Consumers buy vinyl replacement windows by the truckload, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. They are some of the least expensive windows available, and make up about two thirds of the market as a result. But is low cost all replacement vinyl windows have to offer to the consumer? Are they worth the money that you put into them?
The answer to that question depends on what your goals are.
First of all, vinyl is an inert material that does not conduct heat very well. In other words, it is a good insulator. Whether it’s the middle of summer and you want to keep the heat out, or you’re muscling through the dead cold of winter and you want to keep the heat inside, good insulators are on your side. Ultimately, this means that your air conditioner and furnace don’t have to work as hard. You’ll be happy to see the reduction in your power bill from the use of upvc double glazed windows.
Vinyl is also a surprisingly strong material for its cost and weight. It’s not titanium, by any means, but it is easily more durable than any window material needs to be. The material is also completely impermeable, meaning that it is water tight and will not absorb water like wood does. uPVC windows will not break down over time, because they are made from materials that microorganisms can’t consume.
When it comes to durability, all vinyl windows have a good strength rating, but not all vinyl is the same. You can find either pvc windows or uPVC windows. The latter is more durable than the former, although this doesn’t come without costs.
The durability of the material further contributes to its ability to serve as an insulator. They are typically hollow. These air pockets are excellent insulators themselves. This also makes them very lightweight, meaning that they are simple and convenient to install.
If vinyl is so cheap, efficient, and durable, why would anybody buy anything else? Simple. Some people consider it to be unattractive. The material is completely synthetic, which can make it appear less genuine. Color choices, at one time were fairly limited, and the material is somewhat resistant to regular paint. If you buy only prepackaged, so-called “standard” window sizes, which are the typical double hung windows, your options are typically limited to white and tan.
When it comes to environmental concerns, opinions are mixed. The insulating capacity of the material reduces your home’s energy consumption, which is good for the environment. On the other hand, toxins are produced during manufacturing, but the vinyl window is totally recyclable.
The popularity of vinyl is understandable given the durability, energy efficiency, and cost. But if you’re looking for something a little more unique or attractive, you might take a look at some of the other options first.