When you have made the decision to get replacement windows for your home you often arrive at a choice of either vinyl or Fibrex windows. It can be confusing for the average homeowner as there are so many companies with ads out there extolling the virtues of the products they sell. This guide may not make you an expert in window replacement but at least you will have a general understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of these two most popular types.
Windows have generally two components, the frame which is the part that attaches to the rest of the house and that also hold the moving window parts, the sash. The frame must always remain straight and true in order to prevent any air leakage and the sash should remain straight and true as well.
Next we have to consider the variable that is of particular importance in both in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and that is the weather. Here in the desert southwest we have to contend with extremely high summer temperatures along with low humidity.
If we were only interested in being energy efficient then we could live in underground homes; without any windows and where the temperature would be stable most of the year. Another option is again to not have any windows whatsoever and just have insulated walls.
Since that’s not a the common choice for most of us, we return to the question at hand, vinyl or Fibrex?
1. Which performs better – vinyl or Fibrex windows?
Ask yourself this question, “Which is cooler to the touch a wood chair or a vinyl one”?
If you answered wood, you are correct. Fibrex is made of both wood and thermoplastic polymers which gives you the combination of both of these insulators.
Fibrex material blocks thermal transfer nearly 700 times better than aluminum to help reduce heating and cooling bills.
To understand the performance of vinyl windows one has only to look at vinyl car interiors that warp after a few years or to look at that lawn chair that sat in the sun for a summer and became very brittle. If the window parts don’t meet up perfectly straight then the insulation value and comfort is nil if air is leaking in between the window parts. Vinyl windows start to soften at temperatures 80 degrees lower than Fibrex, in fact vinyl siding has been shown to permanently warp from the effects of sun reflected off a neighbor’s window.
2. Which replacement windows look better vinyl or Fibrex replacement windows?
The glass area is also remarkably reduced because of this and smaller windows lose a tremendous amount of glass along with visibility and light because of this.
Fibrex window construction is much closer to the look of wood windows, as it does not have to employ such thick materials in order to provide structural strength.
3.What about the cost difference between vinyl and Fibrex windows?
Vinyl windows are sold by hundreds of manufacturers and import distributors across the country and that highly competitive climate creates many levels of prices and quality. Some vinyl windows are made very thin and cheaply and can therefore be sold for very little. Other manufacturers claim to make a vinyl window from “virgin vinyl” (no such thing) and charge very high prices, oftentimes much higher than Fibrex windows. However, when you compare the performance and costs of vinyl windows vs Fibrex even with these cheap vinyl windows factored in, the Fibrex option will always come in at a much better price point. You, the homeowner need to decide if the positive qualities of Fibrex windows such as the aesthetics, performance and construction hold the necessary value to outweigh the low price of cheap vinyl windows.
At Renewal by Andersen of Phoenix and Las Vegas, we can help you find a solution for your window improvement problems by having one of our design consultants provide for you a FREE in-home estimate today.