It used to be that vinyl windows were considered an unflattering, cheap alternative to other window materials like wood and aluminum. They were not energy efficient and didn’t look very nice either. Over time, the color would yellow and the seams would crack. Fortunately, times have changed and manufacturers have come a long way, as have vinyl windows.
Vinyl Windows are now one of the most popular, affordable options for many homeowners. Vinyl windows provide so many benefits. They are durable, water resistant, they don’t warp or fade, and are energy efficient. You have more color, style, and design choices now then ever before. However, there are still some physically inferior vinyl windows on the market. You want to be sure you are getting the best. At Quality Windows & Doors, we want to make sure of that too. So here are some tips for choosing quality vinyl windows.
Characteristics of Good Vinyl
While all vinyl windows are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the same material used in electrical pipes and plumbing, not all PVC is alike. It takes the right mixture of several fillers, plasticizers, chemicals and pigments to make PVC. There are different “recipes,” different grades, and quality levels. How do you know if what you are looking at is good vinyl? There are a few things to look for.
As with most other construction materials, better vinyl usually costs more, but don’t rely on price alone to determine quality. You can also look at the color. If the vinyl has a bluish tint, it likely doesn’t have the right amounts of organic tin and titanium dioxide. These additives are used to strengthen the material. Vinyl can also be newly made, or recycled. Ultimately, the best way to figure out the quality is looking at the certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.
Consider the Construction
Another gauge is the thickness. Look at a cross section of the vinyl window. Measure a cross section if possible. Thicker vinyl frames are often better. Also, count the number of chambers. More chambers of differing sizes mean better quality. The chambers help prevent deformation or melting caused by heat or sun exposure. Finally, look at the joints. Screws and brackets with caulking are fine, but welded joints are better. This creates a better seal.
Look at the Labels
Thanks to the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) it is easy to compare energy ratings on different types of vinyl windows. Granted, it will not tell you directly if the vinyl is high or low quality. What it does give you is the U-Factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). Both of these measurements tell you how well your vinyl windows prevent heat transfer and save energy. The better the U-Factor and SHGC, the better the vinyl in your window frames.
Want some professional help comparing vinyl windows in Westlake Village, CA? At Quality Windows & Doors, we can help. Call us today at (310) 456-3979 or visit our storefront, 1430 S Oxnard Blvd. Oxnard, California 93030. We can provide all the information you are looking for and help you find the best quality vinyl windows for your home and budget.