When it’s time to consider replacing your windows, being faced with numerous choices can be overwhelming, to say the least. Do you go with a wood frame, aluminum frame, vinyl frame, or fiberglass frame? Fixed or sliding sashes? Single sliding window or double hung? Single pane or triple glazed? That’s not even getting into your design choices when it comes to color, trim, grill style, glass opacity, or lites.
A lot of these decisions will depend on your personal design preferences, priorities, and budget. But when it comes to choosing a material for your replacement window, vinyl stands above all other possibilities. Vinyl windows are a great option and the most requested and purchased choice on the market today for numerous reasons.
We’ve created a complete guide to vinyl windows to help guide your decision process and learn why vinyl is now the most popular window material.
What is Vinyl?
Vinyl is one of the most versatile plastics in the world. It is an advanced plastic polymer, technically known as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is used to make everything from clothing and IV bags to flooring, siding, and yes, window frames. PVC is safe and affordable, and its superior thermal resistance properties make it a great material for window frames.
Why Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl is energy efficient with a range of benefits that make it simply a better choice than most other materials. Vinyl has also greatly progressed since it entered the market, with the process and construction being greatly improved. Some of the key benefits you can experience today include:
- Great Strength and durability
- Reduced costs associated with cooling and heating
- Low maintenance
- Requires no painting
- Scratch and peel resistant
- Excellent noise reduction
- Superior thermal efficiency
- Reduces air infiltration
- Easy installation which greatly reduces the overall cost
- A wide range of colors, laminates, sizes, and styles are available
- Numerous designs to choose from
- Options that include interior wood laminates – oak, cherry, and maple that look like wood without the hassles of wood finishes
- Customizable – will fit in any opening
Advantages of Vinyl Windows
For homeowners planning a new home, replacing existing windows, or just retrofitting, the option of installing vinyl windows is an ideal one. In recent years, vinyl windows have become a very popular alternative to fiberglass, wood, and aluminum construction. They are very easily installed, practically maintenance-free, and extremely energy efficient. When professionally installed, vinyl windows will provide years and years of indoor comfort and performance.
1. Energy Efficiency
One definite advantage of vinyl windows is their insulation value. Compared to other window options (and especially aluminum), vinyl windows have the excellent sealing capacity – they keep the heat inside during winter, and keep the heat outside during summer. For the most part, vinyl windows are fabricated with PVC – its a material that has a high R-Value, and consequently delivers excellent insulation wherever installed.
The most obvious benefit of energy efficiency is energy conservation, and that results in lower seasonal energy bills. With high-quality vinyl windows and an expert installation, the utility savings will make the project investment well worthwhile. In fact, in a short span of time, energy savings are quite significant – the savings on winter heating and summer cooling could well pay down the overall cost of the vinyl windows.
2. Style and Selection
Today, the style and selection of vinyl windows are wide-ranging. Vinyl windows can be molded into virtually any shape and can be colored to suit any palette. This allows a homeowner to match any décor and complete a customized look for the home. And because manufacturing is fully customizable, new vinyl windows can be easily fabricated to fit into existing spaces or can be totally custom fit when size and shape are irregular.
If you’re considering choosing vinyl replacement windows for your home, keep in mind it’s a dependable material that will provide the longevity and durability your home needs. You can enjoy the low-cost factor, easy installation process, and all of the energy savings that come with it.
3. Maintenance Free
Vinyl windows are practically maintenance-free. With their durable and resilient surface, they are fully finished and sealed prior to installation. There’s no need to repaint and no need to re-surface. Vinyl windows are resistant to dirt and mold and remain unaffected by UV sunlight, which means they will not fade or wear over time. Vinyl windows are also known to last far longer than other options, ensuring cost-effectiveness.
Vinyl is a sturdy material that won’t buckle under the pressure of the weather elements as other materials. such as wood, can. Vinyl won’t rot, chip, or peel even in harsh climates, which will help make your new replacement windows last. You don’t even need a pressure hose to keep these windows clean, all they require is simple cleaning once in a while.
4. Noise Reduction
Most homeowners don’t put enough emphasis on noise reduction. When it comes to reducing noise levels from the outdoors, vinyl windows do the job. In fact, dual-paned vinyl windows provide an excellent sound barrier to the outside. Day or night, the effect is quite noticeable – there’s actually peace and quiet inside the home. Noise reduction is one of the extra benefits of vinyl windows not readily available with other windows.
Window replacement or retrofitting is a major project by any description. And vinyl windows have numerous advantages over other product options. Even in the basement, installing vinyl windows can keep the space draft-free, and comfortable from one season to the next. In terms of aesthetics, vinyl windows are attractive and serve to enhance a home’s value. Importantly, vinyl windows are an affordable home improvement project, and they do more than many of the other home improvements that only serve to beautify.
Cleaning Vinyl Windows
Although vinyl windows require almost no maintenance, you can take a few simple steps to keep them looking their best. We’ve included a series of window cleaning tips as a guide.
When cleaning either side of the glass, you can use any standard glass cleaner or mild detergent. Take care when scrubbing around the frame and glazing to avoid damage. For best results, use paper towel or a soft cloth that is clean and free of lint or other potentially abrasive materials.
Cleaning glass in direct sunlight can cause the cleaner to dry too quickly and leave an unsightly residue, so you will achieve better results working in cloudy or shady conditions.
2. Vinyl Frames
Our vinyl windows don’t require painting or touch-ups, but they will benefit from occasional cleaning with a mild cleansing agent such as warm soapy water. Avoid using abrasive materials or a high-pressure washer, which could cause damage to the vinyl surface. We also recommend avoiding harsh cleaning agents such as chlorine bleach, nail polish remover or furniture cleaner.
3. Window Screen
To clean your window screens, you can simply spray them down with a hose at low or medium water pressure. Mild soap and sponge or a soft brush should allow you to remove any dirt or debris that has built up. When your screens are clean, be sure to rinse away the cleaning agent and wipe them down with a soft cloth or paper towel before reinstalling the window.
Vinyl Replacement Windows Toronto
When you’re ready to get started, contact us at Eco Choice Windows & Doors. As one of the leading window and door companies that homeowners have trusted for years, we can answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to help you with the entire process from beginning to end!