Two popular options in replacement windows are wood and vinyl. Each one has its benefits, so you may wonder which type you should have installed. Here is a look at how they compare.
Wood windows have a traditional appearance, so they may match the architecture of your home better if your house is several decades old. Wood is naturally a good insulator, so wood frames are energy efficient. One problem with wood is that it tends to expand and contract along with changes in humidity. This can lead to leaks, peeling paint, and wood deterioration. Plus, insects may be drawn to the frames when they are damp. Insects like termites and carpenter ants can cause damage to wood windows just like they can anywhere else in your house. Another downside of wood window frames is they need a lot of maintenance. You'll need to paint them when you paint your house because the old paint will eventually peel or flake away. If you like to paint and look forward to painting your house and changing colors now and then, this may not bother you. You might even look forward to painting the windows and giving your home a fresh look.
Vinyl windows are getting more popular because they require very little maintenance. Insects won't bother them and they won't rot. They never need to be painted either. The color of the vinyl might fade a little as the windows are exposed to UV rays over the years. However, UV protection is added to the vinyl when windows are made now, so fading is minimal. One big benefit of vinyl frames is that they are very energy efficient. That's because they have hollow insides that are filled with insulating material. One drawback might be the appearance of the windows. The frames are wider, so they have a distinctive appearance. You may love the look or you might hate it.
Vinyl Clad Wood
When you're having a hard time making up your mind, you may want to choose vinyl clad wood. These windows are wood on the inside, so when you're indoors the windows have a traditional appearance. The outside is covered in vinyl. This is a huge benefit because that means the wood frames are maintenance-free. As long as you don't mind the appearance of vinyl on the outside, vinyl clad wood could be the best of both worlds when it comes to window frames.
Wood and vinyl are two common options in window frames, but they aren't your only choices. Be sure to examine all the options so you can choose frames that are a good match for your home and a good match for you based on how much time you want to spend on maintenance. Don't forget about energy efficiency too. Most replacement windows are much more efficient than frames made years ago, but some are more efficient than others. Check the labels on the windows for efficiency ratings so you know exactly what you're getting when you buy your new windows.
For more information on installing new windows in your home, check out a company like Active Hurricane & Security Protection.