Vinyl Windows Pros And Cons

See the vinyl windows pros and cons including what they are, reasons for and against, different grades, lifespan, painting advice, and if vinyl windows are best for your home.
White vinyl window wood flooring white wallHomeowners looking for durable yet budget-friendly window replacements opt for vinyl windows. This alternative has been popular since the 1970s. The energy crisis made consumers look for energy-efficient materials for doors and windows. 

In this article, we will discuss several points to help you decide whether vinyl windows are the right fit for you or not.

What Are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows balcony brick wallVinyl windows are made of PVC or polyvinyl chloride. PVC is a synthetic plastic material. This is the same material that makes up electrical and plumbing pipes. PVC is flexible. Window frames made of this material prevent air leaks.

One ingredient in making vinyl windows is titanium dioxide. This element is heatproof and can prevent heat loss. Your heater does not have to work hard to keep the house warm.

The same applies to your air-conditioner. You do not have to keep it running full blast the whole day. 

Once the room temperature cools down, you can set the air-conditioner at a low level. Your appliances will consume less energy. This means reduced electricity bills.

Pros Of Vinyl Windows

Living room with wood floors yellow couch vinyl windows rug white wallsAside from being an excellent insulator, installing vinyl windows have the following advantages:

Reduced energy cost

The vinyl window is heat resistant. It prevents heat from getting into your home during summer. Your home will stay cozy during the cold months. 

Your heater and air-conditioner do not have to work hard to keep a balanced temperature. This means they consume less energy.


Vinyl windows are one of the least expensive window replacements. Yet, this does not mean that it has low quality. Consumers prefer it for its durability. 

It does not rot, decay, or corrode. With this type of window, your home can be Energy Star Qualified. You can enjoy tax credits and save money. 

The distinction adds value to your home and you can sell it for a good price in the future.

Low maintenance

Vinyl windows do not scratch easily. You can wash them with any cleaning materials to remove stains. 

You do not need to paint them. Heat and rain do not affect them. They do not age as fast as other materials.


Vinyl windows come in different colors, sizes, and styles. You can find your favorite colors among the options.Black vinyl windows are a popular option for modern home styles and even other styles such as craftsman or farmhouse designs.

Sizes also vary. There are standard sized windows. There are sizes for different types of sliding doors or French doors that you can have them customized as well.

Cons Of Vinyl Windows

Masters bedroom with wood floor vinyl windows lamp white wall door rugCoins have two sides and so do vinyl windows. If they have their pros, they have their cons as well. Here are the disadvantages of vinyl windows.

Costly customization

Vinyl windows come in standard sizes and shapes. If you have a specific shape and dimension in mind, you can request a customized one. But, be ready for the high cost.

Varied quality

With the rising popularity of vinyl, you can find a lot of them in the market. This can affect quality. Make sure to read reviews of the line first. Low-quality vinyl windows can crack or get deformed.

Not changeable

Once you choose a vinyl window, commit yourself to your choice. You might decide to repaint your house using a different color. 

It will be impossible to paint the windows to match the new color scheme. Despite these downsides, vinyl windows continue to be more popular than other materials.

Different Grades Of Vinyl Windows

Bedroom with vinyl windows bed interior door pillows shuttersAfter learning about the different vinyl windows pros and cons, you may have a hard time choosing since there are lots of them in the market. Generally, there are two grades of vinyl windows – low grade and high grade.

High-grade vinyl types of windows are thicker than low-grade ones. Ask for a cross-section of the item you want to buy. 

You can see how thick it is when it is cut across. A thick vinyl window will have a longer life span than a thin one.

The corners of a high-grade vinyl window are fused together. Air cannot leak from it. Low-quality ones have their corners screwed together. There is a big chance of an air leak in the future. 

High-grade vinyl windows bear the NFRC (National Fenestration Ratings Council} label. Take note that low-grade ones do not have this label.


The U-values tell how well the window acts as an insulator. The ideal U-values range from 0.20 to 1.20.

SHGC or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

The SHGC tells how much of the heat of the sun comes through the window. A coefficient of 0 to 1 is ideal.

VLT or Visible Light Transmittance

This is the amount of visible light that transmits through a window. It ranges from 40% to 70%. A lower VLT is always a sign that the vinyl window is of high grade.

CR or condensation Rate

Some vinyl windows cannot resist condensation on the inside of the window. Higher values are better than lower values. Lower R values mean low-grade vinyl windows.

What Is the Life Span of Vinyl Windows?

Kitchen with white cabinets vinyl windows sink stoveUpgrading a residential property is expensive. Homeowners on a limited budget turn to vinyl windows for replacement.

Aside from being affordable, this window material is durable and energy-efficient. High-grade vinyl windows can last for several decades. 

On average, you can use them for 20 to 40 years. Their life span is longer than that of wood or metal windows.

Can Vinyl Windows Be Painted?

Contractor painting vinyl window frameMany homeowners may want to consider a fresh paint job after learning these vinyl windows pros and cons. Yet, painting vinyl windows is not a good idea. The paint you apply will eventually flake and peel off.

Cleaning the window and applying a coat of primer can cause the material to warp and the glass to break. 

The best thing to do is to choose a vinyl window with a hue that can go with any color you use to repaint your house.

Are Vinyl Windows Good?

Living room with vinyl windows couch rug lamp cushionVinyl windows are made of PVC, a plastic material that has a high insulation rating. Homes with windows of this material are energy-efficient. This means that aside from reduced energy consumption, they can enjoy tax incentives.

Have an affordable, durable, and energy-efficient window replacement. Opt for vinyl windows. They are a good, if not the best option.

See more related content in our article about wood vs vinyl windows on this page.

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