Window Material Choices
Aaron’s Home Improvement can make your home more energy efficient in a variety of ways, including a wide choice of Michigan replacement windows. There are many different types of materials being used today to build windows. Here is an overview of the most common materials and what they offer for your home.
Fiberglass is a durable and long lasting window framing material that can be painted. Fiberglass provides the strongest window material – about 3 times stronger than aluminum and about 9 times stronger than vinyl.
Fiberglass does not conduct heat or cold, increasing efficiency. Quality fiberglass frames are composed of at least 60% glass, an easily recyclable material. The high glass content makes for a very tough product. It also means the expansion and contraction rates of both the window panes and the frames are similar, increasing the life of the window unit’s seals and materials.
Fiberglass windows are practically maintenance-free. They take paint easily, come in a large selection of colors, do not warp, crack, rot, or corrode, and are very strong.
Vinyl windows have certain advantages over other window framing materials. One major advantage of vinyl is that it is a relatively inexpensive material that is durable and low-maintenance. Vinyl windows can be made to look and feel like real wood grain but without the cost and maintenance. Vinyl windows are very efficient option. The frames are made by an extrusion process in which the material is forced through forms (imagine a cookie press) into lengths that create multiple dead air spaces within. The dead air spaces increase the R-value of the unit. Options for insulating the dead air space are available, further increasing the R-value and reducing noise.
Of all window framing materials, wood is the only truly renewable material. Thanks to the advanced technologies applied to building materials, wood can also be an energy conscious choice as well. However, wood windows require more maintenance and are susceptible to rot and warping if not protected from moisture.
Wood is a low-conductivity material and the core of a wood window frame is solid, rather than hollow. Wood framed windows can provide U-values around .30 for low-e glass and around .50 for clear glass.
Wood window frames can be painted or finished however you choose. The only drawback is that they also require a lifetime of maintenance such as scraping and painting. The frequency of maintenance and upkeep is related to the quality of the materials. For instance, a better finish will last longer. Higher quality wood will have a longer life and be more resistant to rot and decay which are common plagues for real wood windows.
Composite frames claim to offer the best qualities of both vinyl and wood. Composite windows require little to no maintenance. Their resistance to warping, rotting and their strength against cold and heat make them a great choice for busy homeowners.
Composite windows are particularly suitable if maintaining the look of wood is what you want, but without the maintenance hassles.
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Ready to make your home more beautiful and energy efficient? Call the replacement window Michigan experts at 888-442-2766 today to schedule a FREE in-home window consultation and estimate.