Cheap Vinyl Windows

An explanation of what we mean by cheap vinyl windows is probably in order. These are not our picks for the best affordable vinyl windows. Instead, we want to explain the difference between quality and poorly made vinyl windows. It is often difficult to know whether a vinyl window is well made or simply a cheap product.

There are literally hundreds of poorly made vinyl windows on the market. It doesn't mean they won't work in your home, but they will probably not provide the sort of long term value that purchasing top rated windows from solid manufacturers will get you.

Poorly Made Extrusions

The vinyl extrusion is for all practical purposes the actual frame. At the corners, you see the welds, which can be done well or relatively sloppy. The extrusions have a wall thickness, the thicker the frame the stronger the frame. Certain manufacturers cut production costs by making a thinner wall, which means less strength and worse performance numbers. Less chambers within the extrusion is another way to cut costs, but also reduce the strength and efficiency of the frame.

Bad Seals & Glazing

Glazing and seals help to lower air infiltration, essentially air from getting through the window. Windows that are not properly glazed and sealed will have higher AI numbers and be less energy efficient. The problem is that most seal failure doesn't occur until the homeowners had the units installed for a number of years. The other issue is that unless you are an industry professional, it's almost impossible to tell if the seals and glazing techniques used are shoddy. This is where relying on good bids from solid contractors becomes extremely important.

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Window Glass & IGU

Window glass obviously plays an important role in replacement windows. The glass is part of the IGU or insulated glass unit, which includes the glazing, glass panes, gas fills and spacer units. All of these components work together to create an energy efficient unit that reduces the transfer of heat or cold from the outside of the window to the inside of the house or vice versa. Lower end parts and shoddy manufacturing practices ultimately produces a cheap vinyl window that will not provide the best value for the dollar.