vinyl windows

Things You May Not Know About Vinyl Windows

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Nothing beats glancing out the window to see something bright, and sitting near the window with a cup of coffee to enjoy a beautiful sunny day is much more relaxing. The best way to let natural light in is through windows. They are no longer just a hole to let light and air in; they are now exquisitely crafted and much more.

Are you planning to build a house or a home builder? The most economical windows are vinyl ones. Vinyl profile designs, called uPVC, can achieve some of the best insulation ratings.

Contrary to wood windows, vinyl is a modern, low-maintenance material that needs little maintenance and is offered in standard RAL colors. Whether you require fixed or casement windows that are new or replacements, look for options that suit your requirements. Also, Vinyl windows in custom sizes and shapes always match your needs.

Windows still provide light, vistas, ventilation, security, noise reduction, and insulation, among other functions. Fortunately, contemporary technology makes customizing the required characteristics easy and reasonably priced. The benefits of double and triple glazing include insulation, soundproofing, and security glass. Additionally, vinyl replacement windows may quickly pay for themselves by reducing monthly utility costs.

What Are the Main Types of Vinyl Window Profiles?

You should be familiar with about seven different kinds of vinyl windows. They consist of:

1. IDEAL 4000 

Overview: IDEAL 4000 Tropical Mix Profile

  • UV-resistant vinyl (uPVC) profile
  • Designed for hot, sunny climates
  • 5 Chamber profile with RAL seal of approval
  • Resists discoloration from sunlight.
  • Designed for hot climates
  • A specially developed vinyl profile material can withstand solar radiation up to 160 kcal/cm2 and 180 kcal/cm2.
  • Certified by AAMA in the USA, RAL in Germany, CSTB in France, and AENOR in Spain.
  • Lead and cadmium-free
  • Recyclable profile
  • Available for both windows and doors
  • Made in Germany

2. IDEAL 5000S

IDEAL 5000S – Details

  • Vinyl frames are available in installation depths of 234 or 318 inches (70 or 80 mm).
  • Triple seals for reliable weather protection
  • 6.5 R-value is achievable with triple glazing and a warm edge spacer (based on configuration).
  • Double and triple glazing is available in thicknesses up to 1588 inches (41 mm).
  • Noise absorption up to 45 dB
  • Available in a range of interior and exterior colors (318 mm frame only),
  • Modernly treated vinyl provides durability and resistance to discoloration.
  • Quality Winkhaus hardware with a range of security options
  • European-style tilt-and-turn opening system
  • Profiles can be manufactured in various shapes, including arches, angles, ovals, and more.
  • All materials are up to 98.2% recyclable and are lead, barium, and cadmium-free.

3. IDEAL 8000S

Technical Details

  • 33⁄8 inch (85 mm) installation depth with multiple chambers
  • An R-value of 7 is possible based on configuration.
  • Double and Triple glazing is available in thicknesses from 15⁄16 to 2 inches (24 to 51 mm) and semi-recessed up to 25⁄16 (59 mm).
  • 3-point sealing: available in papyrus white or black with colored finishes
  • European-style tilt-and-turn opening
  • Sound absorption up to 44 dB
  • Quality Winkhaus activPilot hardware with a range of security options, including standard multipoint locking
  • An array of arches, angles, and shapes are possible—even porthole windows.
  • Frames up to 98.2% recyclable and 100% free of lead, barium, and cadmium
  • Available in all RAL colors and many decors for both the interior and exterior,
  • Modernly treated vinyl provides durability and resistance to discoloration.

4. ENERGETO 5000

Energeto 5000 Features and Advantages at a Glance

  • R-value of 6.5 based on configuration
  • 23⁄4 (70 mm) installation depth
  • Double and Triple glazing are available in thicknesses up to 1.5 inches (38 mm).
  • German-made Winkhaus hardware ensures excellent functionality and security.
  • European-style tilt-and-turn opening
  • 3-point sealing provides weather resistance and additional insulation.
  • Security options include burglary resistance classes up to and including RC2.
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced Ultradur inserts reduce thermal bridging.
  • Fully bonded glazing increases insulation ability.
  • 98.2% recyclable frames; cadmium, barium, and lead-free

