Vinyl windows are the new trend in windows, and with good reason. They’re just better. At everything. Here are some of the ways in which they rule the windows world.
Vinyl Windows are Better at Insulation
For some bizarre reason, the standard window frame in North America is made out of thin aluminum. Now, as everyone who took chemistry in high school knows, metal conducts heat. Aluminum in particular is a strong heat conductor. Vinyl, on the other hand, is an excellent insulator on par with thick wood.
However, the advantages go beyond the insulation in the material itself. Vinyl allows for a very tight seal, making it possible to prevent any air from moving into the space between panes of glass. This creates a perfectly insulated space, with dramatic results.
To compare vinyl windows to aluminum-framed windows, let’s look at the science. A typical aluminum-framed double-paned window has an R-value of 0.81, meaning that it allows a transfer 0.81 units of heat per unit of time. By contrast, an aluminum-framed double-paned window has an R-value of 0.39, meaning it allows less than half the heat out or in. Whether you splurge on air conditioning or overspend on heating, it pays to keep the heat where you want it. This advantage is even more apparent when vinyl windows are vacuum-sealed and contain an inert, low-conductivity gas, like argon or krypton. These gasses can bring the R-value down to 0.22, letting past a quarter’s worth of energy for every dollar wasted through aluminum windows.
Vinyl Windows are Easier to Install
Unlike wood or aluminum, vinyl windows come pre-coloured, pre-polished, and pre-assembled. All that is needed is a relatively simple installation process. There is no need to paint or otherwise coat the finished product; it is already prepared to deal with the elements and look great doing it.
Vinyl Windows Last Longer
Unlike other oil-derived polymers, vinyl does not photo-degrade. This means it will retain its shape, strength, and colour even in the face of years of direct exposure to sunlight. While the paint around it fades, the vinyl will remain bright and fresh.
This durability is not just about appearances. Vinyl also expands and contracts much less than wood and aluminum, and also holds up better when exposed to moisture. While other windows become warped and corroded, eventually compromising the seal and allowing heat to cross freely, vinyl windows keep doing the job for decades.
In short, vinyl windows are more efficient, less costly in the long run, safer for the environment, easier to install, easier to maintain, and more long-lasting than any other window frames. They’re just better.