Learn more about choosing windows for your home
It's easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out which windows are right for your home. Choosing windows from major manufacturers is key. Companies like Ply Gem sell a lot of windows and have the muscle behind them to produce quality products. To help you decipher the keys to energy-saving windows, here are some tips.
New window frames made of wood are popular in the US, but not as much in Canada. They are easy to repair and maintain and can be painted to your desired color. They can be susceptible to rot and insect damage, but better manufacturers offer them clad in aluminum that makes them last longer. They tend to cost more, but they offer the best look for both inside and outside your home. See Ply Gem Signature Series Aluminum Clad Wood Windows.
With their good moisture resistance, vinyl windows are a good choice. They are equally energy efficient to wood windows. They are also low-maintenance but do fade over time, especially in darker colors, which can also become brittle as they age, so choose lighter neutral colors that you can live with for the long term. You can restore the finish with a soft scrub cleanser should the frames become dull. They're lower priced than wood windows. See Ply Gem Vista Series, Classic Series, Comfort Series and Enviro Series.
Painted Vinyl Windows are popular due to the wide range of colours you can get to match the exterior of your home. However, painting vinyl is typically done with specialty coatings that can scratch, fade or crack and peel. Using an aluminum clad vinyl window system avoids these issues and gives you great colour options in strong aluminum on the outside of energy efficient vinyl windows.
See Ply Gem Design Series Aluminum Clad Vinyl Windows.
These windows are strong but not very energy efficient because they conduct heat. Condensation can form, creating moisture issues, including frosting in winter. Most often, these are the least expensive windows you can buy.
Window frames made of fiberglass are offered by some of the major manufacturers as an alternative to wood or vinyl. They are high maintenance, as they need painting. It's difficult to find them in energy efficient insulated versions, and they are more expensive than insulated vinyl windows.
Composite windows look like wood and most makers pre-finish them in a host of colors. They perform well, but you may not like the look of a full composite window on the inside of your home. To solve this issue, some makers use composite materials on the outside of the window and wood material on the inside. Cost is higher than vinyl windows.