Vinyl replacement windows have come a long way in the decades since they were first introduced. Once considered cheap and unattractive, early vinyl windows were susceptible to temperature extremes and couldn’t match their wooden counterparts in terms of beauty. That’s not the case anymore. Today’s vinyl replacement windows have been upgraded in every way, from new additives that increase vinyl’s resistance to cracking and color fading, to advanced manufacturing techniques that have vastly improved overall quality. Thanks to these advancements, vinyl is now the most popular window material, not only in Florida, but also the rest of the country.
Of course, every window material offers something that makes it an appealing choice for manufacturers and homeowners alike, whether it’s wood, metal, fiberglass, or vinyl. The key to deciding which is right for your home will depend on your priorities, preferences, and budget. Here are five benefits of vinyl windows.
Moisture and insect damage are the two major factors that contribute to the degradation of windows, and unlike wood and metal options, vinyl is impervious to both. Vinyl will never rot or swell. That means they’ll continue to function properly for decades. You won’t have to worry about sticking sashes making opening and closing a struggle or impossibility. And termites have no interest in vinyl. What’s more, unlike metal, vinyl will not oxidize or pit over time. Vinyl windows are also impact resistant. And while vinyl does expand and contract in temperature extremes, unless your home routinely reaches temperatures above 165 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s no danger of warpage.
When comparing the cost of various window materials, it’s important to remember that each type falls within a range. There are low-cost and premium options in every category, with plenty of overlap. For example, the most expensive vinyl windows will cost more than the least expensive wood windows, but the quality will correspond to the craftsmanship. In other words, you’ll get what you paid for. With that in mind, vinyl is one of the most economical window materials on the market. On average, it’s more affordable than wood, composite, fiberglass, and most aluminum collections.
Ease of Maintenance
Vinyl windows require very little care to keep them looking great year after year. As previously mentioned, they will never succumb to rot or insect damage, so there will never be a need to make spot repairs. And since the color is infused throughout the frames, there’s not a coating of paint that can chip or crack. In fact, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth should be all that’s required to clean the frames. And here’s a bonus: many double-hung models have sashes that pivot inward to provide easy access to the outside glass. That’s an invaluable plus, especially on upper-story windows.
Unlike metal, vinyl is a poor thermal conductor. And that’s a good thing! It prevents the outside and inside temperature of the frame from quickly equalizing. This, in turn, helps keep the inside of your home warmer or cooler than the ambient outdoor temperature. The thermal performance of vinyl windows can also be further enhanced with options such as insulation-filled frames, warm-edge spacer systems, and triple-pane glass with argon or krypton gas fills. Low-E glass coatings are also a good idea since they block damaging UV rays responsible for color fading in sun-exposed fabrics such as drapes, curtains, and upholstery.
Vinyl is lightweight and easy to work with. That makes installation generally easier than other window options such as wood and aluminum. When necessary, minor adjustments can be made to ensure a proper fit. With heavier windows, this may require more time and effort. It also increases the chances of something being damaged in the process, either on the new window or the opening it’s being fitted into. Vinyl windows are a little more forgiving when it comes to minor alterations.
If the time has come to replace your windows, the company to turn to in the Tampa Bay area is The Window Depot. We offer a wide selection of premium vinyl windows from PGT, Simonton, and CWS, including high-efficiency and impact-resistant options that will stand strong against the summer heat and extreme storms common in our semi-tropical climate. Contact us today to learn or more. You can also drop by our Palm Harbor showroom or schedule an in-home consultation.