Guide To Vinyl Windows

Vinyl Replacement Windows are the centerpiece of a modern kitchen

If you’re shopping for new construction or replacement windows, you have probably noticed the term ‘vinyl windows,’ right? 

This shouldn’t be a big surprise because vinyl windows are some of the best windows that you can install to make your home energy-efficient, modern, and more valuable. 

Vinyl windows sure do come with certain benefits that no other material can provide, but are they for you and your home? Do you know how they are made? Do you know how lasting they are? Or what types of vinyl windows are there? 

Dealing with window shopping can be overwhelming, stressful, and packed with the unknown – at least that’s the case when you don’t have the best guide to lead you through the process of getting the best vinyl windows possible. 

This is why we did our best to collect all the vinyl windows-related information and deliver you the best vinyl windows guide, which will help you get the best for your home. 

Before we explain what you should be looking for when it comes to the best vinyl window traits, let’s learn more about the history of this window type and what makes them so special. In other words, let’s see why they are so used today.

Vinyl Windows: History and Usage

Vinyl windows are used across the States and are often seen in many homes across the world. 

This may sound surprising, but vinyl windows are a relatively recent invention and have come a long way since they were first created. 

Homeowners usually love vinyl windows because they are easy to use, come in many shapes and sizes, and are made to last. After all, who doesn’t want to invest in something that can last not for years, if not for decades? 

When Were Vinyl Windows Invented?

Originally, vinyl windows were first created in the 1950’s, after Germany was left with a reduced amount of natural resources to rebuild homes and cities after World War II. 

Not only did they had to build fast, but they had to build smarter and cheaper. Therefore, they decided to step up their production and try something new – they decided to turn to synthetic materials. 

In not that far 1954, the first vinyl windows were created – they were far from today’s quality, but that was the start. From Germany, these windows grew in popularity across the globe and led to vinyl windows that are used today.

From Germany, vinyl windows were imported to the States, where they were given a fresher design – sleeker and more modern. 

In the States, this window type started to mimic more aluminum and wood windows to enhance their look in the home of that period. 

It took a while for this window type to gain some popularity, but it was completely worth the wait. 

Why Are Vinyl Windows A Good Option?

You probably know that natural materials need higher maintenance and regular maintenance. 

Over time, natural materials have to be replaced, which will eventually cost you more time and more money. However, with vinyl windows durability is everything. 

If needed, you can easily replace them and use a different style, color, design, etc. Plus, windows of natural material, such as wood, often have to be replaced or repaired due to insect damage. 

With vinyl windows, you don’t get to experience this. Simply said, vinyl windows cannot be destroyed by insects.

Vinyl Window Advantages Listed In A Nutshell

  • Energy efficiency
  • Low-maintenance
  • Easy-care
  • Great design
  • Strength and durability
  • They come in several styles
  • Resistant to snowy conditions
  • Cost-effective
  • Can decrease electricity costs 
  • Can add in tax deduction
  • Offer straightforward installation

People often say that vinyl windows are energy-efficient which makes them a great choice if you want something high-quality, durable, and cost-effective. 

What people often think when they hear that something is energy-efficient is the environment. 

If something is energy-efficient does it mean that it’s environmentally friendly as well? Let’s discover if vinyl windows are environmentally friendly.

Are Vinyl Windows Environmentally Friendly?

Modern manufacturers do their best to provide the world with products that are affordable, durable, energy-efficient, and above all – environment-friendly.

Today, vinyl windows are known for being energy efficient, which definitely adds to an environmentally friendly life. If windows are marked with an Energy Star certificate you can be sure that they are dealing with an eco-friendly product. 

Vinyl replacement windows are remarkably energy-efficient, and as such, they are recyclable, sustainable, and eco-friendly. 

Did you know that one of the biggest ingredients in vinyl structure is common salt? Salt is highly renewable. 

What Can You Do With Old Vinyl Windows?

Today, when the entire world is environment-driven, many consumers and homeowners want to know what they can do with certain products once they are done serving… Maybe you want a new vinyl window, a new color, or a different style… 

In that case, what can you do with existing vinyl windows, can vinyl windows be recycled? You should know that not all vinyl windows are created the same. 

Vinyl, used in the manufacture of window and door profiles, can be melted and reformed repeatedly, but make sure that you talk with the window seller on the best steps to recycle your vinyl windows. 

What Style Choices Are Available For Vinyl Windows?

Sky’s the limit when it comes to vinyl window styles. Vinyl replacement windows are available in a range of different styles. 

They also come in several different colors and finishes to match the exterior of your home. Simply said, you won’t have to have only white windows, because vinyl windows come in many colors and modern designs. 

Vinyl replacement windows are available in nearly every imaginable style, including double-hung, casement, slider, awning, hopper, bay, and bow, so you’re sure to find one to suit your home. 

