Vinyl windows are the most affordable choice on the market, but they’re not the most cost-effective choice. That’s because the disadvantages of vinyl windows outweigh their benefits.
Renewal by Andersen® of Cincinnati, your trusted window installation contractor, elaborates on their pros and cons below:
The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Windows
Aside from an affordable price tag, what are the pros of installing vinyl windows?
- Fewer maintenance needs – Compared to other types of windows, vinyl windows have fewer maintenance needs. Thanks to its resistance to common window issues such as rust and scratches, vinyl doesn’t need a lot of upkeep. Keep in mind low maintenance doesn’t mean “no” maintenance. Vinyl windows still need to be cleaned using a mild cleaning solution.
- Wide variety of colors – Vinyl colors come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
As mentioned earlier, vinyl windows are not without their disadvantages. These are:
- Sensitivity to extreme temperatures – Vinyl windows aren’t the best choice if you’re living in temperate climates. When exposed to high or low temperatures, they expand and contract. Any movement in the window frame is a problem because it can interfere with the windows’ opening mechanisms or damage the window sealing.
- Poor insulative capabilities – Another reason why vinyl windows aren’t the best choice for homes in temperate climates is vinyl’s poor insulative capabilities. Vinyl isn’t a great insulator, so manufacturers have to add insulation to the window frames.
- Thick window frames – Vinyl isn’t as durable as steel. To fix this issue, manufacturers increase the thickness of vinyl window frames. However, this reduces the window’s glass area and by extension the amount of natural light (which gives the illusion of a larger interior) that can pass through windows.
Here’s a tip: if you want to improve indoor natural lighting, we recommend choosing bay windows, which are essentially three windows formed into one unit. Thanks to their expansive window panes, bay windows let in ample amounts of sunlight (which can brighten the mood inside your home) and give expansive views of the scenery outside. And since they protrude from your walls, bay windows can increase the amount of square footage in your home, which can in turn increase its property value. Another option would be casement windows. Thanks to their simple frame design, they have larger glass areas that let in more natural light.
Choosing Window Frame Materials
Always do your research before choosing a window replacement. In addition to the window’s style, you also need to consider the frame material’s suitability to your local climate. Remember: no matter how durable your new windows are, they won’t last long if they’re not suited to the local climate.
What Are the Window Materials Best Suited to the Midwestern Climate?
Fiberglass windows are one option. Fiberglass is up to eight times stronger than vinyl and has better insulative capabilities. We also recommend choosing windows made from Fibrex®, an exclusive wood-and-PVC composite with exceptional durability and insulative capabilities.
What Are the Advantages of Installing Fibrex Windows?
- Excellent durability and minimal maintenance needs – Fibrex retains the best qualities of wood and vinyl: the former’s durability and the latter’s minimal maintenance needs.
- Long lifespans – To test how long a Fibrex window installation can last in real-world conditions, Renewal by Andersen took out ten 20-year-old Fibrex windows from customers’ homes. Despite the wear and tear of more than two decades, the Fibrex windows were still in good, working condition—the weather sealing wasn’t damaged and the opening mechanisms were working just fine.
- Resistance to extreme temperatures – Fibrex windows are a smart choice for homeowners in temperate climates. That’s because they don’t expand or contract when exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Sleek frames – Thanks to Fibrex’s exceptional durability, window frames made from the composite are thinner than conventional frames but can hold the same amount of glass. This means casement and double-hung windows made from Fibrex have a sleek design that can add a sophisticated elegance to any exterior.
- Excellent insulative capabilities – According to the Department of Energy, heat gain and heat loss through windows account for roughly 25% to 30% of household residential heating and cooling costs. That’s why it makes practical—and financial—sense to choose energy-efficient windows. Fibrex has excellent insulative properties. When combined with our High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass, Fibrex casement windows can help reduce your electricity bill.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Fibrex windows?
Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati offers a wide range of premium windows, including casement and double-hung windows. As part of our Signature Service, we customize each and every window according to our customers’ needs. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (513) 283-8981 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Cincinnati and West Chester as well as the surrounding Ohio communities.