Have you been wondering about aluminum windows and whether they're right for your home? Windows made out of aluminum (the element) have a long list of credits to their name. Perhaps it's hard to believe that aluminum, the material in everything from windows to the can containing your favorite beverage, was once considered more valuable than gold.
It's true. Long ago, Napoleon III, Emperor of France, favored his preferred guests with aluminum silverware; the less popular guests were relegated instead to gold utensils! Today, aluminum windows and doors are valued far more than aluminum dinner ware.
Unlike aluminum's inception, today the appetite for this silvery colored metal has grown into a ravenous animal. The need for aluminum production and its accompanying window products is great. Why, after so many years, are aluminum windows still one of the more well-liked window and home improvement choices - even compared with vinyl windows?
In addition to aluminum's pedigree, its many benefits have made residential aluminum windows widespread. A quality essential to reliable windows is their ability to defy corrosion. Aluminum goes to the head of the class on this because it is rust-resistant. By comparison, steel windows are also rust-free but much more expensive and heavy. Aluminum windows are durable yet surprisingly lightweight because aluminum is a low density material.
Aluminum windows are not only a top choice in residential windows, but also in the highly regulated commercial aluminum windows arena. This speaks volume about their quality, sturdiness and desirability.
When comparison shopping with other window varieties such as vinyl, wood, steel or fiberglass, it can be helpful to evaluate the pros and cons of each with a list. Here is brief list of the many characteristics and benefits of aluminum windows: They...
If, as it turns out, aluminum is the most plentiful of the metallic elements in the Earth's crust, why aren't window manufacturers making aluminum windows more than any other window type? Alas, despite aluminum's abundance, it is always buried amongst other elements. So even though it comprises nearly 8% of our planet's total solid weight, extracting it is difficult and costly.
Nevertheless, aluminum windows are readily available and one of the more reasonably priced replacement window varieties. Aluminum window manufacturers and companies have been producing residential and commercial aluminum products for over one hundred years. Manufacturers have been able to do this because of the popularity and demand for aluminum replacement windows.
Over the years, aluminum window manufacturers have improved the quality, durability and even energy efficiency of their windows. Certainly, aluminum windows have been a mainstay of window manufactures, companies, and distributors for decades like Pella or Andersen windows. In the case of Andersen Windows, (often misspelled "Anderson") they have existed for well over 100 years (or as long as aluminum itself has been manufactured).
Locally, retail stores and outlets such as Home Depot and Lowe's rely on the quality that aluminum windows offer. In order for these retail chains to stay in business and keep their valued customers, they must provide superior windows, warranties, discounts and guarantees.
Though aluminum windows manufacturers have been producing these well-like windows for over a century, standards and service vary widely. As with any important purchase, it is always a wise and cost-effective endeavor to investigate the aluminum window manufacturers, companies and distributors you're interested in before purchasing your new aluminum replacement windows.
The internet and online shopping for aluminum windows has become a standard. Investigating the aluminum windows industry, manufacturers' directories, ratings, reviews, blogs, news media, social media and trade websites is an excellent way to get the best prices and selection on custom or general aluminum windows for your home.
A common debate these days among window buyers is whether to select aluminum windows or replace with vinyl windows. Knowing some of the features of both can assist you in the selection process.
Vinyl windows are generally thought to be less expensive. That is unless they need cladding or capping. This is a process of protecting the window frame from deterioration (i.e., leaking, swelling or rot) caused by rain, sun and wind.
Cladding or capping when added to your windows casing or frame increases its life and energy efficiency but also its cost. When clad, aluminum and vinyl windows cost about the same. Typically, aluminum coated with PVC vinyl is the standard material used to clad windows.
Added features, such as cladding can also affect ease of installation. So when considering the overall price of your aluminum vs. vinyl windows it's smart to assess the cost of installation as well.
The quality, size and number of windows will naturally influence your windows' bottom line - whether they are aluminum or vinyl.
When it comes to noise reduction, aluminum windows win over vinyl windows. So, for city dwellers and those affected by environments with excessive noise, aluminum may suit your needs better.
Aluminum is an excellent conductor which is great if you're performing experiments on the Space Shuttle but not when the sun is beating down on your home. This drawback of aluminum windows, when compared to vinyl, makes them less than stellar in the energy efficiency department. Ingenuity comes to the rescue. Installing quality aluminum windows that are fabricated with thermal breaks increases an aluminum window's energy efficiency. Thermal breaks are devised to separate the interior and exterior surfaces of the window and therefore increase insulation.
It stands to reason that metal will be tougher and last longer than vinyl or plastic. Indeed, if you live in a region with intense weather, aluminum may be a preferred choice. Unfortunately, vinyl or PVC plastic windows have a reputation for (especially those cheaply made) of yellowing with age. Also, if installation is inferior, the chance of your new windows (whether aluminum or vinyl) of leaking increases. The result is damage not only to your windows but quite possibly to your home.
Despite the energy efficiency issue with aluminum windows, they are champions with respect to the environment - as compared with vinyl. Since extracting virgin aluminum out of the ground is very expensive, the abundance of recycled aluminum saves the day and money.
Also, because aluminum is 100% recyclable, this further cuts the cost and significantly. In fact, this procedure of reusing melted scrap aluminum takes only 5% of the energy that it would to remove aluminum from ore. Additionally, with aluminum ore, as much as 15% of that material is lost in process. So, for the earth conscious, aluminum windows allow you to both save money and energy.
If you're worried about matching your home's color and d