Do you know what to look for in a window? There are several important factors that you should consider. Among them is the material used to make your windows. What your window is made of can affect both the comfort of your home and the amount of money that you spend on energy. The two most popular window materials are aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum has been the more widely used of the two for a long time, especially in residential buildings. Vinyl is now catching up in popularity but both have their benefits and drawbacks. Here are some factors that may help you to decide between them.

Noise Insulation

An aluminum window has greater mass and therefore provides better noise insulation. This can be further improved if the aluminum window is double glazed. If your home is in a location where noise is a major issue, aluminum is the better option of the two. For vinyl windows to provide the same level of noise protection, they have to be extremely thick and this may detract from the appearance of your home.


While both vinyl and aluminum are very durable materials, an aluminum window will be stronger than a vinyl one. There are fifty-year-old homes with aluminum windows that still have the original windows intact. Aluminum is resistant to rust and holds up better than vinyl in rough weather. You should also consider the fact that a vinyl window can warp if your location is prone to dramatic variations in temperature, an aluminum window will not.


Your color options are varied when it comes to vinyl, you can even find vinyl that looks like real wood. With vinyl, the color is actually a part of the material and therefore it will retain its appearance without the need for refinishing. One downside here is that vinyl cannot be painted and it may be difficult to find vinyl that is an exact match to your home’s exterior. Even though it is resistant to rust, an aluminum window can dull when it becomes oxidized and it can also corrode due to chemicals in the air. Additionally, aluminum is a soft metal and can pick up dents and scratches. You can paint your aluminum window to match your home’s exterior exactly but that paint can flake or chip over time, which means that some maintenance may eventually be necessary.


Replacing broken glass in an aluminum window is a fairly easy task since these windows are usually screwed together. You have only to unscrew the frames and replace the pane. Vinyl windows are glued and this makes the task much more difficult.


Vinyl has a slight advantage in terms of up-front cost and is also more energy efficient. Vinyl is usually less expensive to purchase unless you plan on getting a low-end aluminum window. It also has good insulating properties whereas aluminum has poor thermal resistance and because of the fact that an aluminum window transfers heat, condensation can result. In some cases, that condensation can lead to problems such as moisture between the window and the walls which can result in costly problems like mildew.

Environmental Friendliness

Aluminum can be recycled and is thus less harmful to the environment than vinyl. Vinyl is made of polyvinyl chloride and is therefore not biodegradable.
If you are still having trouble deciding which of the two materials you want to use, consult a professional. They may be able to tell you which one is best suited for your home’s design and location.