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Window shopping is generally considered a casual pastime. The term takes on a whole new meaning when you’re building a new home, planning to add a sunroom, or eager to update your home with new windows. It can quickly become overwhelming when you realize how many kinds of windows are available. At the most basic level, you have aluminum, wood, vinyl, and fiberglass windows to choose from, and the options only expand from there. How do you know what to choose? Doing your homework is a start. Why not begin by exploring the pros and cons of aluminum windows?
The Pros and Cons of Aluminum Windows
Every material has its strengths and weaknesses. The trick is choosing the product that’s the right match for the job. Understanding a bit about the pros and cons of aluminum windows can help you determine if they’re the right windows for your home or commercial facility.
Wood is gorgeous, but it’s incredibly demanding. You need to worry about moisture and termites and other threats. Every time you turn around, it needs to be refinished or coated or requires some other service. In contrast, aluminum is an incredibly low-maintenance material. While you may repaint it if you choose, there’s rarely a need. Investing in a quality product means that you rarely need to do more than wipe it down occasionally to keep it looking fantastic for the length of its lengthy lifespan.
Con: Energy Efficiency
Aluminum windows have a high U-value. U-value is the rate of heat transfer through a material, so it’s a strong indication of energy efficiency. Windows with low U-values are energy-efficient because they keep your heat inside. Since aluminum windows have a high U-value, they may not be the best pick for frigid climates. However, those who live where warmer weather prevails don’t have that worry.
Aluminum is a lightweight metal, but it’s famously strong. As a result, it can withstand the elements without wilting. While vinyl windows are known to twist and buckle over time, aluminum windows hold strong. In fact, they’re a great choice when you want large windows or when you want windows in areas that are prone to stormy weather.
If you ever needed proof of the way that aluminum windows transfer heat so readily, it’s can be easy to spot. The difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures will sometimes cause condensation to form on aluminum windows.
Investing in aluminum windows means that you probably won’t have to go window shopping for replacements anytime soon. As Angi indicates, aluminum windows that are properly maintained tend to have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years. That’s slightly longer than vinyl windows tend to last.
Aluminum is known to be susceptible to corrosion, so it should come as no surprise that aluminum windows have this vulnerability. It also raises new concerns about the tendency to develop condensation in the minds of savvy consumers. After all, the combination of moisture and bare aluminum is a recipe for corrosion. Fortunately, most aluminum windows are either painted or powder coated.
Price may not be the determining factor, but it’s certainly a factor for most people. Aluminum windows are less expensive than wood or fiberglass models, and roughly on par with their vinyl peers.