Today’s post is part two of last week’s post about how to choose a window for your home; whether as a replacement window or as a window for your new custom home, window choices are vital when ensuring that your AC and heat don’t escape.
Aluminum and wooden frames are often the two most talked about frames when it comes to windows, but in actuality, there are many more choices that are not as widely known.
- Vinyl frames are less expensive than wood or aluminum but that doesn’t make it a bad choice. When a vinyl frame window is made well and installed correctly, it is a viable contender with other frame materials.
- Wood-clad windows are a window frame that is typically vinyl or aluminum exterior and wooden interior, this comes with the benefits of a low-maintenance exterior and temperature transfer resistant interior. Unfortunately, they are also somewhat prone to water leaks which can lead to water pooling and eventually sills and jambs rotting. When these are properly installed with a sill pan, it will drain any pooling water away and minimize any wood deterioration.
- Composite frames are usually made from recycled plastic resins and wood shavings, these can be made to look like wood but are practically maintenance free. Fiberglass is also a type of composite frame made of polyester resin and glass fibers; this type of composite frame is more expensive than the first type discussed but they are extremely energy efficient and an excellent choice for durability and strength.
- Wood frames are the best when it comes to insulation, but the upkeep required is much more than any other type of frame. They also don’t work well for wet or humid climates.
- Aluminum frames are practical choices, especially for wet and humid climates. They do not perform well with heat loss and transfer but their superior strength means that they are often used in hurricane-prone regions.
It doesn’t matter how much you pay for your window if it is not installed properly. Incorrect installation means that your window is not able to perform its job as an effective barrier for heat, cold, air, water, etc. Pre-installing and waterproofing should be completed before your windows are actually installed, this will start your window installation off on the right foot.
Keep an eye out for sealants and expanding foams being used to seal your window in place, they aren’t waterproof and can lead to air leakage or worse over time. Flashing and caulking are both areas which are often ignored or quickly done, these should be done carefully as they are a final barrier to air and water leakage.