Vinyl Window Buying Guide
Air leaks from old windows can make your home feel drafty and lead to high utility bills. Replacing old windows with vinyl windows is a cost-effective way to preserve both your comfort and your home's value. Learn what to look for in a vinyl window with our vinyl window buying guide.
Benefits of Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows are a cost-efficient way to replace drafty windows and improve the value of your home, with a much lower price point than wood windows. Vinyl windows are maintenance-free once installed and they come in a wide range of colors.
Wondering “how long do vinyl windows last”? They hold up for 30 years on average.
Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows Features
Vinyl windows are also highly energy efficient. A few of the top desired energy efficient features include:
- Argon gas insertion - Filling the space between the panes of glass with argon gas, an inert substance, decreases air transfer between the panes of glass. This means more energy efficiency and more comfort in the home.
- Low-E glass - Low-E glass, which stands for low-emissivity, blocks UV rays without affecting light. Since the sun's rays are reflected back into the atmosphere, your home stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Triple-pane glass - The more panes of glass in your window, the more energy-efficient. Replace old single-pane windows with double or triple-pane glass to start saving money every month.
- Fade protection - If you've ever had furniture fade from high sun exposure, then you know how harmful UV rays can be. Fade protection coating bounces UV rays back to the environment so you get all the benefits of natural light with no fading.
The Energy Star designation indicates windows that have significant energy saving benefits. By choosing Energy Star windows, you can maximize the value and ROI of replacement windows.
Vinyl Windows Styles
You'll find vinyl windows available in all the common window types, including:
- Double-hung windows
- Sliding windows
- Casement windows
- Venting windows
- Bay windows
- Bow windows
- Specialty windows
Double-hung windows are a good all-purpose window for most applications. They tilt inward, which makes cleaning a snap.
Bay and bow windows can let in a great amount of light and call attention to your home. They work well for greenhouses, reading nooks, and other decorative features.
Casements are a good idea for locations where it's not easy to reach over and open the window, such as a laundry room or over the kitchen sink.
Sliding windows are easy to operate; all you do is slide them horizontally. They are a good choice for windows that are wider than they are tall, such as basement windows.
Specialty windows can be custom-made in any size or shape, allowing you to replace historically significant or artistic windows with something that's not drafty.
While many homeowners simply replace the windows they have with an energy-efficient window of the same style, you can also change it up to accommodate your tastes or your home's unique architectural features. Once you've identified a supplier, ask them about any style of window that interests you to decide what's right.
Vinyl Window Manufacturers
Replacement windows are a big expense, and they will hold up for decades as long as they were properly made and correctly installed. For this reason, it is key that you find a reputable window manufacturer and installer.
Look for a manufacturer that has a proven track record of success through testimonials from satisfied customers and a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau. Many customers feel it's important to support local businesses, so you might want to find a window manufacturer that's family-owned and operated and makes products locally.
The vinyl window warranty is very important with a high-value purchase like a window. Read the fine print with any vinyl replacement window to see what type of warranty the manufacturer offers.
Find a Contractor for Vinyl Window Installation
Once you find the right product, look for a licensed professional to install the windows. If the windows aren't properly installed, the manufacturer may not honor their warranty. The right contractor will have references, a strong work history of window installation, and a friendly and knowledgeable demeanor.
Don't rush into replacing your old windows. Take the time to understand the different features of energy efficient vinyl windows, determine your budget for replacement windows, and find reputable service providers. You will reap the benefits of this home improvement for 30 years.