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8 Benefits of Vinyl Replacement Windows

Vinyl replacement window

For homeowners choosing new-build windows or window replacements, the wide range of choices can complicate the decision. Wood, fiberglass, and aluminum windows have their place, but vinyl windows offer the versatility, durability, and affordability homeowners often seek. 

Most owners want to improve home living through improvement or renovation projects. They may enjoy low-maintenance or trend-setting designs or work to bring nature in (or keep it out) for added comfort. Making smart environmental decisions with eco-friendly materials brings peace of mind to some homeowners. Whatever the priority, vinyl windows offer a sensible solution. 

1. Energy Efficiency: Lower Electric Bills

One of the standout advantages of premium vinyl windows is their exceptional energy efficiency. Vinyl itself is, by nature, a non-porous, insulating material. SoftLite constructs windows with multiple air chambers within the sashes and frames of their windows. These air pockets add higher thermal insulation, which improves the window’s overall insulating effectiveness, or U-factor. 

These properties of premium vinyl and ENERGY STAR® optimized glass will improve a home’s overall thermal performance. As a result, your indoor temperature stays more consistent, which reduces the need for excessive heating or cooling. This solution translates to a more comfortable living space and leads to significant energy cost savings over time.

According to the US Department of Energy, high-quality window frame construction can contribute to energy efficiency, and vinyl provides a greater thermal resistance than metal.

2. Low Maintenance: Less Cost, Fewer Hassles

Unlike some other window materials, vinyl windows require minimal maintenance. The non-porous nature of vinyl makes it resistant to moisture, so you won’t have to worry about issues like warping, cracking, rotting, or repainting. Unlike aluminum, vinyl will not rust over time. Homeowners typically spend less money to maintain vinyl windows as a result.

According to the Department of Energy, window manufacturers make vinyl window frames out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which includes ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to prevent sunlight from breaking them down.

Vinyl is also an easy material in terms of window-washing. You can clean the glass and frame with a simple soap solution of clean water and mild detergent or a standard commercial household glass cleaning product. Apply these to a clean cloth or sponge to gently swab surfaces. Always pat away excess product and water to prevent streaks or moisture buildup. 

The bottom sash on a single-hung vinyl window tilts inward so homeowners can quickly clean dirt and debris on the exterior side. Both sashes tilt in on a double-hung window for fast, easy care. To make screen removal as easy as cleaning, consider choosing the innovative FlexScreen.

3. Affordability: Manageable Home Investment 

Home improvement projects can sometimes strain your budget, but vinyl windows offer an affordable solution. The cost-effectiveness of vinyl windows extends beyond their initial purchase price. As energy-efficient windows, they contribute to lower utility bills, providing a continuous recoup of initial costs over time.

SoftLite windows have industry-leading air infiltration rates, one of the key contributors to energy efficiency for windows. By greatly reducing the amount of air that escapes from or infiltrates your home, energy-efficient windows help you lessen the demand on your heating and cooling systems.

According to Forbes, the average cost of a replacement vinyl window is $550, which is much lower than the typical price for materials such as composite, fiberglass, and wood. New windows are a long-term investment, so it’s important that you have options within budget that perform well and increase the visual appeal of your home. Not every window manufacturer offers custom grids, hardware, or finishes for vinyl windows.  

4. Durability: Long-Lasting Investment

Vinyl windows hold up strongly against the elements, withstanding moisture, termites, and decay, even in the most adverse weather. Vinyl’s resilience prevents structural issues like rot, cracking, discoloration, and warping. With tried-and-true durability, these windows offer a desirable long-term investment opportunity for homeowners looking to upgrade original and/or aging units.  

Premium vinyl windows are constructed with thick-walled chambers that increase strength and insulation. They can withstand various weather conditions, including high temperature fluctuations, moisture buildup, and UV exposure. Vinyl windows are less prone to hail damage, accidental impacts, and damage from flying debris, such as tree limbs (or patio furniture!) than their wood counterparts. 

Windows are tested for air infiltration, water resistance, and structural load capacity to determine their design pressure (DP) rating, also known as performance grade (PG). A higher DP rating indicates a higher resistance and more resilience in heavy weather conditions. 

5. Customization: Tailored Home Aesthetic Appeal

With a variety of colors, styles, and hardware finishes available, vinyl windows can offer a high level of custom options, depending on the manufacturer. Whether your home boasts a modern, traditional, or eclectic aesthetic, there’s a vinyl window design that can seamlessly integrate into your vision. 

If getting a custom look is important to you, carefully review the options for the brand of vinyl windows you are considering. Not all manufacturers offer true customization.

Vinyl windows typically come in standard sizes, and manufacturers like SoftLite also allow custom sizes to accommodate specifications for new construction homes or renovated rooms. In addition to white or almond extruded vinyl windows, Harvey offers further customizations with standard and custom paint options.

Playing around with grid options is another great way to make your windows your own. 

6. Noise Reduction: More Indoor Tranquility

Several factors in vinyl windows contribute to noise reduction, which creates a more peaceful indoor environment. Manufacturers construct modern windows with two or three panes of glass whose interspaces are filled with insulating gases like argon. The properties of argon gas, which make it ideal for slowing heat transfer, also contribute to the window’s sound-dampening capacity. Triple pane units will add an extra layer of muffling glass and insulating gas over their double pane counterparts.

Properly installed windows are better at reducing sound than poorly fitted ones, as noise can infiltrate through gaps. When constructed with numerous inner chambers, vinyl frames help in quieting outdoor sounds for interior comfort.  

7. UV Protection: Interior Safeguard

Harmful UV rays can cause fading and damage to your furniture, flooring, and belongings. Premium vinyl windows come with superior glass packages which provide UV protection. These glass types create a barrier that helps preserve the integrity of your interior furnishings, including carpet, furniture, wood floors, curtains, and wall paint.

Window glass manufacturers apply specialized coatings of Low-Emittance (Low-E) film to enhance the performance of their glass. Low-E coatings have a high refractive index, which causes UV ray photons to scatter on contact. These enhancements allow homeowners to enjoy the pleasure of natural lighting with decreased UV risk, less heat transfer, and lower energy costs.

8. Eco-Friendly Living: Sustainable Choice

For those concerned about the environment, vinyl windows may present an eco-friendly choice. Their energy efficiency reduces energy consumption, lowering your overall carbon footprint. Additionally, vinyl is an easily recyclable material. Unpainted PVC scraps from manufacturing can be gathered and shipped back to the supplier for circular use in other products. These processes make vinyl windows a sustainable option for environmentally conscious homeowners. 

As the industry standard for energy-efficient products, the ENERGY STAR® program helps homeowners make well-informed decisions about their home improvements. It provides a calculator that details the potential cost savings for customers who upgrade their windows to the latest specifications according to their region. In October 2023, ENERGY STAR updated its criteria for windows, doors, and skylights with more stringent guidelines. Homeowners who choose 7.0-rated windows and doors can save thousands in energy costs over the lifetime of these products while helping reduce emissions. 

The following chart details lifetime electrical savings in kilowatts, estimated cash savings, and emission reductions.

Table displaying lifetime electrical savings in kilowatts, estimated cash savings, and emission reductions after window replacements

In Conclusion

Vinyl windows offer several benefits, making them an appealing choice for homeowners looking to enhance their living spaces. Vinyl’s durability makes it a popular choice for new construction and renovation projects. From energy efficiency and low maintenance to affordability and customization, the advantages of vinyl windows contribute to a more comfortable, cost-effective, and visually pleasing home environment.

Find a SoftLite dealer today to get vinyl replacement windows for your home.

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