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What Are Vinyl Windows?

4/8/2016 1:18:03 PM

In the mid-20th century, manufacturers first introduced vinyl windows as a cost-effective alternative to traditional wood windows. The material is made out of PVC, a durable plastic material with seemingly unlimited applications.

Over the past few decades, many improvements in the manufacturing process, quality of vinyl used and customizable options have made vinyl windows a more viable choice than ever. If you think vinyl windows could be right for your home, learn more about the material first.
 
Vinyl Double-Hung Windows   Vinyl Casement Windows   Vinyl Awning Windows
Vinyl Sliding Windows            Vinyl Special Shape Windows

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

Cost effective: When compared to wood and fiberglass, vinyl is usually the most affordable option. Just remember that even among this one material, you can find windows of varying quality and durability at different price ranges. For longer lasting windows, don’t settle for the cheapest ones you can find.

Energy efficient: Vinyl is a natural insulator, which helps it keep outdoor temperatures at bay. By slowing the heat exchange rate, you lower the strain on your heating and cooling equipment, thus lowering your utility bills.

Easy to install: Vinyl windows are designed for simplified installation. While you should still rely on an experienced installer for the job, easier installation means the job gets done faster and costs less.

Low maintenance: While nothing is literally maintenance-free, vinyl windows are pretty close. Care requires nothing more than occasionally wiping them with a damp, soapy cloth. If you install double hung vinyl windows with a tilt-in feature, cleaning the exterior side, even of upper-story windows, is easy.

Durable: Vinyl doesn’t rot, chip, peel, discolor or sag, even when exposed to severe weather conditions. This allows vinyl windows to last 20 years or longer with hardly even effort on your part.
 

Other Considerations

  • Compare efficiency ratings: While any new window is likely to be far more efficient than an old, leaky window, don’t assume all vinyl is created equal. Look for ENERGY STAR rated vinyl windows manufactured with a low-E coating, double-pane glass and insulating gas between the panes.
  • Prepare for limited options: Up until about two decades ago, vinyl windows were only available in white. While the color options have expanded, your selection is still fairly limited compared to other window materials. Then, once you make your decision, repainting in the future may not be an option because this often voids the warranty.
  • Be aware of the environmental impact: Vinyl is made of plastic and chemicals. The manufacturing process is cheap, but since PVC isn’t a natural material, it does impact the environment. To lower this impact, you can choose windows made from various recycled vinyl products, but this may have a negative effect on window longevity. You can also look into recycling your windows when they reach the end of their lifecycle instead of taking them to the landfill. Unfortunately, recycling can be difficult and sometimes cost more than manufacturing vinyl from scratch.

Window Installation from Weather Shield Dealers

To learn about quality windows available from Weather Shield, please contact us directly or find a Weather Shield dealer near you.
 

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