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Best Windows for Your Chicago Home: Wood, Vinyl or Aluminum

There are three different types of window materials available – vinyl, wood, and aluminum. When you are ready to replace your old, drafty, inefficient windows, you may need to choose one of these options. Keep reading and discover the pros and cons of each material.
 
Benefits of Vinyl Windows
 
There are many reasons why vinyl is the most preferred replacement window option. Vinyl replacement windows are durable, aesthetically appealing, affordable and almost maintenance free. Vinyl is also known for its amazing insulating properties because it is a poor conductor of heat. For this reason, it stops heat from coming inside the house during the summer months. In the same way, it prevents cold air from coming inside during the winter months. However, not all vinyl windows are the same. You get what you pay for, goes the old saying.
People started using vinyl in the early 1970s, and became widespread not only because they are less expensive but also because they require very little or no maintenance. Moreover, the material is durable and can last for many years.
 
Vinyl Disadvantages
 
As with any manufactured product, vinyl has its own downsides. The material cannot be painted, making it less appealingly to the eye. This means you aren't able to paint them a special color to match with your window shutters, gutters, etc.
 
Aluminum Advantages
 
Aluminum windows are extremely light, yet very strong and durable. They are long lasting and require little maintenance, especially with anodized or factory-baked finishes. If you wish to install windows with unique shapes, you might want to consider aluminum since the metal can easily be manipulated into virtually any shape.
 
Aluminum windows are great for normal climates. In other words, they can be a perfect option in areas where heat or cold is not a major issue. Aluminum windows is mostly used in large commercial buildings as they are less expensive than wood and vinyl.
 
Disadvantages of Aluminum
 
The major problem with aluminum is the fact that it is a good conductor of heat. Therefore, aluminum replacement windows may not be a good option in extremely hot climates. Additionally, aluminum may eventually allow condensation to form between the panes.
 
Advantages of Wood Windows
 
Many homes, especially traditional older homes, are set up with wood windows. True wood has a feel and look that cannot compare to either aluminum and vinyl. Wood is aesthetically pleasing, wood is tough; wood is well insulated. In fact, some vinyl and aluminum window frames try to mimic wood's appearance. Wood windows are environmentally-friendly and can be painted with virtually any color.
 
Disadvantages of Wood Windows
 
One of the major reasons why most homeowners settle for vinyl and aluminum options is the cost. Wood windows are quite expensive. The need for regular maintenance is another good reason most people don’t consider wood. Wood – if left unmaintained – can warp, rot, and start to look ugly. Also, wood is attractive to termites.

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