Milgard Essence vs Milgard Aluminum Windows: Milgard Window Reviews

Milgard Essence vs Milgard Aluminum Windows: Milgard Window Reviews

Are you comparing Milgard windows? This review will help you understand some of the differences between Milgard's Essence and Aluminum series windows. These windows are made of different materials which factor into many of the pros and cons of each window. Take a moment to learn more in this article where we'll cover the following topics:

  • Materials
  • Construction
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Styles
  • Grids
  • Glass
  • Tilt Sash
  • Colors
  • Price
  • Warranty
  • Lead-time 



  • Fiberglass exterior with wood interior

The wood frame of Essence windows is beautifully warm, paintable, and a natural insulator. As all other wood windows, this window frame would require some maintenance such as sealing, staining, or painting.

On the plus side, Milgard has equipped the Essence window with an innovative water management system that is designed to protect the wood interior by draining water away through hidden channels and drainage holes. This might not be so much a concern in dry areas of the country but it is great protection for a wood window in a rainy area or during a rainy season. 


  • Aluminum frame

Aluminum windows are strong and have a slimmer profile than other windows. The slim profile puts the focus on the glass and views through the window. 

Although Milgard's windows are anodized to protect against corrosion they are not recommended in beach homes because salt water and salt air can cause corrosion. Corrosion on aluminum windows negatively affects hardware operation and frame performance. 


Both Essence and Aluminum series windows are available for new construction and replacement projects. Not sure what the difference is between new construction and replacement windows, we answer that question in this article: Replacement Windows versus New Construction Windows.

Energy Efficiency


All Milgard Essence Series windows and doors are ENERGY STAR qualified for all U.S. zones. 


Milgard's Aluminum windows are not ENERGY STAR qualified but they are designed to reduce thermal transfer and improve energy efficiency as best possible for this material.

In some areas, this aluminum series might qualify as ENERGY STAR in new construction applications. 



Casement + Double-hung + Gliding + Radius + Picture Window + Awning + Custom sizes

Picture windows are available in casement and double hung frames creating even sight lines when used in combinations.

Illustration of a casement window and casement picture window for comparison. Brennan Enterprises is a window replacement company in North Texas.

Unique to this series is also the radius casement style window. A radius window is a window with an arched top, often these are fixed windows meaning they don't open but Milgard has designed this casement specialty for the Essence series. 

Milgard Essence wood and fiberglass radius casement style window. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard window dealer in North Texas.


Single-hung + Gliding + Casement Radius + Picture + Awning + Custom sizes


Want to know more about window styles? We've got you covered in this article on 7 Types of Window Styles.



Essence has internal and external grid options. Internal grids are available in flat and sculpted options and external grids, also known as Simulated Divided Lite grids, are available in 3/4", 1-1/8", and 2-1/4" widths. 

Simulated divided lite grid for the glass exterior option


Milgard's aluminum series has fewer options with only two grid profiles but with their slim profile, aluminum windows are commonly seen without grids.


SunCoat Low-E high performance insulating glass is a standard in all Milgard windows and doors. Low-E glass reduces solar heat gain to save on summer cooling costs and blocks heat transfer to save on heating costs in the winter. Low-E glass also reduces UV rays that fade the carpet and furniture. 

Milgard offers a variety of glass packages including dual and triple glazing as well as options for argon or krypton gas windows. 

Tilt Sash

Tilt sashes make cleaning more easy and convenient. Tilt sash capability is not available on all windows but both Essence and Aluminum give you a few options on their operable* window styles.


Tilt sashes with sleek push button tilt latches are available on double-hung and glider windows.


Tilt sashes are available on single-hung or glider windows.

*Operable windows are windows that open horizontally, vertically, or outward. 



SmartTouch lock hardware for Milgard's Essence series windows. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows and doors dealer in North Texas. Spoon lock hardware for Milgard's Essence series windows. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows and doors dealer in North Texas. 

You can choose between a SmartTouch or more traditional Spoon Lock for gliding and double-hung windows. 

Folding, nesting handle for Milgard's casement and awning windows. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard replacement window dealer in North Dallas. Milgard Essence Sash Lock for casement and awning style windows. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows and doors dealer located in North Texas.

Folding, nesting handle, and sash locks are used on awning and casement windows.

Ease-of-use is something to consider when purchasing windows, doors, appliances, and really anything else that you have to manually operate. If ease-of-use is top of mind for you then you’ll be pleased to know Milgard was awarded the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation for its SmartTouch lock.

Hardware Colors: White; clay; oil rubbed bronze; brushed chrome; satin nickel


Positive action lock for Milgard Aluminum Series windows. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows dealer located in North Texas.

Positive-action style locking system on sliding and single-hung windows. If your window is closed, it is locked.

Exterior Colors


Milgard Essence windows are available in 16 exterior colors. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows dealer in North Texas.

Milgard uses the same technology used in automotive paint applications making their finishes harder and less likely to fade, chip, or scrape. All windows are required to meet the requirements of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association 624 certification. Milgard is also a member of the Powder Coating Institute, which is committed to developing high-quality non-polluting finish technologies.


Milgard's aluminum series windows are available in two finishes, clear anodized and bronze anodized. Brennan Enterprises is a Milgard windows dealer in North Texas.

What is anodizing? It’s an electrochemical process that forms an oxide film over a metal surface. It converts a metal surface into a decorative, durable, and corrosion-resistant finish.

Interior Colors



Milgard Essence windows solid wood interior finishes.


Milgard Aluminum series window finishes.

The aluminum series matches the interior and exterior colors. 







Milgard offers a Full Lifetime Warranty on all properly installed windows and doors. The warranty includes parts and labor as long as the homeowner owns their home. Additionally, Glass Breakage Coverage is also standard on all Essence series windows and doors. 

Full warranty details on


Lead-time for a product is the amount of time it takes to place, create, and ship an order. Depending on materials, location, and time of year, this can vary across vendors.


Lead-time is generally between 6-8 weeks on Milgard Essence Windows, but lead-time can vary. According to Milgard no there is no additional lead time for custom size Essence windows. 


Lead time is generally between 4-10 weeks, but again this can vary depending on location and season. 

That's a lot of information! I hope we answered any questions you might have about the similarities and differences between Milgard Essence and Milgard Aluminum windows. 

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