Nowadays, most window replacements are done using vinyl windows. Energy efficiency technology has come a long way. Where vinyl windows of the past may have had a poor reputation for quality and longevity, high efficiency vinyl windows with the ENERGY STAR seal of approval are one of your best options for quality and efficiency on the market.

Older or poor-quality vinyl windows are not up to snuff.

When vinyl windows first came onto the market they used to be the low maintenance, inexpensive go-to when replacing older wood windows.  The older vinyl windows were cheap and there are still some duds on the market today.  With these poor-quality windows, the crisp white frame turned yellow with time, coloured vinyl faded, and it was known to crack in extreme Alberta temperatures.  The reason early vinyl had so many problems was because they couldn’t properly handle thermal expansion and stability in constantly changing environments. This would cause damaged seals and the windows would have to be replaced.

Vinyl window replacements have come a long way.  With advancements in materials, frame construction and high efficiency technology most homeowners can feel confident replacing their leaky and drafty windows with vinyl.  Read more articles about windows.

Choosing Vinyl Window Replacements

Manufacturing

When choosing a vinyl window replacement, it’s important to look for vinyl window frames that have heat-welded joints.  This will make your window stronger and more able to resist temperature stresses.  It also helps improve your window’s insulation.  Look for welded corners inside the frame instead of mechanically joined frames.

Many manufacturers produce vinyl windows and it’s important to recognize the differences in quality from one to the other.  Since PVC is a compound made up of many different materials, you want to make sure the right combination was used to ensure the window’s durability, thermal resistance, and structural strength.  Reputable window companies will help you choose a high quality window.  Remember that cheaper is not always better.

ENERGY STAR Certified

Although your vinyl windows first job is to let in natural light and give you great views from inside your home, it is also responsible for minimizing heat transfer and insulating your house.  In our extreme winter climate, be sure to install double or triple glazed windows with warm edge spacers with low-e glass and/or argon gas insulation.  If you are unsure, look for the ENERGY STAR logo.

Style

Most vinyl window replacements are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  Although most vinyl window frames come in white or other neutral colours, you can also choose from a variety of colours or get a wood-grain design, so they look like classy wooden frames.

Warranty

Check the warranty.  Some companies will offer a Full Lifetime Warranty which means you are covered for as long as you own and reside in your home and sometimes includes both parts and labour. These warranties meet federal standards for written warranties on consumer products while ‘limited warranties’ do not.  This means that the warrantor must repair or replace the products at no charge to you and may only refund the purchase price to fulfill the warranty if that is what you request.

Learn more about choosing the right windows.