Windows come in a number of different frame and glazing types. Each bringing their own pros and cons.
By combining an energy-efficient frame choice with a glazing type tailored to your climate and application, you can customize each of your home's windows to accommodate your needs and budget the best.
WINDOW FRAME VARIETIES
When one goes window shopping, there is not much thought placed on the actual frame's qualities as much as the window's overall style. Which is completely understandable.
However, knowing what the frames have to offer beyond just it's appearance does help people make better choices that leave them more satisfied in the long run.
For example, improving the thermal resistance of the frame can contribute to a window's overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. There are advantages and disadvantages to all types of frame materials, but vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and some composite frame materials provide greater thermal resistance than metal.
If energy efficiency is particularly important in a household these options may be held in higher esteem.
ALUMINUM OR METAL FRAMES
Aluminum and metal frames hold the advantage of being very strong, lightweight and virtually maintenance-free.
On the other hand, the disadvantage lies in their heat transfer capacity. Metal or aluminum window frames conduct heat very rapidly; for this reason, they are considered to be poor insulating materials. This particular quality is not ideal when a house owner desires to cut down costs on air conditions or heating.
If you are interested in this frame for whatever reason, be it durability, maintenance or it's style, yet still wish for excellent insulation, luckily there are some solutions to this dilemma.
To reduce heat flow and the U-factor, adding a thermal break to the metal frames — an insulating plastic strip placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash is a must! Simply talk to a contractor about the details, add it to your cart, and then enjoy your new and improved insulative metal frames.
Composite window frames consist of composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber. Pros of these composites include their stability, moisture/decay-resistance, low maintenance, and long lasting life cycle of up to 40 years and beyond!
Not to mention, these beauties are recyclable and help residents cut down on their carbon footprint in the long run. They have equal- if not better- structural and thermal properties than conventional wood. The insulation provided by their timber interiors mean your house will be able to stay cozy and toasty all winter long, as you cut down on extra heating costs (Sounds like a win-win to us).
This specific material is definitely a popular favourite in the industry, mainly due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and corrosion resistance. Fiberglass window frames are dimensionally stable and have air cavities that can be filled with insulation, giving them superior thermal performance compared to wood or uninsulated vinyl.
When in doubt, fiberglass window frame is always a great and viable option to purchase.
Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. This is an amazing choice for those on a tight budget, considering that Vinyl is virtually maintenance-free and very affordable in comparison to other materials.
Vinyl window frames also do not require painting and have good moisture resistance. Additionally, the hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames.
If a minimalistic and inexpensive window frame is what you're looking for, vinyl frames might actually be the best choices for your household.
Wood is elegant, durable, classic, long-lasting, and greatly loved for its intricate detailing. Some have even compared wood window frames to fine wine; meaning it's beauty and appeal increases with age. Aside from appearances, wood window frames also insulate relatively well. Sadly, they also tend to expand and contract in response to weather conditions.
If you or someone is attracted and wish to purchase some wood frames, please bear in mind that to keep them in tip-top conditions, wood frames do require regular maintenance. If the added workload does not appeal to you but the appearance is still a must-have in your opinion, look to aluminum or vinyl cladding which help reduce maintenance requirements.