The Benefits of Vinyl Windows and Aluminum Windows

Coastal living room with aluminum hurricane impact windows

If you’re upgrading your home with new windows, you have many options to choose from. One question that may arise is: Are vinyl window frames or aluminum window frames better? We’ve got good news for you. Both are excellent choices—each with their own advantages.

Related: Unsung Benefits Of Impact Windows & Doors

To help you make the most informed decision when shopping for replacement windows, here’s a closer look at the benefits of vinyl and aluminum window frames.

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

There’s a reason—well, many of them—why vinyl windows have the distinction of being the most popular window replacement type on the market. These include the following advantages:

They’re cost-effective.

If you’re upgrading your windows on a budget, you can’t do better than vinyl. Not only is vinyl significantly less expensive than materials like wood and fiberglass, but there’s no sacrifice of performance involved.

They’re energy-efficient.

Child adjusts the thermostat in energy-efficient family home

In addition to being inexpensive in and of themselves, vinyl windows have a secondary financial advantage in that they have very strong thermal performance ratings and are excellent at reducing air drafts. These qualities add up to lower utility bills and less wear and tear on your HVAC system. And, of course, you’ll be doing your part for the planet. Simply put: they’re one of the best defenses against wasted energy.

Related: Lower Your Utility Bill with These Four Energy-Saving Secrets

Says Energy.gov of the efficiency advantages of vinyl windows, “Just because vinyl is a less expensive material doesn’t mean it has to be ‘cheap.’ A well-constructed, properly installed vinyl window can be a practical choice budget-wise while still offering excellent energy efficiency measures through insulated glass and tight construction that reduces air leakage.”

They’re virtually maintenance-free.

Dealing with a long list of maintenance requirements is not only a hassle but can also be expensive. Vinyl spares you the headache because it is virtually maintenance-free. In addition to a quick and easy installation process, vinyl windows are easy to clean and require very little care and maintenance.

Unlike wood-framed windows that rot and crack over time, vinyl windows are extremely resistant to environmental factors thanks to the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers that prevent sunlight from causing the material to degrade. Vinyl also has good moisture resistance, won’t swell or warp, and never requires repainting.

They’re available in many styles and colors.

As vinyl windows have become more and more popular, the options for colors and styles have expanded. You’ll also have your choice of smooth or textured finishes. Lastly, many homeowners are now opting for vinyl windows with faux woodgrain finishes, which offer the appearance of traditional wood windows with all of the durable advantages of vinyl.

Related: Understanding Window Styles—A Guide to Window Style Selection

Benefits of Aluminum Windows

Beautiful aluminum hurricane impact resistant window in a coastal home

Featuring our Sparta Single Hung Window SH4100A

As with vinyl windows, investing in aluminum windows offers many advantages. Here, we’ll count down the top benefits of choosing aluminum windows:

They’re affordable.

Like vinyl windows, aluminum is usually cheaper than alternatives like wood and fiberglass. If you’re looking for a window frame material that will deliver plenty of bang for your buck, look no further than aluminum.

They’re aesthetically appealing.

One of the most lightweight types of metal available, aluminum allows for a customized fit with a breadth and depth of possible configuration. Their slim profile creates a sleek, modern aesthetic while also enhancing the sightlines of a space. Because of their expansive glass area, aluminum windows are often featured in contemporary home designs.

They’re durable.

A tropical storm pours rain on a hurricane impact resistant window

Built to last, aluminum windows deliver appealing long-term value. Durable aluminum can withstand exposure to the elements and is much less likely to incur damage from moisture than wood frames. Furthermore, their corners are mechanically joined which helps them resist warping and maintain their shape.

The strength and integrity of aluminum also make it an ideal choice for larger size windows, while their high degree of impact resistance is suitable for homes in areas prone to extreme weather. HGTV asserts, “Aluminum windows are practical in rainy, humid climates, and they meet stringent coastal building codes in hurricane-prone areas thanks to their strength.”

They require minimal maintenance.

Aluminum windows are extremely easy to maintain. As with vinyl windows, they will never require painting, making both a hassle-free choice when compared to wood. Just install and enjoy!

When it comes to deciding between vinyl and aluminum windows, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. In fact, both options check many of the same boxes. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences. The more informed you are about the benefits of each of these popular types of windows, the more easily you’ll be able to identify which option is best for you.

Related: White Paper—How to Choose Impact Windows

Perhaps Bob Vila puts it best in concluding, “Regardless of which option you choose — vinyl or aluminum — replacement windows can be viewed as an investment in preserving the overall value of your biggest asset—your home.”

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