Vinyl vs. aluminum window frames

by megan on November 2, 2011

When you are considering installing a new or replacement window, it is important to consider the following factors: energy efficiency, style, durability, and maintenance. It’s also important to consider climate, and here in New Mexico, we know climate makes a big difference! While vinyl and aluminum windows each have their pros and cons, let’s review the differences to help you make an informed decision.

Vinyl window frames are the most popular Glass-Rite windows. The reason being is that they are incredibly energy efficient; more so than thermally broken aluminum and even most wood windows.

Vinyl windows also never need painting and are guaranteed not to peel, chip, or warp. Our vinyl windows come in two light colors: white or almond as dark colored vinyl frames gain too much heat
in the New Mexico climate.

Good quality vinyl windows are welded together and not held together with screws.  Because screws tend to pull out of vinyl, we produce vinyl windows with metal reinforcements in the parts where required hardware (such as locks) are screwed in.

Vinyl windows maintain their appearance and do not require any post-installation maintenance.  Because the frame is the same color all the way through, scratches and other marks can easily be buffed out and are generally unnoticeable.

Aluminum window frames maintain their popularity, especially with the thermal break technology.

Thermal breaks prevent the frame from conducting as much heat or cold, while also reducing condensation. In addition, thermal breaks have significantly decreased aluminum frame u-factors or heat loss rate which will be especially useful in the hot New Mexico climate.

Our thermal break aluminum windows are available in dark bronze.  Though  aluminum windows are generally stronger than vinyl, they are not always as efficient at blocking outside temperatures, even with thermal break technology.  The frame, while being a harder material than vinyl, may require some maintenance and touch-up paint occasionally.

Whether choosing a vinyl window or thermal break aluminum window, we recommend the window’s air space between the panes of glass be at least ½ inch to maximize noise reduction, and that sashes be interlocking for a tighter seal. Any window you choose should be certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council to ensure a positive energy performance rating.

Here at Glass-Rite in Albuquerque, we provide these performance labels to help you determine how well a window will perform. By using the information on the label, customers can reliably compare one product with another, and make informed decisions about which windows to buy.

At Glass-Rite, integrity is a top priority in everything that we sell and install. If you’d like additional help in determining which window is best for your New Mexico home, contact us at our office. We’ll be glad to walk you through a window comparison and installation plan that works within your budget.