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Vinyl vs. Composite Windows


If you are planning to get new windows, your immediate question will be what frame material is best for your new windows?  Windows are such a significant investment, and as a homeowner, you don’t want to make any mistakes.  While there are many other materials available, most replacement windows are made from either vinyl or composite material.

The vinyl windows are a common replacement window choice. They are made of polyvinyl chloride – a combination of pigments, plasticizers, and chemicals. On the other hand, composite windows are made of a combination of PVC polymers as well as acrylic resins, which makes a super hard, solid core. Although composite windows look like natural wood, maintaining them is easier than wooden windows.

When a homeowner is looking for a replacement window, it is essential to understand the options; differences between various types of windows. In this post, we provide an in-depth comparison between vinyl and composite windows considering various factors:

  • Cost difference

Since vinyl windows are easier to manufacture, they are less costly than composite windows. Although composite windows are more expensive compared to vinyl windows, the cost comes with a value for your money as composite provides a better insulating value than vinyl windows. However, be careful about salespersons who sell composite windows and increased insulation value (U-Value) because the “increase” is insignificant and cannot make up the cost difference.

  • Appearance

Generally, composite windows are available in many colors, while the options for vinyl windows are somewhat limited. In terms of appearance, the composite material is more appealing to the eye than vinyl. The difference between a composite window and a real wood frame window can be challenging to tell. While both vinyl and composite windows make excellent replacement windows, the composite-based windows are always a better solution if you can afford it. If not, a properly installed vinyl window should hold up for a very long time.

  • Durability and Strength

Windows made from vinyl and composite both have a durable and long-lasting finish than the traditional windows made from wood frame. This is because both composite and vinyl are relatively stable in all-weather conditions, thus preventing any possible damage to the finish of the window.

Generally, a good quality vinyl window has a lifespan of about thirty years. But, composite windows are often more rigid than their vinyl counterparts. A more rigid window can withstand many years of stronger winds as well as the window’s expansion and contraction during temperature changes. The increased firmness enables composite windows to avoid bending and twisting to outlive vinyl windows.

  • Energy Efficiency

Both vinyl and composite window materials are comparatively energy-efficient, but one of them is more efficient than the other.  Vinyl windows have insulted frames that no other window materials have. They feature foam insulation in their frames, giving them almost the same energy efficiency as the double-pane, argon gas-filled glass. The vinyl windows are designed and intended to make your home airtight. In contrast, composite windows are ideal, but they cannot pack the same energy efficiency level as the vinyl window.

  • Insulation

On insulation, composite windows are ahead of vinyl. Typically, vinyl windows are thin and hollow, while composite windows are dense and provide better insulation as well as durability. On average, composite windows offer more than 200 percent better insulation than the vinyl windows.

  • Maintenance

Vinyl, like composite windows, is low maintenance. They do not require painting, scraping or staining, and are also resistant to rot. They both may need periodic cleaning and lubrication to help them operate efficiently and look new.

  • Variety

Composite and vinyl windows both come in an assortment of colors, which allows most homeowners to choose options that best match their home theme colors and style

  • Affordability

Vinyl windows will help you save money on your energy bills as well as have a higher Return of Investment (ROI). They are also less costly. Composite windows are more expensive than the vinyl windows, which is practically baffling.


If you want the best window investment option for your home, from these, you can tell which one is best for you. Think about the material first. The material used in constructing a window has a pronounced effect on many things, including durability, energy efficiency, aesthetics, maintenance, insulation, and more.

There is no doubt the vinyl and composite windows have their highs and lows on equal measures, but you can tell exactly what’s right for your home. Go for vinyl windows if you want something more energy-efficient, affordable, and durable.

You can count on Aspen Home Improvement for the best energy-saving windows. Our expert installers have been performing home improvements in DelawarePennsylvaniaWest Virginia, and Maryland for over two decades. Our team of dedicated experts will, therefore, perform window installation and replacement with you in mind.


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