5. ENERGETO 8000

A Detailed View of the Energeto 8000

  • Passive House certified
  • Double and Triple glazing up to 17⁄8 (48 mm) provide U-values of up to 0.14.
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced Ultradur® inserts reduce thermal bridging.
  • An installation depth of 33⁄8 (85 mm) ensures larger chamber systems, improving overall insulation.
  • Fully bonded glazing for added thermal performance
  • Quality Winkhaus hardware provides a range of security levels up to RC2.
  • European-style tilt-and-turn opening
  • The triple weather seal system guarantees improved insulating properties.
  • Available in numerous RAL colors and wood decors for both interior and exterior
  • Environmentally friendly: lead, cadmium, and barium-free

6. ENERGETO 8000ED

Technical Details of Energeto 8000ED Profiles

  • Passive House certified
  • 7.7 R-value achievable based on configuration
  • High-pressure polyurethane foam insulation and carbon fiber reinforcement
  • Innovative adhesive bonding insulates glazing and prevents thermal bridging.
  • Ultradur® inserts create a multi-chamber profile.
  • 33⁄8 -inch (85 mm) installation depth for larger insulating chambers
  • Triple glazing up to 17⁄8 inches (48 mm) thick
  • Sound insulation: 41 dB
  • Available in classic white and with decorations.
  • Extremely weather-resistant due to modern vinyl material mixtures
  • 3-point sealing with gaskets is available in black and white.
  • Quality German hardware with multipoint locking for burglary protection.
  • It has a 98.2% recyclable profile and is lead, cadmium, and barium-free.

7. ALUPLAST IDEAL 7000

Essential Facts

  • Vinyl window with conventional glazing
  • Energy-saving 6-chamber profile system
  • Recessed design
  • Construction depth of 85 mm for larger chambers
  • A modern sealing system with two continuous sealing levels
  • Heat insulation up to Uw = 0,70 W/(m2K) with triple glazing
  • Glass pane thickness up to 51 mm
  • Noise reduction of Rw ≤ 46 dB (noise protection class 4)
  • Frame with open steel reinforcement of 1,5 mm thickness
  • Basic security due to two security locks per window sash and burglar-resistant pins with closing pressure adjustment
  • Optionally, the window can be upgraded to the RC-2 standard.
  • Design in white or décor
  • Extremely resistant against weather damage through plastics with modern additive technology
  • Used material is recyclable at 97%.
  • Aluplast 7000 vinyl profiles are free of lead, cadmium, and barium.

Benefits of Choosing Vinyl Windows

Image Source: finehomebuilding.com

1. Energy Efficiency

Due to their excellent insulating properties, vinyl windows are among the most energy-efficient options. The PVC material used in these windows helps reduce heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This reduces reliance on heating and cooling systems, resulting in lower electricity consumption, cost savings on utility bills, and superior thermal performance.

2. Budget Friendly

Vinyl windows are often less expensive than wooden or fiberglass ones. The lower initial cost and energy-efficient properties mean they save money on utility bills over time.

3. Low Maintenance

Vinyl windows are nearly maintenance-free, perfect for homeowners or those looking to reduce maintenance tasks. Vinyl windows don't require painting or staining like wood windows do. Instead, they just need to be cleaned occasionally with mild water to maintain their appearance and functionality.

4. Design and Style Options

Vinyl windows usually come in various styles and configurations, allowing homeowners to find the ideal match for their home's aesthetics and architectural preferences. Whether you prefer a more modern design or a traditional look, vinyl windows offer customization and versatility options.

What Are the Different Styles of Vinyl Windows?

1. Single-Hung Windows

Image Source: thinkalpen.com

Single-hung windows have two sashes, where the bottom sash is movable, but the top sash is fixed and doesn't move. These windows are a cost-effective option and are commonly used in different settings. Besides, they are among the most common and traditional window styles used in residential and commercial buildings.

2. Double-Hung Windows

Image Source: architecturaldigest.com

Like single-hung windows, double-hung windows also come with two ashes. However, the top and bottom sashes are operable, meaning they can move up and down independently, allowing for more ventilation options. They're versatile and easy to clean. Moreover, they're popular and widely used in residential buildings.

