When the time comes to replace your windows, you will have a lot of choices to make. Should you get wood, aluminum or vinyl windows? Should you get single, double or triple pane glass? Your decision should largely be based on your needs and budget. However, some window materials do offer advantages over others. In this blog post, we review the differences between vinyl and aluminum so that you can make the best decision for your home.
Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows
Aluminum and vinyl windows each have their strengths and weaknesses. In terms of the actual strength, aluminum comes out on top. However, vinyl is not far behind so the decision should not be made on this factor alone. As far as corrosion, vinyl is the superior performer. In some cases, aluminum can corrode over a long period of time especially in coastal environments. When it comes to weight, aluminum is the lighter material, but there is a trade-off. Since aluminum is lighter than vinyl, it does not resist sound as well. For those concerned with environmental issues, aluminum is more readily recycled compared to vinyl.
Between vinyl and aluminum, vinyl windows are the more popular choice for looks. Vinyl can be manufactured with a wood grain appearance. Aluminum windows can also imitate wood with a special coating, but it is inferior to the wood grain effect of vinyl. As far as color options, aluminum is the winner. Aluminum can be painted any color while vinyl cannot be painted, which may make it difficult to find an exact color match. Keep in mind that painted aluminum will chip with time, and you will have to repaint it or else the metal underneath will be exposed. Generally, vinyl does not require that kind of maintenance.
Energy Efficiency Comparison
One of the reasons that many homeowners choose to get replacement windows is to improve the energy efficiency of their home. This is an important factor when deciding between aluminum and vinyl windows. Unfortunately, aluminum performs poorly when it comes to energy efficiency. This is because metal is a great conductor of heat. The hot and cold from outside will easily be transferred into your home. While you can improve the performance of aluminum windows with multi-pane glass and other add-ons, it still cannot compare to a similarly equipped vinyl window. Vinyl offers some of the best energy efficiency out of all the window materials.
In summary, aluminum windows are a good choice for those who need a light-weight strong material. Vinyl windows are a good choice for those who value aesthetics and energy efficiency. When you are deciding on which material is best for your needs, it is a good idea to consult a replacement window expert. With your particular needs in mind, they can advise you on the pros and cons of each material. Superior Window Company offers the highest performing replacement windows in Texas. Give us a call to schedule an in-home consultation.