Window installation and maintenance and can be quite complicated. Not surprisingly, a lot of homebuilders prefer working with low-maintenance and easy-to-install vinyl windows. As renowned home improvement expert Bob Vila notes, vinyl requires very little work, often comes pre-painted, and has a reasonable service life span. On the flip side, vinyl windows lack an edge over their aluminum, composite, or fiberglass counterparts in terms of durability.
Regardless of one’s preferred window frame material, Vila also advises homeowners to consider factors like energy efficiency and weather resistance.
Also helpful to anyone shopping for new windows are the ratings provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The council’s ratings differ from Energy Star’s in one important respect: They take into account not only a product’s energy efficiency, but also its ability to withstand extreme weather. Any window that has earned a rating from the NFRC can be expected to perform in temperatures between -20º F to 180º F and in wind speeds up to 155 mph.
Thanks to recent technological advances, vinyl windows have undergone a transformation of sorts. One such milestone is the development of a stronger material called Fibrex®—a patented composite offered only by a select few companies such as Renewal by Andersen® of Orange County—that fuses the simplicity and versatility of vinyl with the durability and environmentally sustainable qualities of wood. These features consequently make Fibrex a highly desirable replacement material for vinyl windows in Orange County.
One of the best features of Fibrex® windows is that they perform rather well in terms of energy-efficiency, which is one of the standards consumers need to keep in mind when choosing replacement windows these days. Such windows generally have a U-factor of at most 0.3, which means that they regulate indoor temperature better than windows with higher U-factor ratings of about 0.4 or 0.5.
Fibrex windows can be repainted, which addresses one of the biggest downsides of ordinary vinyl windows in Orange County CA. Homeowners should remember, however, that no matter how revolutionary and reliable the material may be, Fibrex® is still best complemented by equally reliable window treatments like high-quality wood or poly shutters.
Finally, in terms of environmental sustainability, it is worth noting that Fibrex® is manufactured using recycled wood. As such, households that have made the switch to this composite also do their part in helping save the environment.
(Article Information and Image from Buyer’s Guide to Replacement Windows, Bob Vila)