The windows in your home need to be periodically replaced — over time, temperature fluctuations cause the frame to warp and create gaps between the frame and the wall that allow air to enter your home. If you're feeling a draft from your windows or they're difficult to open and close, it's probably time to replace them. When you're trying to replace windows on a budget, vinyl frames are an excellent choice. They're inexpensive, durable and energy efficient. To help you make your decision on what type of frame to use when you're replacing your old windows, here's what you need to know about vinyl window frames.
More Energy-Efficient Than Aluminum
When you want to replace your windows on a budget, you'll see that your choice is essentially between vinyl and aluminum frames. Unfortunately, aluminum frames are not as energy efficient — the aluminum acts as a thermal conductor, easily transferring outside temperature extremes into your home. Your furnace or air conditioner will have to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, which increases your energy bills.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is a thermal insulator that resists temperature changes. Vinyl shares the same energy efficiency as wood frames, but it costs much less. This makes vinyl frames the best choice for an inexpensive window replacement that saves you money on heating and cooling costs.
Can't Be Repainted
The fact that vinyl window frames can't be painted is the one major downside of replacing the window frames in your home with vinyl. If you try to paint a vinyl window frame, you'll find that the paint has trouble adhering to the frame. It quickly chips and falls off after it dries. Even worse, the frame under the paint will pick up a slight stain of the paint color you used. Thankfully, vinyl window frames come in a wide variety of color options that allow you to integrate them into your design. If you ever repaint the interior or exterior of your home in the future, you'll have to choose colors that complement the existing color of your vinyl window frames. Opting for a white vinyl window frame is a good choice, as it's easier to coordinate colors with a white frame.
If you need an inexpensive window replacement that can be painted, choose a fiberglass frame instead. Fiberglass frames cost slightly more than vinyl, but they're more durable and are easily painted. Simply use high-quality primer and paint to change the look of your windows. Fiberglass is just as energy efficient as vinyl and is an excellent alternative — if you believe that you'll be painting your replacement windows, spend a little more and replace your windows with fiberglass frames.
Fewer Maintenance Requirements Than Wood
Vinyl frames are not only less expensive than wooden frames, but they require less maintenance and are less susceptible to water damage. When your wooden frames are exposed to water, they begin to decay. This causes the frame to warp, creating gaps in the frame that allow air to come into your home. This quickly ruins your window's energy efficiency. Even vinyl-clad or aluminum-clad wooden frames are susceptible to rot if water manages to seep in past the cladding. To prevent your wooden frames from rotting, you need to repaint the frame whenever the wood underneath begins to show through. The paint acts as a water barrier, preventing the wood from rotting. You avoid the risk of rot and the need to periodically repaint your window frames by installing vinyl windows since vinyl doesn't rot.
Overall, replacing the windows in your home with vinyl windows is an inexpensive way to boost your home's energy efficiency. The only downside of vinyl is that the frames can't be repainted — if you feel that you'll be painting your window frames in the future, opt for fiberglass frames. Contact a professional window replacement company to install your windows. This ensures you're getting the greatest amount of energy efficiency out of your vinyl windows, as a professional will make sure the frames are flush with the wall and don't allow any air from outside to enter into your home.Share