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Aluminum Windows: The Pros and Cons

Aluminum windows are very versatile and useful for homeowners. Their steadily rising popularity is owed in part to their strength and reliability. Although they are not particularly good insulators, aluminum windows can be upgraded and utilized to protect your home and keep you comfortable. 

A brief look at the costs of aluminum windows

Basic aluminum windows, quality aluminum windows, and the best aluminum windows cost around $200-$300, $300-$400, and $400-$600, respectively. More advanced aluminum windows can be pricier but pay for themselves with lower energy bills and increased home value.

Full Aluminum vs. Aluminum Clad Windows

Windows are meant to protect your home from the outdoor temperature; to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Having more than one layer of glass inside the glass space, for instance, will drastically improve any window's performance. Aluminum is not a very good insulator unless steps to make it a more reliable protector of your home are taken, such as having the aluminum cladding close shut on a wood frame rather than an aluminum one.

Aluminum clad windows are better because they have the added benefit of wood's superior insulation qualities. Another great perk you get with aluminum clad windows is their lightweight installation that takes less time, effort, and money to complete. You lower your energy bills, prevent fires, and get the natural beauty of wood to go with your home's interior. 

The costs of aluminum clad windows can be $800 to $1,000 per unit, but because they are cheaper (around $300 cheaper) to install, they can be a bargain. Most window units require extra labor to be installed. Aluminum clad windows are light, require no finishing, and average an hour per one unit's installation. The money you would have spent on years of maintenance and $300 worth of extra labor with other windows outweighs the cost of purchase and installation of energy-saving aluminum clad windows.

The Advantages of Aluminum Windows

  • Lightweight: Aluminum windows are easier and faster to install, saving you hundreds of dollars on installation costs.
  • Insulation performance: Improvements made to an aluminum frame can achieve better insulation capacities by up to 60%.
  • The impact window of choice: Aluminum is the go-to window for resistance against hurricanes and high wind areas while being 20-30% cheaper than impact vinyl (PVC) windows. 
  • Readily available: Unlike fiberglass, aluminum windows do not take a long time to manufacture and they can be used for a new construction home without slowing down the construction process.
  • Strong: Aluminum is 300% stronger than vinyl (PVC) and 430% stronger than wood. 
  • Durable: Aluminum lasts much longer than vinyl (PVC) and is resistant to extreme weather conditions and corrosion.
  • Low-maintenance: Aluminum does not require regular treatment other than the occasional cleaning with water and detergent.
  • Good resistance to thermal buckling: Aluminum is less prone to thermal contraction and expansion than vinyl by 75%, which prevents any cracks from forming around the frame.
  • More glass space: Aluminum is a stronger material than vinyl and wood, which means it can offer more space for the glass to fit without having to increase its size like vinyl does to achieve the same results. 
  • Increases home resale value.
  • Affordable: A lot cheaper than vinyl.
  • Sound abatement: Aluminum outperforms vinyl in terms of sound proofing your home from the outside noise.
  • Environmentally friendly: Aluminum is completely recyclable.

The Disadvantages of Aluminum Windows

  • Inorganic interior appearance: Metallic windows, in general, do not have the aesthetically pleasing appearance as that of wood. The beauty with aluminum is that, since it can be painted and repainted, the color and finish can match with the rest of your home more so than any other window material.
  • Can be energy-inefficient: Aluminum conducts heat and cold the most and can hinder the performance of insulation.
  • They can rust: Aluminum can rust after years of being exposed to a lot of moisture.

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