windows will be one of those decisions. They have gained a lot of popularity, but there is still quite a bit of question that homeowners have regarding this kind of window. We are here to answer all of your most common questions about fiberglass windows.

14 Most common questions about fiberglass windows

  1. Are fiberglass windows better than vinyl?
  2. Are fiberglass windows worth it?
  3. How much does a fiberglass window cost?
  4. Does Andersen make fiberglass windows?
  5. Are fiberglass windows energy efficient?
  6. Do fiberglass windows fade?
  7. Are fiberglass windows better than wood?
  8. Can you paint fiberglass windows?
  9. How do you clean fiberglass windows?
  10. Are fiberglass windows better than aluminum?
  11. How long do fiberglass windows last?
  12. Where to buy fiberglass windows?
  13. How are fiberglass windows made?
  14. Are fiberglass windows durable?

1. Are fiberglass windows better than vinyl?

Better is a subjective term since both of these materials have their pros and cons. Fiberglass windows are much stronger than vinyl windows, up to 8 times as strong in fact. While a quality vinyl window can last around 30 years, fiberglass windows can last 50 years or more. Vinyl windows are more widely available than fiberglass windows and the most popular option in new construction and replacement window projects.

2. Are fiberglass windows worth it?

Vinyl windows are significantly less expensive than fiberglass. Even some wood window options are cheaper. Fiberglass windows are expected to last longer than vinyl windows but we don't have enough experience with them and they haven't been around long enough to say for certain.

3. How much does a fiberglass window cost?

The average cost of a fiberglass window will range between $500 to $1,000 for a standard double hung window. From select companies, you can find them for cheaper and for higher prices. However, too much of a fluctuation likely means that they are a lesser quality make or that they include unnecessary extras.

4. Does Andersen make fiberglass windows?

Andersen does make fiberglass windows. These windows are found in its A-Series that come in all kinds of designs and styles. They are also made with a triple-pane option

if you need exceptional energy efficiency. Be aware that these aren't full-fiberglass windows, A-Series windows are fiberglass clad wood windows meaning you see wood on the interior and fiberglass on the exterior.

5. Are fiberglass windows energy efficient?

Fiberglass does offer some extra energy-efficiency pros. These include having a strong and durable frame that stays rigid unlike other options like wood or vinyl that can warp. Fiberglass windows do expand and contract when there are changes in temperature but they do so at similar rates to the glass in the sash so it's less likely to experience seal failure.

6. Do fiberglass windows fade?

While fiberglass windows themselves won't fade, the finish on the exterior of the frame can cause it to look faded. If you get a fiberglass window with a finish, ensure that it is high quality or it reduces the value of the fiberglass window over time.

7. Are fiberglass windows better than wood?

Fiberglass windows are often seen as better quality than wood windows. The only significant difference is that wood windows have a more aesthetically pleasing aspect to them. Fiberglass windows are said to be more durable than wooden windows, last longer and aren't impacted by changing weather so they should offer better energy- efficiency. They can also cost less than wood. If you're comparing a fiberglass window option to a wood window option look at their NFRC energy performance ratings. Compare the two on performance and price to decide which offers you the best value.

8. Can you paint fiberglass windows?

You can paint your fiberglass windows if you want. It is best to use a sprayer to paint them to ensure you apply it in uniform layers. Since fiberglass won't really soak it up very well, it is harder to make it look even by applying varying coats. We recommend starting from the middle of the window and slowly moving towards the exterior edge.

9. How do you clean fiberglass windows?

Clean your fiberglass windows using a lint-free soft cloth, sponge or microfiber towel. Soak this using warm dish water and then finish it off with a shine using a spray window cleaner.

10. Are fiberglass windows better than aluminum?

In terms of energy-efficiency, fiberglass far outshines aluminum windows. Fiberglass is virtually unaffected by changes in the weather while aluminum expands and contracts with the changes in temperature.

11. How long do fiberglass windows last?

Fiberglass windows can last up to 50 years or more depending on their maintenance and the climate they are in. Ask your window dealer/retailer what they've experienced or witnessed with fiberglass windows they've installed for clients. Do they receive service calls or complaints? Have they had to replace any fiberglass windows and do they know how long they were installed for?

12. Where to buy fiberglass windows?

There are many different window and door companies that have different series of fiberglass windows. You'll need to do a search to find out which companies near you offer fiberglass windows. We currently don't offer a full fiberglass window for our clients in North Texas but we have offered Milgard fiberglass windows in the past and currently offer Andersen A-Series windows which are a fiberglass cladded wood product.

13. How are fiberglass windows made?

Manufacturer's create fiberglass windows using a process of pultrusion. Strands of the fiberglass material get woven together, then pulled through a resin bath, and finally pulled through a heated die to cure the resin. When it comes out the other side of this process, it is smooth and rigid. That is when it gets cut into lengths, fitted and coated.

14. Are fiberglass windows durable?

Fiberglass windows are manufactured to withstand extreme temperatures and climates.

Fiberglass Window Manufacturers 

Andersen:

Andersen sells a series of fiberglass clad wood windows. Their A-Series is the only fiberglass series currently in their line of windows. They are part of their Architectural Collection that have been certified as some of their most energy efficient windows.

Alpen:

The Alpen Zenith Series contains a full line of high performance products that come with a first rated NFRC full-frame window. They are American Made and deliver the best in its class. This line of windows includes standard sizes and can also be customized to order.

Pella:

Pella's Fiberglass Impervia Windows are made with the naturally strong material. They have a proprietary fiberglass material that is engineered for lasting durability. They also use a long-lasting powder-coating that meets AAMA 624 to give it that extra edge.

Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Windows

Pros:
  • Fiberglass is extremely strong and durable.
  • The investment gives you a long-term return since they can last for 50+ years. Fiberglass windows are highly energy-efficient.
  • These windows are low-maintenance.
Cons:
  • Fiberglass windows are more expensive than vinyl windows.
  • There aren't as many color options currently for this style of window.

Making a decision on the style and material you want your windows to be is one of the most important decisions you will make in the process of choosing a window. Fiberglass gives you an excellent option since it is so durable, just be prepared to invest a bit of money into them. Check out our related articles to learn more. 

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     -Bobby

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