Energy efficient windows are typically recognized by their treated glass, but don’t neglect the importance of framing materials when shopping for San Diego replacement windows. Window frames contribute up to 30% of the window’s total weather resistance and energy efficiency. Inserting a highly energy-efficient window pane into a frame that allows a terrible amount of heat transfer is self-defeating.
Here’s a short guide to the different types of window framing materials available in San Diego:
Aluminum frames are the cheapest in terms of costs and have been the window frame of choice for many years for their durability and maintenance-free performance. Unfortunately, aluminum window frames are a poor choice for energy efficiency as they conduct and transfer heat at a comparatively high level.
Vinyl frames are less costly then wood window frames and are very common in new window installations. Vinyl frames are hollow units typically welded together to create a continuous material. They are more energy efficient, especially when filled with insulating materials. Vinyl frames can also be treated with UV protection to extend their functional life and prevent degradation.
Fiberglass window frames have been gaining in popularity in recent years. They have the strength of steel with thermal properties that are comparable to wood frames. Fiberglass frames are made from combining reinforced glass fibers and a resin. The material is used extensively in the boat manufacturing industry for it’s thermally stable properties. Fiberglass window frames for San Diego are comparatively expensive to wood window frames.
Wood window frames are the cream of the crop if aesthetics are most important. Nothing has the feel and richness of well-crafted San Diego wood window frames, which also perform admirably in blocking heat. Unfortunately, wood is pricey, as well as less durable. Susceptible to insects and mold, wood window frames require more maintenance and upkeep as they age. Wood treatments and aluminum or vinyl cladding are available to reduce maintenance costs.
A combination of an energy-efficient glazing with the right frame materials will provide the best bang for the buck for San Diego homeowners looking for replacement windows.