When homeowners hang on to older houses, many choose to replace old, leaky windows with vinyl plastic windows. Vinyl windows have become a go-to choice for replacement windows due primarily to affordability and ease of installation and maintenance.
But innovations in energy efficiency and other features make vinyl windows even more attractive to homeowners, in both new and existing homes. As the economy rebounds, industry experts expect the use of vinyl windows for both new and replacement windows—already 60 percent of conventional residential windows—will continue to grow.
Benefit of Vinyl Windows #1: Custom Colors
While most vinyl windows traditionally have been white or off-white, manufacturers today offer all sorts of colors to match siding or create architectural accents and interest. Innovations allow companies to add color to windows during the last stage of manufacturing—some even add an additional color coating that reflects the sun’s heat.
Benefit of Vinyl Windows #2: Custom Finishes
New finishes and other design options are available, both inside and out, that allow homeowners to customize the look and feel of their windows. For example, interior frames can resemble the look of wood grain, hardware is available in numerous metallic finishes (not only white) and “lite” grids can be installed between panes to simulate the look of traditional exterior wood grids that typically require regular maintenance and painting.
Benefit of Vinyl Windows #3: Energy Efficiency
As building codes call for improved energy efficiency, vinyl window manufacturers have responded with thicker gauge frames to accommodate the additional glass, coatings and gasses, all of which helps reduce the transfer of hot or cold air. To further improve insulation properties of vinyl windows, some manufacturers add plastic foam insulation to the frames.
Many vinyl windows qualify for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star® program and for federal tax credits as energy efficient replacement windows. Some vinyl windows also qualify under certain certification programs that recognize energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.
Benefit of Vinyl Windows #4: Easy to Replace
While vinyl already is considered easy to cut and mold to existing homes, window makers are moving towards even easier replacement systems that snap exterior casings into place without the traditional need for carpentry.
Benefit of Vinyl Windows #5: Long Lasting
The performance of vinyl windows has improved over the years, and they generally are considered resistant to stains, mold, scratches, dents, noise transfer and fading under ultraviolet sunlight, making them longer lasting and more care free than ever.