When you need replacement windows, you must choose from a broad selection of window types. It can be very hard to know which is best suited for your specific property and needs. With so many features and ratings, it is equally difficult to know which manufacturers provide the best quality or which installers have Windows that are Best interests in mind.
Window Seal West in Edmonton can help you sift through your options to the right choices. With over 10 years’ experience throughout Canada, they have the answers to all of your questions about window replacement and installation processes. We tapped into their insights to understand which window types are best, particularly in temperate to cold climates.
Factors to Look for In Your Window Replacement
The best options for your home window replacement are those that meet specific needs. These needs include:
- Low cost materials
- Low cost installation
- Low maintenance
- Return on investment
- Good insulation
- Low heat or cold conduction
- Energy efficiency
- Quick installation
- No sanding or painting required
- Color and finish options
- Rust, warp and rot-free
- Weather resistant
- No resealing required
- 20 year lifespan
That is a long wish list for one window replacement product. But by far, vinyl windows meet your needs, ticking all of the boxes for the above-listed demands. This is why so many builders, installers and homeowners prefer vinyl over any other window material.
How Vinyl Beats Wood, Aluminum, Fiberglass and Plastic
Vinyl is the more common choice over the other window materials, such as wood, aluminum, fiberglass and composite plastic. This value is most immediately apparent due to vinyl’s greater affordability. In fact, vinyl costs about half of a wood window installation. Vinyl also provides greater energy efficiency, custom size options and low maintenance. In terms of energy efficiency, vinyl window frames contain honeycomb chambers that trap air and thus provide better insulation.
Is Vinyl Time-Tested as a Window Material?
Vinyl frames first came onto the home construction scene in the 1970s. This means that the material has withstood about half a century of use and customer approval. In the beginning, vinyl frames were made to fit odd window sizes not offered by leading wood frame manufacturers. Since that time, vinyl has continued to be the material of choice for all sizes, styles and shapes of Windows that are Best for replacements.
Some of the proven marks of a great vinyl window include color uniformity throughout the frame. You should also look for heat-welded joints over use of screws or other fasteners at the joints. The typical turnaround time for custom orders is between two to six weeks for manufacturing.
How Does Vinyl Compare to Wood?
Many people stand behind wood as the ideal window material. But wood’s firm hold on the market is slipping, whereas vinyl is continually gaining in popularity. This is because vinyl styles prove strong, attractive and energy efficient, with some of these features outweighing the benefits of wood.
And then, there is that issue of having to sand, paint or stain wood frames every three to four years to keep them looking nice. You never have to do that to your vinyl frames. Vinyl clad wood window frames are an option, certainly. But those cost more than standard wood and much more than vinyl.
Wood frames are vulnerable to weather, whereas vinyl is not. In fact, wood frames are known to rot, chip and break, requiring replacement. Pests can invade wood, whereas you do not have pest concerns with vinyl. Wood is heavier and costs more to install, with installation being more difficult, too.
Vinyl vs. Aluminum and Fiberglass
When compared to aluminum window options, vinyl still stands as a better choice. Although both window types are durable, low maintenance and lower cost, aluminum has a high heat conduction tendency. During cold weather, aluminum frames also feel very cold to the touch. They attract condensation that obstructs your view, too. Really, aluminum only works well in warm climates where residents rely more on air conditioning than heat.
Fiberglass, another window material option, is strong, maintenance-free and energy efficient, just like vinyl counterparts. But fiberglass costs more than vinyl.