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Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows

Are you faced with the decision between vinyl and aluminum? In this guide, we will help you decide which kind of window to choose by comparing everything from design to durability to performance. 

Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows Comparison 

Cost

Vinyl Window – Less expensive and better value.

Aluminum Window – Typically more expensive unless you get a bottom-line product that is highly energy-inefficient.

Design

Vinyl Window – Vinyl Windows have a less realistic and more attractive appearance. Vinyl window frames come with lots of different finishes. The same material is used throughout the frame. So if they scratched or chipped, it is hardly noticeable. Vinyl frames are thicker than aluminum, which may not be attractive to look at on some buildings. 

Aluminum Window – When a painted aluminum frame is chipped or scratched, the metal underneath will show. An aluminum window’s frame is thinner, so it provides a more modern look, especially for bigger, commercial buildings.

Appearance

Vinyl Window – Vinyl can have a wood-like appearance. Because real wood can be problematic, vinyl is an excellent alternative if you like the look of actual wood but don’t want to deal with the demands of dealing with real wood. It’s also a better alternative than painted aluminum windows.

Aluminum Window – You need to use a coating treatment to get the look of wood on aluminum. The vinyl wood grain effect is a better alternative since it is the same material throughout compared to an external coating of aluminum.  

Durability

Vinyl Window – Highly resistant to scratching, marring, and cracking, and not as easily dented.

Aluminum Window – Also Resistant to scratching, marring, and cracking, except for the surface, but more easily dented.

Colors

Vinyl Window – Vinyl cannot be painted, so it’s harder to match the exact color to your desired color. 

Aluminum Window – Aluminum window frames can be painted and, in some cases, powder-coated. This means you can achieve an exact match to the desired color. However, if the frame is chipped or scratched, the metal underneath will show.

Strength

Vinyl Window – Not as strong as an aluminum window. 

Aluminum Window – A little stronger than vinyl. 

Maintenance

Vinyl Window – Vinyl windows require less maintenance. With vinyl, you will never have to worry about repainting or restaining them. 

Aluminum Window – Aluminum windows must be lubricated regularly because their moving parts consist of metal against metal. They will require regular maintenance when painted.

Corrosion

Vinyl Window – Corrosion is not a problem with vinyl.

Aluminum Window – The steel or zinc fasteners may react with the aluminum over time and corrode.

Fading & Pitting

Vinyl Window -Not a problem with vinyl windows.

Aluminum Window – The paint can fade. Aluminum windows can also pit. 

Weight

Vinyl Window – Vinyl weighs more than aluminum

Aluminum Window – Aluminum windows weigh less, making them more suitable for larger windows. 

Energy Efficiency & Thermal Performance

Vinyl Window – When it comes to this critical current issue, the window industry boasts vinyl windows as the most energy-efficient.

Aluminum Window – Aluminum windows act like radiators, which means they let unwanted heat from the outside into the house. The same goes for cold, so they must be specially protected with “thermal breaks,” which adds to their cost.

Condensation

Vinyl Window – Vinyl creates less condensation than wood or aluminum.

Aluminum Window – Aluminum’s heat transfer action creates condensation. When condensation gets between the window and the wall, it can cause rot and mold.

Thermal Breaks

Vinyl Window – Vinyl makes the best thermal break itself.

Aluminum Window – Thermal breaks made of vinyl are employed in many modern aluminum windows. 

Noise Reduction

Vinyl Window – More effective.

Aluminum Window -Less effective.

Recyclability

Vinyl Window – Less efficient.

Aluminum Window – Very efficient to recycle.

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