When looking to replace the windows in your home you have plenty of materials to choose from, including metal window options. Metal windows and doors such as aluminum are so much better today than they were even in the 70s and 80s. Let’s take a look at these metal window options and see if they are something you would consider.
There are two main types of metal window options: aluminum and steel. These are the most commonly used metals for windows. Common non metal materials used would be wood and vinyl for the most part. To help you understand the pros and cons of metal windows, let’s take a quick look at the other types.
Windows were usually made out of wood from the beginning and the reason it is still so common is because of the versatility that wood offers. You can paint, stain and design them pretty much any way you desire. However, wood can be expensive and drafty which means you’d need to spend more money on weather stripping. They also require regular maintenance as wood can rot and swell depending on the weather.
Vinyl probably has the best insulation of them all because most of the new types are double glazed. While not as versatile as wood, vinyl can still be sold in several different finishes and does not require a lot of up keep.
Now that you know a little bit about non metal windows, let’s take a look at your metal options.
Advantages of Aluminum
- One of the main pros is that as light as the material itself is, it is extremely strong and durable.
- Another is that aluminum barely requires any up keep or maintenance.
- It is very flexible and can be molded into the shape you desire.
- It is comparatively inexpensive.
Disadvantages of Aluminum
- As with all metal window options, aluminum is a terrible insulator and does not hold the heat inside very well.
- Aluminum tends to function poorly in cold weather.
- In the winter, aluminum may allow condensation or frost to form on the insides
When Can Aluminum be Used?
Not so much when, as where. Aluminum is most beneficial in areas where the cold is not a concern. If that factor is out of the way then aluminum really is ideal.
Advantages of Steel
- Steel windows and doors are relatively strong just like aluminum. All metal window options are going to give you that durability and security that you need.
- They are easy to clean and up keep, much like aluminum also. However, steel tends to have a nicer finish which a quick buff with reveal.
- Not easily warped or bent or corroded.
- Cold does not affect steel like it does aluminum.
Disadvantages of Steel
- The material is extremely heavy so putting it in yourself is probably off the table.
- Steel can be easily dented.
- If the steel is painted, it will probably chip quickly.
- Steel is very susceptible to the surrounding air so they will be very cold or hot to the touch depending on the weather outside.
The window type that you decide on really depends on the climate you live in and the budget you have as well as the look you are going for. There is no wrong option, only more or less work and money involved. Finding the right window for you and your family is very important. Windows can be seen from the outside of the house as well as the inside and need to offer sufficient privacy and security to make everyone inside feel welcomed and at home.
On a side note, if you are buying a new home and that is why you are looking into window material types, if it isn’t to late, try to design your home so that many of the windows are south facing. South facing windows have a solar heat gain coefficient of more then 0.6 which really helps to maximize the solar heat during the winter and also work to reduce conductive heat.