What are the pros & cons of vinyl replacement windows?

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Homeowners in the Kansas City area that are looking to upgrade their windows have a variety of materials to choose from, and one of the most popular is vinyl replacement windows. They offer a solid list of benefits and are considered one of the least-expensive materials to choose for replacement windows. We’re going to look at the pros and cons of vinyl replacement windows.

What Are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows are one of the most popular replacement window materials on the market. Vinyl windows are constructed from extruded polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC. They are unique in that they are relatively cheap to produce, and while the material can be scratched, those scratches are nearly invisible since the material is colored, it’s not just a surface application.

The Pros & Cons Of Vinyl Replacement Windows


Energy Efficient

The energy efficiency of vinyl windows is nothing short of extraordinary. Vinyl is considered an excellent insulator, and it lowers the amount of heat that is transferred through the window by a considerable amount. This insulation results in multiple benefits for the home and its owner.

Firstly, the replacement windows will provide a more comfortable living space by eliminating drafts and heat loss. This improved performance results in the home being more energy efficient overall, which helps keep the home warm in the cold months, and cooler during the hotter months. This lower climate control requirement has a twofold benefit, not only will the homeowner potentially lower their energy bills, but less wear and tear will be put on the HVAC equipment which helps them operate more efficiently and lowers maintenance and repair costs over the long term.


Another great benefit of vinyl windows is that they require nearly zero maintenance. Unlike wood and aluminum windows, vinyl windows don’t need to be painted or stained to retain their appearance. This is due to the unique manufacturing process of vinyl windows.

When vinyl windows are made, the color is incorporated into the material itself. This eliminates the need to ever paint the windows. It also makes them incredibly scratch resistant, because even if the material is scratched, it remains difficult to see since the color is homogenous throughout the material. The only maintenance they’ll need is a periodic cleaning, and that’s easier than it sounds.

Easy To Clean

Vinyl windows will need to be cleaned once or twice per year, but they are wildly easy to care for once installed. In many cases, light soiling can be quickly removed by simply hosing down the window frame. Heavier cleaning can be done with a light soap and water solution, a soft bristle brush, and a garden hose. For most of the year, periodic rains will keep the windows looking brand new.


Vinyl Is Susceptible To Heat & Intense UV

One major downside to vinyl windows is that they are susceptible to heat and prolonged, intense UV exposure, which can both be exacerbated with darker window colors. While it’s not an immediate effect, windows on a South or West exposure may see repeated heating begin to warp the window or cause it to sag.

This is because the heat softens the vinyl and it begins to deform under its own weight, after several years. Vinyl is, structurally, a relatively weak material, and will generally need to be replaced sooner than similar materials.

Complicated “Lifetime” Warranties

While many vinyl windows state that they come with lifetime warranties, this can be misleading. The warranties are incredibly complicated and restrictive, and it is rare for a homeowner to be able to have a warranty window replacement after several years. When evaluating vinyl windows, be sure to read the full warranty and understand all of the warranty stipulations and conditions before committing.

Vinyl Replacement Windows In Kansas City

If you have been considering some exterior upgrades for your home, or simply want to look at options for upgrades down the road, vinyl windows may be a great candidate. For more information on vinyl replacement windows or for answers to any questions you may have, reach out today and speak to one of the trusted local window experts at Thermal King.