If you are looking for the ultimate performance and energy efficiency, there are several factors to consider when trying to determine the cost of replacement windows.
When companies talk about different types of windows, they usually refer to the main material component in the frame. Most commonly custom windows are manufactured from vinyl, wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. We have previously compared the pros and cons of vinyl and wood windows, so for this post let’s examine the difference between aluminum windows and energy efficient vinyl options.
Although vinyl is today’s preferred choice for most modern window replacements in Canada, there are still several advantages aluminum has that may suit your specific needs.
A big advantage aluminum windows have over their vinyl counterparts, is their structural strength. Because aluminum is stronger it can hold higher weights. Issues with frame warping or sagging, are not common in aluminum windows because of the strength of the material.
Aluminum windows usually weigh less than vinyl ones. That is why they are ideal for larger structures and are often used in big commercial buildings.
A big reason aluminum windows are still popular on the market today is their superior sound protection. Because standard vinyl windows are more hollow, they don’t do as much for preventing outside sound. Manufacturers have come up with ways to improve sound performance in vinyl windows. Features like triple-glazing and ETI foam assist in making your home quieter if you decide to go with the vinyl option.
Energy efficiency is the main reason customers choose vinyl for their replacement project. Aluminum is a good natural conductor and transfers heat really well. That is not a feature you want for your replacement. Aluminum windows are usually made in a composite fashion. There is an exterior part of the frame that interacts with the cold, and an interior part inside your home. A thermal break material is used to improve energy efficiency in aluminum windows.
Vinyl and wood windows are now used in over 70% of the residential window market. Aluminium windows have the overwhelming market share for commercial buildings. Aluminium windows offer superior sound protection, and extra structural strength, when compared to vinyl, but lack significantly in terms of energy efficiency. Calgary and Edmonton windows customers benefit significantly from vinyl windows as they are ideal for harsher northern climates. For the environmentally conscious customers, aluminum windows are a much more friendly option in terms of recycling and disposal. There is some debate as to the environmental footprint left by vinyl as they are more difficult to recycle. But when you consider the expected lifespan of a vinyl window (roughly 25 years) and reduced energy spending, the opposite is actually true.
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