Come time to replace your wooden-framed windows in Florida, you really only have two hurricane-safe framing options: aluminum and vinyl.
While these two choices have their own unique set of pros and cons, in this post, we’re looking at what makes vinyl window frames a popular choice, specifically.
Here are five benefits of choosing vinyl window frames for better storm protection:
1. Better Sustainable Durability
Many of today’s aluminum frames are built to last, especially hurricane-safe ones. But no matter how well you take care of quality metal frames, they’re still susceptible to rust and corrosion over time. Vinyl window frames, however, are not.
In fact, vinyl windows keep their color indefinitely and won't chip or peel, so they don't require repainting like faded aluminum frames may. The reason that aluminum frames lose their color or luster with time is that strong sunlight and the elements cause natural wear, while vinyl lasts for many years to come.
Keep in mind that when we say vinyl has better durability here, we mean from a wear-and-tear perspective. Aluminum frames are typically stronger, with higher impact resistance, and able to withstand greater blunt force— a core reason why some choose aluminum frames over vinyl.
2. Lower Heating & Cooling Costs
While aluminum window frames are known for their grade-A strength, vinyl frames take the crown when it comes to energy cost savings. Unlike aluminum, vinyl is a poor conductor of heat and cold— acting to your advantage. Vinyl frames are excellent at keeping Florida’s “winter” temperatures regulated inside and keeping the hot summer heat out.
In addition, vinyl is much less likely to warp over time, like wooden frames, or to dent like metal, helping to reduce the chances of air leakage.
Be sure to check the thermal performance rating on your vinyl windows and choose an ENERGY STAR-rated option for your home. Not all vinyl framing is created equal, so do your due diligence before purchasing if electricity savings are an important influence in your purchasing decision.
3. Environmentally-Friendly Production
While wood windows are often seen as the environmentally-friendly window frame choice, vinyl window frames often actually use less energy and emit less greenhouse gases in production. They also maximize energy efficiency while in use and can be easily recycled when you're ready for your next set of windows.
Although vinyl window frames are often the more environmentally-friendly choice, it’s important to note that vinyl frames often cost between 20-30% more than aluminum frames because of the difference in material cost.
4. Aesthetic Variety
Homeowners tend to gravitate towards vinyl windows because they are often perceived as more attractive than aluminum. Vinyl frames usually come in a wider variety of colors and designs than aluminum window options allow, since metal frames require a certain type of paint created specifically to last on the metal. Even then, most painted aluminum frames still tend to chip with age— but this doesn't happen with vinyl windows.
Those who still have wooden frames in Florida have to worry about the aesthetic wear of wood with time and things like rot, not to mention continual restaining.
Overall, if you take care of your vinyl frames with proper maintenance, they’ll still look the way brand new many years later.
5. Low Maintenance
Because you don’t need to worry about repainting or staining vinyl windows or checking them for corrosion or rot, they are often considered lower maintenance than metal or wooden frames.
Vinyl can easily be cleaned with just soap and water and doesn’t require any other routine treatment or care to maintain its quality. These windows really are the best hands-off option for window framing.
Still Deciding Between Vinyl vs. Aluminum?
In this article, you learned about some advantages of vinyl impact-resistant window frames, but it’s important to understand not only the “pros,” but also the “cons.”
Learn more impact window options by downloading our free ebook, 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows.
Want a professional opinion on your replacement options? Give us a call at 239-205-3193 or fill out this form to request a window inspection, today.