Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows

January 21, 2022



Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows - Clera Windows + Doors

Vinyl and aluminum windows are two of the most popular choices – whether it’s for a new home being built or to upgrade windows in an existing home. Thus, it can be challenging for homeowners or future homeowners to pick the best one for their home. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons of each window frame material – and aligning these pros and cons to your own preferences. When considering vinyl vs aluminum windows, many see vinyl as the better choice thanks to its insulating capacity, low maintenance needs, and a host of other benefits. But to help you choose which window frame material is best for your own needs and preferences, we’ve put together this guide. Here, we’ll look closely at vinyl vs aluminum windows by considering factors like:

  1. Insulation;
  2. Cost;
  3. Maintenance;
  4. Durability; and more.

Let’s begin!

Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows - Clera Windows + Doors

1. Insulation

When it comes to insulation, the winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows is VINYL.We’re starting off with one of the most important factors on this list: insulation. The amount of insulation that your window is able to provide will affect two things:

  • Your energy bills; and
  • The amount of comfort you have in your home.

The more insulation a window provides, the better. Good insulation will keep heat out during the hot months and keep the heat in during the colder months. Therefore, good insulation is advantageous in any type of climate.  Vinyl window frames outperform aluminum ones when it comes to insulation. This is because vinyl minimizes heat transfer while aluminum does the opposite. Aluminum, after all, is one of the best heat conductors around. Though this is an advantage for aluminum pots and pans, it is a disadvantage for aluminum window frames.   As a final note regarding insulation, the material of the window frame is not the only thing to consider. The type of glass used and the window’s design will, alongside the window frame material, impact the overall insulation that the window can provide.  

2. Energy Efficiency

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows in terms of energy efficiency is VINYL.Since vinyl is superior to aluminum when it comes to insulation, it is also superior in terms of energy efficiency. If you would like to ensure you get energy-efficient windows, look for the Energy STAR label while shopping for new windows. The Energy STAR label contains energy ratings to give you an idea of how energy-efficient a window is. Window frame material is only one factor that affects energy efficiency but by choosing a vinyl window, you’re already one step ahead.  

3. Strength of the Material

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows in terms of strength of material is ALUMINUM.Both aluminum and vinyl are durable materials that can last for decades. However, aluminum is undeniably stronger than vinyl. For this reason, aluminum windows have structural advantages over vinyl windows.

4. Lifespan

When it comes to the lifespan of a window material, the winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows is ALUMINUM.In fact, it’s almost a tie. UPVC windows have an average lifespan of up to 35 years while aluminum windows have a lifespan of around 40 years. However, though aluminum windows can, on average, last longer than uPVC windows, this depends greatly on the thoroughness of maintenance done to the aluminum window frame.

5. Ease of Maintenance

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows in this category is VINYL.When it comes to ease of maintenance, vinyl windows are a clear winner. These windows only need regular cleaning in order to maintain their bright and pristine appearance. Meanwhile, aluminum windows need regular surface treatment and/or repainting in order to prevent corrosion.  

Ease of Maintenance - Clera Windows + Doors

6. Design Versatility

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows is VINYL.When considering vinyl vs aluminum windows in terms of design versatility, it’s fair to say that these two types of windows are nearly equal because these two windows tend to attract their own crowds. However, vinyl wins in terms of design versatility because the material itself can be made in different colours AND textures. Vinyl can be made to look like wood or even steel. This means that vinyl is suited for a wide range of styles from country to colonial, cottage to modern farmhouse, rustic to industrial, minimalistic, and even modern.  On the other hand, aluminum windows always have a sleek surface that can be painted in a variety of colours. Therefore, aluminum windows work best with industrial, minimalistic, and modern styles.

7. Customization Options

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows: It’s a tie!When it comes to window customization options, one might think that the versatile vinyl would be far more customizable when compared to the harder and more rugged aluminum. However, this isn’t necessarily true. When it comes to customization options, it depends greatly on the manufacturer – not just the material in question. This means that both vinyl and aluminum windows can be weaved into beautiful arches, circles, and other interesting window shapes. Both types of windows can also be customized with various styles of muntins and configurations.  

8. Cost

The winner between vinyl vs aluminum windows in terms of cost is VINYL.If all other factors are equal (e.g. window style, type of glass used, hardware, etc.) vinyl window frames are generally less costly than aluminum ones. The price difference can be as much as 30%. The lower cost of vinyl windows stems mainly from the availability of this material. For this reason, homeowners that are looking to upgrade a large number of windows all at once tend to be happier with the price point of vinyl windows.

Stylish, Durable, and Energy-Efficient Windows For Your Home

This wraps up our guide on vinyl vs aluminum windows. As we’ve discussed, each window type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. By weighing these carefully, you will be able to decide which is best for you.If you’re looking for high-quality UPVC windows that are designed to maximize all the benefits of vinyl, then you’ll love our collection of stylish and energy-efficient windows. Clera windows are also made of 100% virgin uPVC which has added durability and fade resistance. If you would like to learn more about what we can do to transform your home, contact our friendly team today!

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