Vinyl vs. Aluminum

 

Aluminum

Vinyl (PVC)

Material Characteristics

Wood

Color sprayed on - will scratch, flake & peel. Color can fade/streak - can require scrubbing and/or painting or touch-up

Maintenance-Free

Paint can fade, streak, flake, peel - must be repainted periodically

Requires no painting/finishing inside or out — initially

Requires no painting/finishing inside or out — ever

Must be painted/stained — initially & repainted

Readily conducts heat and cold

High resistance to heat loss or gain

High resistance to heat loss or gain

Supports condensation, frosting in cold weather

Resists condensation

Resists condensation

Waterproof--unaffected by water, except salt water

Waterproof — unaffected by water

Water resistant but vulnerable to water damage

Corrodes in moist, salt-laden air, from pollution and airborne chemicals

Resistant to moist, salt-laden air, pollution, airborne chemicals

Swells, rots, deteriorates in moist, salt-laden air, from pollution and airborne chemicals

Impervious to insects

Impervious to insects

Resistant to insects, subject to insect damage

Subject to abrasion, corrosion that reduces ease of operation--can cause binding and sticking

Smooth surface properties that help prevent moving parts from “sticking”

Subject to swelling from moisture, paint build-up that can cause binding and sticking

Structurally rigid and stable

Structurally rigid and stable. Many designs with excellent wind load ratings

Structurally rigid and stable. Subject to shrinking, swelling, bowing, warping and cracking

Subject to impact damage, denting & scratching

Strong, durable frames, withstands mechanical stress and strains

Subject to impact damage - denting, splintering

Transmits noise

Multi-chambered design insulates against noise

Insulates against noise

Will not support combustion

Will not support combustion. Will burn only while enveloped in flame

Will support combustion - burns readily

Material cost fluctuates dramatically - supply is good

Material is competitive in cost with other window materials. PVC supply is abundant, price is stable

Prices rising dramatically - supply fluctuates

Material is energy intensive to produce, (8-10%), recyclable

Material is energy efficient to produce, recyclable

Material is energy intensive to produce - not recyclable

Scrap in production is recyclable

Limited scrap in production – recyclable

Milling of trees produces tremendous waste. Scrap not readily recyclable. Cutting of trees depletes forests, etc.

Requires finishing which can contribute to “greenhouse” effect, depletes ozone

Material requires no finishing

Requires finishing and preservative treating which can contribute to “greenhouse” effect, depletes ozone

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