Vinyl Windows Pros and Cons
If you’re thinking of upgrading your old windows so that you have more energy-efficient windows in place, you’ll have a wide variety of windows to choose from on the market. These days, the marketplace is dominated by vinyl windows as opposed to other types, simply because they offer a great many advantages to homeowners.
Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t some disadvantages to having vinyl windows installed as well, but for the most part those will be outweighed by the positive benefits to homeowners. To help you make up your mind about what to buy for your home, you should consider the pros and cons identified below, so that you’ll be able to make the most informed decision about your upcoming purchase.
Con: less design flexibility
Homeowners who have had wood windows installed are generally aware that they can paint over the frames whenever they want to, either during home renovation, or just to achieve a different look. Since vinyl windows cannot be easily repainted, you pretty much have to do a re-install of your windows if you want a new color in place.
If flexibility is important to you, or if you think you may change your mind about the color scheme in a few years, you may be better off to choose some other type of material than a vinyl window. If you’re the kind of person who is perfectly happy with a standard white window frame, or if you don’t anticipate any changes over the next several years, vinyl windows will be just fine. Some people simply prefer the elegance and attractiveness of wood windows, especially when installed in a traditional style home.
Con: fewer options with color and trim
There is no question that vinyl windows are sold in a number of different styles and colors, but it’s nowhere near the number of options you might have with wood windows. You can also obtain almost any kind of specialty metalwork you want when you’re installing decorative windows, or customized windows which you have assisted on the design with.
You’ll have far more options with wood windows when it comes to choosing the casing and the trim, and wood windows can also be stained and colored in just about any shade you can think of. Your choices with vinyl are much more limited, and for some owners at least, that can be a little bit of a turnoff.
Pro: low maintenance
One of the most popular benefits of having vinyl windows is that they are extremely low maintenance. When it’s necessary to clean your windows, they can easily be removed from the frame, and then replaced afterward. Once you have vinyl windows installed, it should be pretty easy for any homeowner to replace the window themselves, in the event that one of the panels might become damaged.
Vinyl has no sensitivity to typical household cleaners, and that means you can use any kind of cleaning agent with a rag, and you will have instantly clean windows. You’ll also discover that vinyl is one of the most durable materials on the market for windows, and you won’t need to replace them nearly as often as you might with windows made of wood or metal. That in itself will result in a savings, because you won’t have to be replacing your windows as often as you would if they were made of some other material which didn’t last as long.
Pro: energy efficiency
Most vinyl windows have outstanding thermal performance ratings, and this will allow you to save a considerable amount of energy over a long period of time. Vinyl has now been available for quite some time on the market, and that means the design has been perfected to the point where these windows operate smoothly and efficiently, and are totally airtight.
That means there won’t be any gaps between the frame and the window, so leaks will be a thing of the past. You also won’t experience any kind of warping with vinyl like you might with wood or metal, so that will tend to limit any kind of air leakage. With minimal airflow between interior and exterior environments, you’ll be able to keep conditioned air inside, and unconditioned air on the outside where it belongs.