Read Before Buying Vinyl Windows

A window is a key element of any building. Aside from the aesthetics, a window plays crucial roles such as:

  • Improving the overall ambiance of a space by allowing natural light to filter through
  • Facilitate controlled ventilation
  • Connects the exterior world with a home’s interior
  • Emphasize the overall design of a building

While windows come in more options, there is also a wide range of materials used to make window frames – amongst them are vinyl windows. But why are vinyl windows the most sort after window frame? As a homeowner, whether you intend to replace an old window or install windows for new construction, here is everything you need to know about vinyl windows.

History of Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows were first created shortly after World War II. It was after Germany was left with limited resources such as aluminum and wood – the resources were needed to rebuild homes and cities; as such, more cost-effective means had to be established for quick rebuilding since there was a shortage of natural resources. This led to turning to synthetic materials as substitutes, and in 1954, vinyl windows were created.

In the late 1950s, upon realizing the convenience of the windows used in Germany, Dr. Waldo Semon started the mass production of vinyl windows in the United States. As time went by, the new technology improved the quality and design of the vinyl window, making it better than its counterparts – wood and aluminum – thus leading to its popularity.


What Exactly are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows are window frames made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – plastic. The frames involve a combination of various plasticizers, colors, and chemicals that are heated and fused to create a solid and light-weighted window frame.


Reasons Why Vinyl Windows are the Best

  • It lowers energy costs: If you are looking for window frames that insulate relatively well, look no further than vinyl windows. They have high  R-values– the ability to resist heat flow which will keep your home warmer during winter and cooler during summer, thus lowering the energy costs.
  • It requires low maintenance: Vinyl windows have a smooth finish, meaning they are easy to clean, rarely fade – no staining or painting is needed- and they don’t age fast compared to other window frames.
  • It’s pocket friendly: While vinyl windows are designed to withstand harsh elements such as sunlight, they are also cost-effective. On average, compared to other materials, they cost 33-58% less.
  • It is thermoplastic: This means that they are elastic, flexible, and can be remolded and remodeled, making them easily recyclable – recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions which in turn helps address climate change issues.
  • It is durable: Compared to other types of window frames, vinyl is known for being resilient – this means they are resistant to molding, warping, or rusting because it is designed to detract moisture absorption making it a durable window frame option. Further, the colors are baked into the vinyl materials meaning you don’t have to worry about them fading for a long time.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Vinyl Windows

  • Warranties: Beyond the aesthetics and functionality of a vinyl window, it’s imperative to check for a window warranty. Low-quality windows come with a short-term warranty, while premium windows can be warranted for as long as 15 years. Before you make the purchase, you must understand every detail of the warranty provided to ensure that you don’t find yourself dealing with costly downtime that may arise when the window gets damaged.
  • How the frame is assembled: Vinyl frames that are mechanically screwed together tend to weaken gradually; however, those with a welded frame tend to be more robust and more durable.
  • Measurements: Getting the right window measurement is paramount. A window that is too small means small gaps will be created, leading to poor insulation. A window that is too big will get strained, gradually losing its structural strength.
  • Frame width: Premium vinyl windows come with a thinner frame which means more glass with excellent energy-efficient ratings. Conversely, substandard vinyl windows have thicker frames, meaning less glass and little natural light in your home.
  • Titanium Oxide: It is used to make vinyl windows more resistant to UV rays – helps prevent discoloration, and makes a window heat resistant.
  • National Fenestration Rating Council Label: The NFRC label helps you make an informed purchase decision by breaking down the energy performance of a window. The NFRC label indicated the U-Factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient that measures the indoor heat generated by the sun through the window and how the window can resist unwanted heat flow.
  • Energy star certification: Always check for the Energy Star label when buying vinyl windows. When a product is energy star-certified, it has gone through thorough inspections to meet the strict guidelines set by the U-Value: A U-Factor rating shows how well a window resists heat flow. The lower the U-Value, the greater the heat resistance – meaning the window has excellent insulation ability. A good U-Value rating normally ranges between 0.20-1.20.

 Vinyl Windows vs. Wood Windows

Vinyl windows always have the edge over wood windows – they are durable and require less maintenance. However, on the flip side, wood windows must be painted or stained often. Further, when exposed to harsh elements such as rain, or the sun, wood windows are prone to molding, rotting, and warping – the paint may also start to chip and peel.


Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Vinyl Windows

  • Buying the wrong size
  • Overlooking the maintenance requirements
  • Taking security for granted
  • Choosing a window frame with a color that doesn’t go well with your homes color palette
  • Hiring inexperienced installers
  • Prioritizing aesthetics over performance
  • Failing to understand what invalidates a window’s warranty – for instance, painting could void the warranty.


Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Windows

  • Assess the condition of the window during your routine cleaning to ensure the seals are intact.
  • Wash often to prevent dirt build-up – When cleaning, only use mild soap and water; harsh detergents can wear off the sealant.
  • Clean the glass part with quality glass cleaners- do not use abrasive to clean.
  • When drying, use a squeegee instead of a rag; this helps prevent fogging.
  • Always hire professional glass cleaners.

Let the Experts Help!

Well, there you have it. If you were at crossroads about vinyl windows, now you have a better understanding. Whether you are looking to replace windows or install vinyl windows in a new building, and are looking for experts, look no further. As the leading provider of windows and door replacement services in Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas, Window Depot Dallas has windows in all styles, colors, and prices guaranteed to meet your needs and preference. Get in touch with us today for a free quotation.