Aluminum or Vinyl: Which Is a More Energy-Efficient Window Material?


Vinyl is the better choice for window installation in Utah if your sole requirement focuses on energy efficiency, as the material is usually a better choice than aluminum windows.

Aluminum conducts heat and cold that eventually causes condensation on window frames. If you live in a place with extremely cold weather, this will be problematic because condensation may cause mold growth over time. Aluminum isn’t also a good choice for homeowners who live near the beach or coastal areas due to sea salt corrosion.

Why Vinyl Is Energy-Efficient

The quality of vinyl for windows will determine its performance, although most brands work well against controlling humidity levels and insulating extremely cold or hot temperatures. Condensation can still affect vinyl windows, although it’s relatively lower than aluminum. Pick energy-star rated products to ensure the windows’ efficiency, especially if you’re after a good thermal break.

Remember that vinyl can most likely warp under extreme heat if you don’t purchase a high-quality brand. When properly maintained, vinyl windows can last for up to 40 years and provide an investment return of up to 74%.

Aluminum Still Has Its Advantages

Homeowners who like a structurally sound window should choose aluminum. Vinyl doesn’t perform well when exposed to strong impact like heavy wind and rain. In other words, aluminum windows are a better choice to protect your home during a storm or tornado. You can buy aluminum with thermal improvement for better energy efficiency, but this kind costs more than the usual ones available in the market.

Most standard aluminum windows don’t have thermal breaks, so heat and cold can easily be transferred inside the house. Your HVAC system will then have to work harder during the summer and winter. The good thing about investing in high-quality aluminum involves the return on investment, which can reach up to 80% of the project’s cost.

Cost of Window Installation

window installation

The price of installation for aluminum or vinyl windows will greatly depend on where you live in Utah. For instance, most homeowners in Salt Lake City spend around $1,900 for installing five windows or approximately $380 each. The price already includes the cost of labor, job materials and supplies. Your actual expenses will, of course, vary when you plan to install more windows.

If you need to replace a functional window with an energy-efficient one, look for windows with a lower U-factor that indicates better resistance against heat loss. Windows with a lower U-factor are more expensive, so you should expect to spend more than the average price in the city when you choose this type. The ideal U-factor for double-pane windows should be at least 0.30, while triple-pane windows can have as low as 0.15.

Vinyl isn’t just a better material than aluminum for window installation in Utah, but it also lasts longer than the former. However, keep in mind that aluminum is more durable and sustainable than vinyl. Whichever you choose, you need to hire a professional for installing the material since it can’t be done by yourself.

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