Vinyl is a good alternative to other types of window materials because of its price and energy efficiency. It’s made from a plastic material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC has a high R-value, which means it provides a significant amount of insulation. Price and energy efficiency are just a few advantages of vinyl windows.
The advantages of vinyl windows are:
- Lower energy costs. Vinyl windows keep heat in during winter and out during summer. This reduces heating and air conditioning usage for lower energy bills.
- Maintenance free. Vinyl windows are nearly 100 percent scratch free. They never have to be painted, scraped, or stained and they’re easily cleaned with soap and water. Because they’re resistant to the elements, they don’t age as fast as other windows.
- Inexpensive. Vinyl is the least expensive of all window materials, but this doesn’t mean vinyl windows are low quality. Vinyl is durable, and it won’t rust or corrode.
- Variety. Vinyl windows have many color, size, and style options. They can also be custom made. Colors range from champagne to forest green, and sizes range widely. Vinyl windows are available in styles from awning to picture.
The disadvantages of vinyl windows are:
- Vulnerability. In extreme weather conditions vinyl can discolor. This is especially true in intense heat. They can’t be repainted, so when this happens, the window has to be replaced.
- Customization costs. Vinyl windows are difficult to shape, so manufacturers use a process called extrusion to get the job done. For standard windows the costs are minimal, but custom windows can cost more depending on the scale of the project.
- Low resale value. Vinyl windows don’t add as much value to the home as do other types of window replacements.