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Aluminum vs Vinyl Windows. Which Is Best for Your Window Replacement Project?

7 minutes

Upgrading the windows in your home can bring a lot of benefits. Whether you have broken seals that are causing some condensation inside the windows, or the mechanics are no longer working. The benefits of installing new replacement windows are endless and will open your home to a new world with better clarity and high-performance energy efficiency. The hardest decision that a homeowner can make is what material of window is the best for my climate and my home. There is a wide range of materials to consider but the two most popular options that most homeowners opt into is either choosing vinyl windows or Aluminum. So, which one is the best for your home? In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of vinyl windows and aluminum windows as well as some of the drawbacks. 

What is a Vinyl Window? 

Vinyl windows are primarily used for residential properties. They are made up of PVC, short for Poly-vinyl Chloride. How these windows are made is by blending the PVC with other chemicals which allows the windows to form their shape and will help the vinyl from being degraded by outside elements. Vinyl windows are strengthened with maximum durability by reinforcing them with either steel or fiberglass. The most common colors that you will see for vinyl windows are white, light wood grain or black.  Vinyl windows come in a wide range of window styles including garden windows, casement windows, double hung windows etc. 

What is an Aluminum Window? 

Windows made of aluminum metal, either single or double paned, are popularly used in industrial and commercial buildings because of their long lifespans and their noise reduction capabilities. Despite these benefits, aluminum window frames also have some points against them, so if you want to make an informed choice, be sure to read further and find out.  

Are Aluminum or Vinyl Windows Better For Your Home?

We’ll discuss some of the key differences between aluminum and vinyl windows. See below for a detailed look at what the best window material is for your home.


While vinyl and aluminum are both exceptionally durable and can withstand some abuse. Vinyl windows do take the cake for their minimal maintenance and their ability to withstand some long-term damage without scratches and chips showing to the naked eye. 

Some problems that aluminum windows may have is chipping that shows far more than vinyl windows. The chipping from aluminum is easy to see from even a distance while vinyl is consistent in its look despite the chipping. 

Aluminum also has issues that may not seem like a concern at the time of purchase such as corrosion and fading. When it comes to the durability of both materials, in the more extreme climates aluminum windows can withstand these temperatures slightly better. 

After time, aluminum windows will need to be repainted or refinished to preserve their original look because at some point in their lifetime the finish will fade. Repainting or refinishing aluminum windows may not solve the issue and soon after the repainting they will crack and peel. Additionally, it can be difficult to match the original finish and could possibly make your windows not match one another. 

Color and Design Differences 

Both types of materials come in a wide variety of colors and textures based on what manufacturer that is being used by your contractor. Vinyl windows are known for their traditional style. More than often, manufacturers use a wood grain texture that is great for those who want to keep the older rustic look that they wish with higher efficiency and durability. 

Aluminum windows also tend to come in a wide range of textures and colors. Usually, they have a smooth texture, but some other manufactures do offer other textures as well. 

Energy Efficiency 

Vinyl windows are known as the perfect material for windows when it comes to energy efficiency. Because of their ability to minimize the heat that is absorbed. Vinyl windows are made up of multiple layers of insulation that will keep the chilly air out and will help keep the heat that is already in the home. This helps reduce the amount of money that is spent on energy bills. Additionally, these windows also have a low U-Value rating. This means that this type of window is great for energy efficiency because it has a lower rate at which heat is transferred from one side to the other. 

Aluminum, however, absorbs heat and cold temperatures from outside. This will reduce energy efficiency as your home will work harder to maintain the temperature set in your house. Although with advancements in technology aluminum windows have become more energy efficient. If you do choose the aluminum route, make sure that the window manufacturer that your contractor uses is Energy Star rated. 

Condensation & Maintenance Concerns 

Aluminum windows are known for their continuous maintenance throughout their lifetime. As said before, this material is prone to rusting and mold due to condensation. It is important to clean and dry these windows semi-annually to preserve their natural state. It is also important to note that since these windows are a type of metal, you should regularly lubricate the mechanisms so that they don’t sit for a prolonged period.  

Vinyl windows instead tend to be exceptionally minimal maintenance and usually only require an annual cleaning of the glass. Vinyl windows are made to be durable and require no maintenance beyond a regular cleaning. So, when it comes to vinyl, you don’t have to worry about corrosion or rust, as well as no need to paint or refinish them. Furthermore, with their insulation, they also help keep the temperature all year round and are great for energy efficiency. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance window material, then vinyl is the one for you. 

Noise Pollution 

While both vinyl and aluminum are effective at reducing noise pollution, aluminum is slightly superior to vinyl windows. If you are living in a heavily trafficked neighborhood or live by a busy street, you may consider aluminum to reduce the noise coming from outside. Do remember that the noise pollution control is only as good as the installation and sealant. A high-quality installation is just as important as the material you choose. 

Although our vinyl replacement windows do come in either double pane or triple pane. Triple pane windows are known to give your home an extra energy efficiency boost while also giving your home an extra barrier to reduce the outside noise pollution. 

Cost Difference 

There will be a wide range of options when choosing a window and these options usually run up the price depending on what you choose during an estimate. Usually, vinyl windows due tend to be a cheaper choice than aluminum, not because it is a lower quality material but because of the manufacturing process compared to aluminum. 

Irrespective of the material and contractor you select, investing in new windows for your home will significantly enhance its value. Moreover, the installation of new windows could help you save money in the long run due to the increased energy efficiency. 

Aluminum Windows vs Vinyl Windows: The Definitive Answer

Vinyl windows in our expert opinion tend to be the best choice due to their low maintenance, durability, and affordability. Not to mention they come with a variety of options depending on your needs such as double or triple pane to increase your energy efficiency. Aluminum windows are not a bad choice either, as they are known to be more durable and have better insulation. However, they do require more maintenance and can be more expensive in the long run due to repairs and replacements.

Choose DaBella Exteriors if You’re Looking for a Reliable & Experienced Window Contractor

DaBella is well known as the industry leading home improvement company supplying services for all your exterior needs. We do everything from windows, roofing, siding, and gutters. DaBella offers Preservation® double pane vinyl windows as well as triple pane vinyl windows for extra insulation and reduces noise pollution. DaBella also offers our own line of replacement windows called Glasswing windows. Learn more about our DaBella glasswing windows! 

If you are ready to take the next steps toward your windows, roofing, siding, or bathtub or shower project call our toll-free number at 844-322-3552 or Contact us on our website and fill out a quick form and we will give you a call to further discuss the project you have in mind. 


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Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

Learn more about Steven