So far, the most popular style of the window – the one that simply fits every home is double-hung windows. In fact, this style is so popular across the States, that people globally link this window style with American homes and exterior style. 

These windows come with many benefits, including:

  • Easy maintenance
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Superior ventilation
  • Safe operating design

Can Vinyl Windows Look Like Wood?

If you want vinyl windows, but you aim for that natural look, this is possible. Vinyl can be manufactured to mirror the appearance of natural wood. 

The only difference is that this type of window won’t corrode or separate like metal or rot and deteriorate like wood. This vinyl will have wood grain-finished and will come in several colors to fit almost every home and home style. 

Can Vinyl Windows Be Used For A Screen Porch?

The very first thing that you should know here is that windows are not manufactured for porches. 

Screened-in porches are usually not built with insulated windows in mind. For a screened-in porch, the best option is a fiberglass screen or aluminum ones. 

A fiberglass screen is less expensive than an aluminum screen and easier to install due to its flexibility. If you want to put windows on a screened-in porch make sure that you discuss it with window professionals. 

How Long Will Vinyl Windows Last?

If you just bought your house and installed vinyl windows, and you just welcomed a baby into your home – windows will be there while your baby grows and heads toward college. 

On average you can expect vinyl windows to last between 20 to 40 years, as long as you maintain them well, and don’t experience any external disasters. 

The climate of your area and the conditions you live in are actually crucial when it comes to vinyl window longevity. 

For example, if your home is based in a state where there is a lot of sun and direct sunlight, the vinyl will break faster and windows may last around 20 years – which is still a long period, you must admit. Another massive factor to vinyl windows’ longevity is the heat. 

Strong and constant heat can play a huge role in window deterioration. 

If you recognize yourself and your home in these lines make sure that you start saving money on time to provide window replacement when needed. 

Are Vinyl Windows Easy To Maintain?

Modern vinyl windows are known for their traits of lasting. Vinyl windows can last for decades, which is something that not every material can gloat about. However, these windows are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and above anything else easy to maintain. 

As a general rule, the exterior of your vinyl windows, and any windows, in fact, will be clean of dust and dirt with rain. However, cleaning frames from time to time is still mandatory. 

Regular cleaning can help remove the excess dirt and prevent your frames from discoloring or deteriorating. 

How to wash your vinyl windows? To keep your vinyl windows fresh and clean, be gentle. Always use mild detergent, a soft sponge or soft cloth, and a dry towel for maximum drying. 

5 Window Maintenance Tips For Long-lasting Vinyl Windows

  1. Educate the entire family on how to use vinyl windows – you would be surprised to hear how wrong people use them 
  2. Clean the glass often – this way you will drain moisture that can damage your windows. Make sure that you clean it the proper way (as explained above)
  3. Clean the interior frame regularly – clean it monthly
  4. Keep the tracks clean – dirt and dust build up in the tracks over time, which puts a lot of stress on the windows and can even affect how energy-efficient your windows are 
  5. Clean your screens – window screens may not be part of your vinyl frame, but it is still relevant to maintain them properly. Clean them whenever they look visibly dirty

What Are Vinyl Frames Made Of?

To provide proper maintenance and to understand why vinyl windows last for so long, it is important to understand what those frames are made of. 

Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In most cases, when you say PVC people know that you are talking about durable windows. 

Frames are coated with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. This is the main reason why vinyl windows don’t need painting but require regular cleaning. 

These frames are not only durable but have good moisture resistance, which is why they are so energy-efficient. 

Vinyl Window Replacement

When it comes to replacement, you will have to choose wisely. There are two installation methods to choose from. 

Professionals will always explain what a pocket installation is and what a full-frame installation brings. Each method comes with it, so to say, perks. 

For example, a pocket installation is a great option if you want to try and preserve existing trim. This is a great method if you are trying to replace a similar-sized window into the opening. 

On the other hand, a full-frame installation removes the entire window, including the window frame and trim. This method is a great option if you want a design change.

Vinyl frames are the least expensive and don’t have to be stained or painted. In most cases, they are white, although they come in a range of colors and styles. 

This is why you should always aim to join the windows color and the exterior of your home, of the exterior paint. Also important: Vinyl frames have fewer hardware options.

Can Vinyl Windows Be Repaired?

Simply said, yes! If you are dealing with a professional, it’s possible to repair most damage to vinyl window frames. How is this possible you may ask? 

Well, the structure of a vinyl window is created in such a manner that it allows future manipulation once it has been installed. 

The cost of vinyl window repair will vary depending on the window brand you choose, the type of window installed, and average labor rates in your area.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to vinyl windows you need to do your research first. 

Find the best vinyl windows brands online or in your area and visit their offices – learn about benefits and overall about vinyl replacement windows. 

Stay informed on vinyl windows’ cost and custom vinyl windows that can make your home more appealing and visually satisfying.