If you are considering new home windows, you can find far more options available than in previous years. Virtually infinite color, finish, design, and material options are available to help you find the best look for your house.

Aluminum and vinyl are currently the two main choices for window material for new building windows. Wooden windows, usually seen in older homes, are generally not as common as more energy-efficient modern technology windows and windows that are currently on the market.

There are both advantages and drawbacks to aluminum windows and vinyl windows. Knowing the benefits of each kind can help buy new windows. We have mentioned some differences between aluminum and vinyl/PVC window.

differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows

Differences Between Aluminum VS Vinyl Windows

Here are some additional helpful details to help you make the right choice before purchasing your new windows. Have a look at10 difference between Aluminum vs Vinyl Windows:

Particulars Aluminum Vinyl
Appearance Versatile, stylish, and modern It typically comes in plain white and is good at replicating the texture of wood
Durability Durable in areas of storm Unless enhanced with impact-resistant glass, non-storm-resistant
Life 30+ years 20-40 years
Cost Casement: 650-850 dollars. Sliding: 800-1,200 dollars. Awning: 450-600 dollars. (Not including installation costs.) Casement: 500-675 dollars. Sliding: $575-775 dollars. Awning: 375 dollars. (Not including installation costs.)
Maintenance Needs special cleaner Low
Strength Strong Not as strong unless strengthened
Insulation Good Excellent
Noise Quiet Doesn’t block noise well
Popularity Incredibly popular for commercial buildings Very common in-home construction.
Brands  Atrium, Crystal, Marlin, Milgard, Pella American Craftsman, Andersen, Jels-Wen, Kolbe, Pella, Ply Gem, Simonton


Know more about the characteristics and features to explore differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows are described below. It might help to clear and confusion go for the appropriate one.

Aluminum Windows

A window with traditional glass window panes, plus a window frame and/or window sash made of aluminum, is an aluminum window. If there is a window grille, it is usually made of aluminum as well.

Compared to other window fabrications, aluminum windows provide many benefits. A top-selling point is that it is possible to build extremely narrow aluminum frames. Narrow frames are ideal because they can eliminate the window design’s focus to the glass, or more specifically, what’s beyond the glass. The result is that it’s the view that catches your eye, rather than the window itself when you glance out the window.

Aluminum windows are suitable for various architectural styles. They are especially ideal for use in modern design and construction projects in a contemporary style. They also look good in traditional-style houses.

1. Lifespan

Aluminum windows have a longer lifetime and are designed to last longer. You can get anywhere from 40-50 years from your windows if properly cared for and maintained. They are tightly crafted and extremely robust. Compare this to wood windows that are approximately 10-15 years before maintenance or repair is needed. Plus, they don’t degrade.

 2. Durability

Aluminum windows are highly durable, even in the hottest or coldest conditions, and do not bend or twist, which is why many homeowners choose them. Aluminum windows are also one of the window market’s best materials available.

The frame is designed to withstand inclement weather, even in high temperatures, the edges do not warp, contract, or extend. Durability can be regarded as one of the major differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows.

3. Corrosion

Corrosion is a concern with aluminum. You will find that, especially around the metallic silver zone, aluminum windows deteriorate and corrode. The steel or zinc fasteners used for aluminum windows can corrode and pit over time, especially in environments like salty-air coastal towns. On aluminum windows, the enamel finish is more vulnerable to fading in heavy sunlight.

4. Maintenance

Aluminum requires some care, particularly when it comes to the track and the window runners. You need to periodically clean them out, or you may find it almost impossible for your windows to open and close.

Since they are susceptible to condensation, which can lead to rust or mold, aluminum should be cleaned, rinsed, and semi-regularly dried with a special aluminum cleaner. To avoid undue wear and tear on the metal mechanisms, be proactive in lubricating the moving parts as well.

5. Eco-friendliness

Aluminum is eco-friendly because it can be recycled. Such windows are often removed from homes and recycled or reused afterward. One thing to keep in mind is that aluminum is not energy-efficient. At the same time, it is environmentally friendly, which can be a deal-breaker for those who are conscious of keeping the environment green. This point also takes the upper hand in the differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows.

differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows

6. Resale value

Aluminum windows have a return on investment of around 60 to 80 percent, along with almost all other windows. With aluminum windows, you will recover some of your income.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl Windows are windows constructed from PVC, a plastic material. Vinyl windows were produced to compete against more costly wood windows in the 1970s. Vinyl windows now account for about the same market share as wood windows, considering their relative youth.

Thanks to an initial uniformity of craftsmanship, most individuals can identify vinyl windows; they are white windows made of a plastic material. Vinyl windows have already existed in colors other than white in the last two decades.

1. Installation

A professional should have vinyl windows installed. Each window form can be a reasonably simple DIY project, but you will pay for it later if you install one of your windows poorly. This versatility makes it easier and quicker to install. Vinyl is a flexible material that easily contracts and expands. If the vinyl is not already set, it must be put into the frame once the window is built.

2. Cost

For both buying and installing, vinyl is the least costly. A 48-inch vinyl window would cost between $520 and $730, each costing about $250 for installation. This makes the overall cost between $770 and $980 for each built window. The price is lower and is one of the differences between aluminum and vinyl windows regarding cost efficiency.

3. Durability

Since vinyl is a flexible material, drastic temperature changes cannot be controlled by the windows and will warp. This can also leave the vinyl stretched with a blurred appearance which is unpleasant. Also, with vinyl windows, corrosion is not a problem.

differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows

4. Environment concerns

Vinyl windows are made from PVC, which is not biodegradable. There is debate about whether harmful gases are emitted during and after the windows’ processing. Many eco-conscious individuals do not choose vinyl windows.

5. Energy efficiency

Among all the above points, this can be considered the major differences between aluminum and vinyl windows, where vinyl windows have the upper hand. Today’s vinyl windows on the market are energy-efficient and offer the cost savings you expect when you invest in new windows.

Vinyl is energy-efficient because it is designed to decrease any heat transfer and limit the amount of light penetration that shines through the window. Vinyl windows help control the home’s internal temperature, which makes it possible for the HVAC system to run less effectively, thereby making the vinyl windows energy-efficient.

These are the differences between aluminum vs vinyl windows which will help you distinguish between them both. Considering the environment and the structure, both the materials are long-lasting and suitable for installation.


(Last Updated On: March 27, 2021)