3. Awning Windows

Image Source: windowshamilton.ca

Awning windows are usually hinged at the top and open from the bottom. They are usually called "awning" windows since their opening action resembles an awning, a roof-like shelter extending from a building's exterior. They are well-suited for offering ventilation while keeping rainwater out, making them a great option for rainy climates.

4. Casement Windows

Image Source: harveywindows.com

When operated, these windows are hinged on one side and open outward like doors. They are attached to the window frame with hinges along one vertical edge, and a crank or lever mechanism is used to open and close them. Casement windows usually provide unobstructed views and great ventilation. Moreover, they are often used where you want to capture prevailing breezes effectively.

5. Sliding Windows

Image Source: diamondglasscrawley.co.uk

Sliding windows, also known as gliding windows, have two or more sashes that operate horizontally by sliding open and closed along a track, with at least one being able to slide over the other. They're easy to operate and require minimal space for opening, making them perfect for areas with limited clearance.

6. Bay Windows

Image Source: armourwindows.co.uk

Bay windows protrude outward from the main wall of a building, creating a bay or alcove inside the room. These windows usually consist of three or more windows (a large picture window flanked by smaller windows on each side), creating a panoramic view and allowing more natural light to enter the room. They add architectural interest to a room and create additional interior space.

7. Bow Windows

Image Source: stanekwindows.com

Bow windows are a type of window design that resembles bay windows but is usually more curved or rounded. They consist of four or more windows that create a gentle, curved projection from the wall, which creates a projecting bay inside the room. These windows provide a panoramic view and allow ample natural light to enter the space.

8. Picture Windows

Image Source: architecturaldigest.com

Picture windows are fixed windows that do not open or have movable parts. They are designed to offer expansive views and allow natural light into the room, functioning as a large fixed glass pane. Picture windows are often combined with other operable windows for aesthetics and functionality.

Conclusion 

Anyone planning home improvements need to first measure the right measurements of windows and doors. Knowing the right window size is the first step before buying or upgrading. This is the only way to ensure a smooth, professional installation process and prevent difficulties.

When it comes to shape, size, color, insulation, security, and noise reduction, UPVC windows are the ideal material to use for customization. The best part is that they do not conflict with each other. Top energy-efficient windows, for instance, can have a trapezium design and offer outstanding security. Besides, storm windows can be a cost-effective way to enhance the efficiency of your home's existing windows.

Frequently Asked Questions on Vinyl Windows

1. What Are the Disadvantages of Vinyl Windows?

  • Vinyl windows have limited color options.
  • They have a lower aesthetic appeal.
  • They might not be as strong as some other window materials.
  • Unlike wood windows that can be repainted, sanded, or refinished to address damages, vinyl windows are more challenging to repair.
  • Vinyl windows can distort or warp in extreme heat or direct sunlight.

2. What Are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl is one of the most popular materials for replacement windows. Vinyl windows are made of PVC or polyvinyl chloride. It is made by mixing ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl is a synthetic plastic material resistant to rotting or breaking down when exposed to water and humidity.

3. Are Vinyl Windows Any Good?

Vinyl windows are usually less durable than wood windows. However, they can last for over 20 years. High-quality vinyl windows will also save you money on electricity bills since the insulation in the window's frame is energy efficient. Moreover, vinyl windows require no maintenance since they never need scraping or painting.

4. How Long Do Vinyl Windows Last?

Vinyl windows can last between 20 and 40 years on average, depending on factors such as the climate and conditions you live in. For example, if your windows are in direct sunlight for a long time, the vinyl will break down quickly and last closer to 20 years.

5. Are Vinyl Windows Better than Glass?

A fiberglass window will still look great 50 years after installation, whereas a vinyl window will last around 20–40 years. Besides, fiberglass does a great job of preventing temperature loss, making it more energy-efficient. Furthermore, its glass base usually gives it better insulation than vinyl, which is vital if you live in a noisy neighborhood.

6. Why Choose Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows are sturdy, durable, energy-efficient, and aesthetically appealing. Since they are easier to make, having high-quality windows that keep the cold in when it gets hot and humid outside and the heat during cold winters will cost less.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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