Aluminum Windows Pros and Cons
When your windows reach the end of their service life and you are mentally ready to go get new ones, you will come across a lot of options, aluminum being one of them. Aluminum windows have come a long way since the 70s. Let us examine the pros and cons of aluminum windows compared to your other options.
Advantages of Aluminum Windows
The main advantage of aluminum is its lightness and durability. Aluminum windows are quite strong, they are nearly maintenance-free, especially with a factory-baked or anodized finish. If you have windows with a unique design, you might want to consider aluminum as it can be moulded into any shape.
Disadvantages of Aluminum Windows
The main problem with aluminum is that it has low thermal insulation. The thermal conductance of aluminum is high. Thus aluminum windows are poor options in cold climates. Condensation or even frost forms inside the windows and can create a variety of problems.
The problem can be overcome by using non-conductive material between the two panes. The break between the two panes needs to be at least 14-inch thick. There has to be a complete break between interior and exterior aluminum parts; otherwise a thermal bridge will be established, and heat is lost.
When Is Aluminum Ideal
Aluminum windows can be a good option when cold isn’t an important factor. Modern aluminum frames are made to very high standards and tolerances. This means they keep heat in much more efficiently than they once did. They remain popular in commercial buildings because they are much cheaper than some other options.
Aluminum Versus Vinyl
Vinyl windows require no maintenance once they’ve been installed. They also have a low thermal conductance so they keep the heat in. Welded frames on vinyl windows mean water or air don't get through. Unlike aluminum, vinyl allows no condensation between the panes.
Vinyl windows are always easy to open and close without any sticking. Aluminum windows are better at keeping noise out, even though vinyl windows can be very efficient too.