The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors reports the average life expectancy of vinyl windows is twice that of other window materials and is between 20 to 40 years. The length of time will depend on the placement; whereas, if the windows are exposed to the hot, baking sun every day, they will not last as long as windows installed in cooler climates and environments with less extreme fluctuation in temperatures throughout the year
What Are Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl windows are window frames made from polyvinyl chloride, a plastic PVC material. For a frame of reference, plumbing and electrical pipes also are made from PVC because it provides the flexibility necessary to reduce air leaks resulting in increased energy efficiency. PVC is less likely to warp or dent than other window materials, contributing to vinyl window’s sturdiness and longevity.
First developed in the 1970s, vinyl windows were designed to offer an alternative to wooden windows and to provide better insulation than wood and aluminum windows. Vinyl windows are a popular choice for window replacements amongst homeowners because of their:
- insulation abilities
- energy efficiency
- low maintenance
- ease of installation
Installing vinyl windows is often the most budget-friendly option for new windows, and your Richmond general contractor, Fabling Built, is here to help you select and install stylish, energy-efficient vinyl windows for your home.
Vinyl Window Repair vs. Vinyl Window Replacement
Signs of a failing window include:
- drafts or leaks
- being difficult to open or sealed shut
- inoperable causing a risk to safety
- panes that collect condensation
The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors reports the average life expectancy of vinyl windows is twice that of other window materials and is between 20 to 40 years. The length of time will depend on the placement; whereas, if the windows are exposed to the hot, baking sun every day, they will not last as long as windows installed in cooler climates and environments with less extreme fluctuation in temperatures throughout the year. If you are considering vinyl window replacements, look for a manufacturer offering a 20 to 25-year warranty, which is essentially a lifetime warranty.
The Pros and Cons of Installing Vinyl Windows
Pro #1: Financial Savings and Energy Efficiency
Vinyl windows provide homeowners a great deal of benefits, including immediate savings from tax incentives for installing energy-efficient windows and long-term savings on monthly energy bills. Vinyl windows have exceptional thermal performance designed to save on energy use and to help maintain the room’s steady temperature, helping your HVAC system to operate more efficiently to manage an even home temperature.
According to Andersen Windows, windows make up about 15% of an average home’s wall space, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can cut home energy costs by about 15% with double-pane insulated glass, heat-resistant coatings, airtight frames, and Energy Star rating windows. All of these features are found in vinyl windows.
Energy Star certified windows and doors installed by December 31, 2020 are eligible for a federal income tax credit of 10% of the cost, up to $500; windows are capped at $200. The tax credit does not include the costs to install windows or doors. Please make sure to confirm all the details with your professional tax/financial planner or the Internal Revenue Service before purchasing and installing your vinyl windows or doors.
Pro #2: Insulation and Noise Reduction
Vinyl windows, filled with argon or krypton gas between two panes of glass, provide an exceptional airtight barrier to insulate for comfort in the home from drafts and from outside noises. Many homeowners are often surprised by just how much noise is reduced with a window replacement. Typically, a ¼-inch to 1-inch space is standard and adequate, with a wider air-filled space and thicker glass to quash noisier environments. In comparison, single-pane windows produce radiant cooling and heating and can become quite uncomfortable with the change in seasonal temperatures and humidity. In comparison to aluminum windows, vinyl windows are 40% more efficient.
Pro #1: Vinyl Windows Are Low Maintenance
The sashes of vinyl windows are easily removed from the frame and, thus, easy to clean and replace. And, in the unfortunate case where a windowpane needs replacing, you can remove the panel or window yourself and without the hassle of an expensive repairman.
In comparison to wood or metal options, vinyl windows need only be wiped down and re-sealed occasionally; whereas, other materials need constant annual attention and care for wood rot, corrosion, warping, and peeling finishes. Because vinyl windows are made from the same material all the way through, chips and scratches are not as noticeable.
Con: Limited Trim Options
Unlike the vast custom wood or metal options, vinyl window frames are not paintable; however, they do come in a variety of styles, wood-grain finishes, and colors compatible with different architectural designs.
Replacing Your Windows
It is best to install or replace your windows when the weather is dry and predictable.
The benefits of installing vinyl windows in any modern or classic style home are undeniable. Ranging from style to energy efficiency to low maintenance, Fabling Built will work with you to ensure you select and install windows that meet your needs for your Richmond home. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-822-2625 to get started.