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Vinyl Vs Aluminum Windows: Which Are Better for Your Home?

Aluminum Vs. Vinyl Windows
Aluminum windows have the strongest frames.

Two of the most popular materials for modern windows are aluminum and vinyl. And for good reasons vinyl vs aluminum windows, both of these options provide substantial durability and performance improvements when compared to wood windows. They’re also more affordable than fiberglass windows, are easy to install, and available in all of the most popular style options. But there are some differences between the two. Understanding the pros and cons of each will allow you to choose the right product when it comes time to replace your home windows.


This is the consideration at the top of the list for the majority of homeowners. A window replacement project is a significant investment, but one well worth the expense as it will help protect your home from the elements and make it more energy efficient. Generally speaking, vinyl windows cost less than aluminum windows. Typically, about 30% less. But there is an exception: impact-resistant windows. Aluminum frames are stronger than their vinyl counterparts, so less material is needed in their construction. For this reason, aluminum impact-resistant windows are 20% to 30% less expensive than vinyl impact-resistant windows. Cost is the good factor to differentiate vinyl vs aluminum windows.

Aluminum Vs. Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows offer unbeatable energy efficiency.


When weighing which type of window will provide the better aesthetics, it’s important to take into account your home’s architectural style. Vinyl windows have thicker frames that are available in textures and colors that can realistically mimic the look of wood. That’s a big plus for homeowners with bungalows, Victorians, Tudors, and other traditional designs. Aluminum frames are thinner and are either smooth or have a powder-coated enamel finish. This makes them more suited for modern-style homes.


There’s no doubt that both vinyl and aluminum offer outstanding durability, as both are impervious to insects and rot. They are also extremely resistant to scratches and cracking. Each, however, has its vulnerabilities. Extreme temperature changes can cause vinyl to warp. While it’s not enough to cause operational issues, it can give the window a distorted look. Aluminum is stronger and will not warp, but it is susceptible to corrosion. Wiping away condensation and keeping the frames clean will go a long way in preventing deterioration.

Energy Efficiency

Like all metals, aluminum is a good conductor of heat. That makes it a poorer insulator than vinyl. This isn’t to say that aluminum windows can’t be energy efficient, but you’ll need to be sure to choose a brand that boasts additional features to compensate for the greater thermal conductivity of aluminum. Look for labels that say “thermally improved” or “thermally enhanced.” They’ll cost more than standard aluminum windows, but they’ll also provide comparable thermal performance to vinyl.

Sound Abatement

Although vinyl is better at blocking heat, aluminum is much better at stopping noise. If you live near a busy road or have loud neighbors and you want a more tranquil interior, aluminum is the better option. These windows won’t completely eliminate noise intrusion, but the reduction will be significant.


While aluminum windows are stronger than vinyl, they also require a bit more maintenance. As previously mentioned, aluminum frames can corrode and pit. This is especially true in coastal areas with salty air. Periodic wipe downs with an aluminum cleaner are recommended, as well as occasional lubrication of moving parts. The finishes on aluminum frames can also peel or chip, requiring touchups. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free. Since their color is infused throughout the frame, they never need repainting. And they’re invulnerable to corrosion. The most you may have to do is some caulking to prevent air leakage, but that wouldn’t be required for years, if not decades.

Environmental Considerations

Because the metal in aluminum windows can be recycled, they are considered more environmentally friendly than vinyl windows, which are not biodegradable. There is also an ongoing debate as to whether the production of PVC releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. But like most topics involving “green” products, cut-and-dry answers are hard to come by. Because vinyl windows are more energy efficient than aluminum, they can do a better job of reducing electricity consumption and the need to rely on a utility that may still be using coal power.

Architectural Harmony:

Vinyl and aluminum windows lend themselves to different architectural styles. Vinyl windows, with their thick frames and the ability to mimic wood’s texture and colors, are ideal for traditional home designs. Whether it’s a quaint bungalow, a grand Victorian, a charming Tudor, or any other home exuding a classic vibe, vinyl windows will enhance the aesthetics. On the other hand, aluminum windows’ slim profile, smooth finish, or powder-coated enamel offers a sleek, modern aesthetic. This minimalist look aligns perfectly with contemporary homes and urban lofts. Essentially, the choice between vinyl and aluminum windows plays a crucial role in maintaining your home’s architectural integrity and enhancing its curb appeal.

Weather Compatibility:

Both vinyl and aluminum windows offer commendable durability. However, their reactions to certain environmental conditions vary. Vinyl windows can warp in response to extreme temperature changes. This does not compromise the window’s functionality, but it may distort the appearance over time. As for aluminum, the material’s strength ensures it will not warp. However, aluminum is more susceptible to corrosion, particularly if it’s constantly exposed to moisture or salty air in coastal areas. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and removing condensation, can prevent this corrosion and extend the life of your aluminum windows. Ultimately, the environmental conditions specific to your home’s location should inform your choice between vinyl and aluminum.

The Company to Turn to for Exceptional Replacement Windows

Whether you decide vinyl or aluminum replacement windows are right for your home in the Tampa Bay area, the company to turn to for premium products and expert installation services is The Window Depot. We carry PGT, Simonton, and CWS products that are ideal for our semi-tropical climate. Reach out to us today to learn more, or drop by our beautiful showroom in Palm Harbor, FL.

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