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Vinyl vs. Wood vs. Aluminum: Which Material Is Best for Your New Replacement Windows?

Last updated 6 years ago



Most modern windows consist of three main components: The center-of-glazing, the edge-of-glazing, and the frame.  Framing can make up anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the total area of a window, which means that it has a significant bearing not only on its appearance, but also on its energy performance.  For assistance in determining which type of window best fits your needs, take a look at this brief overview below or order your free Window Buyer’s Guide from Progressive Insulation & Windows of Chatsworth, CA, for more information:

Vinyl is one of the most common types of window frames in residential structures.  Its U-factor, or heat conduction, is similar to that of wood, but it is resistant to mold growth and is relatively low maintenance.  Although vinyl is resistant to weather exposure, it can expand and warp in high summer temperatures if it is not professionally installed and supported with metal railings.  Some professional window contractors will fill cavities in the frame with insulation foam to improve thermal performance.

Wood has remained a popular choice for home windows due to its availability, versatility, and aesthetic.  With proper installation and treatment, high-quality wood windows can last for years in a wide range of weather conditions, though it is still susceptible to decay.  Some contractors offer wood/polymer composites, which offer the same thermal and structural properties as conventional wood with improved weather and decay resistance.

Aluminum is widely popular due to its economy, durability, and low-maintenance requirements.  However, it also conducts heat more readily than wood or vinyl, which means that it is less efficient than other materials in terms of energy performance.  In order to combat its increased heat conductivity, some aluminum frames incorporate thermal breaks.

These are just a few of the most common replacement window options available for your home.  Consult with one of our professionals here at Progressive Insulation & Windows to learn how you can reduce your energy costs without changing your everyday lifestyle.  Call (818) 709-0988 to receive a professional estimate.


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