Vinyl Windows – The Pros & Cons

Vinyl windows – also marketed as PVC, linoleum or plastic – are among the most thrifty and popular replacement options. That goes a long way to explaining their steady climb in popularity: They have gone from representing 36 percent of the market in 1996 to 68 percent in 2012, according to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.



vinyl windowsEasier on your wallet: Vinyl is typically your least expensive option. “For a standard-size, double-hung, double-pane (energy efficient), vinyl window, expect to pay between $450 and $600, including installation,” writes Angie’s List contributor Joe Perritt.

Low maintenance: Vinyl windows are easily cleaned with soap and water and don’t require painting or staining. You also don’t have to worry about them rotting or rusting, as with other options.

Energy efficient: Vinyl has low thermal conduction properties, meaning less heat will escape during cold, winter months. Hollow cavities in many frames can also be filled with insulation, making them an energy efficient option.



Long-term upkeep: Vinyl windows can fade over time, and they are not made to absorb paint or stain.

Aesthetics: This type of window may not be well suited for the look of older, more traditional style homes. However, vinyl frames with overlays that mimics wood grain are available.

Vulnerable to weather extremes: The climate is pretty temperate on this side of the mountains. If you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather, however, you may want to check with an expert to see if vinyl windows will be resilient enough. Vinyl can become brittle during extremely cold weather and pliable when the mercury rises.

Not green: Vinyl is not biodegradable and it can be a challenge to dispose of it properly.

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