Many San Diego homes built in the latter half of the last century have windows with aluminum frames. This was the latest trend in window technology at the time—surpassing windows with wooden frames in popularity. Today, most homes are built with windows with vinyl frames. But what if you have one of those homes with aluminum frames? Should you replace them or keep them?
Here are a few things to consider:
Aluminum Is a Good Conductor of Heat
You might remember from your high school science class that metals, including aluminum, tend to be good conductors of heat, meaning, they encourage heat transfer. This is a positive attribute when you’re dealing with something like a drink in an aluminum can, as you can quickly cool down the liquid inside the can by placing it in a refrigerator or in a cooler full of ice. The aluminum can allows the cold to pass through and cool your drink relatively quickly.
When it comes to windows, however, you don’t want them to be made with materials that are good conductors of heat. If it’s a hot day outside, windows with aluminum frames will allow the heat from the outside to be transferred to the inside of your house. Similarly, on a rare cold day in San Diego, your old aluminum windows will cause the inside of your house to be colder. This means you are running your air conditioner or heater more often than you’d probably like to, increasing your energy bills.
The majority of today’s windows are made with vinyl frames, including the replacement windows we sell to our San Diego customers. Vinyl is very stingy with the amount of heat it allows to pass through, making the frames extremely energy efficient. Vinyl replacement windows help keep both the heat and cold where they belong—outside! This will keep your home more comfortable, without having to constantly run your air conditioner or heater.
Most Aluminum Windows Are Single Pane Windows
Most of the aluminum frame windows in San Diego homes have only one pane of glass. This was standard when they were installed, but today, pretty much all windows have two, or sometimes even three, panes of glass. Dual pane windows have become the industry standard for a good reason—they greatly increase the energy efficiency of a window. Dual pane windows typically have an insulating gas, such as Argon, in between the two panes of glass, which makes the windows even more energy efficient.
So, if your San Diego home has windows that are made with both aluminum frames and only a single pane of glass, you can be sure that you will experience much greater energy efficiency with new dual pane vinyl windows.
Windows and Doors with Aluminum Frames Tend to Stick
When you live in a place like San Diego, it’s only natural to want to open up the windows and doors in your home most days to enjoy some fresh air. This seemingly simple task can turn into an annoying chore when you have windows that don’t open and close easily.
Over time, aluminum windows and sliding patio doors lose their ability to slide open and closed freely. Often, this can be fixed by cleaning and lubricating the tracks, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always solve the problem. The issue may be that the aluminum has corroded, or that your house has settled over the years, causing the tracks to warp. No amount of lubrication will remedy these latter two issues. So, you can either live with windows and doors that are frustrating to open and close, or you can replace them with new, energy-efficient vinyl windows.
Whenever our San Diego replacement window company replaces old aluminum windows with new vinyl ones, we often get comments from the homeowners about how smoothly their new windows open and close. They no longer have to fight with their windows and doors, since they operate almost effortlessly.
We understand that for most people, having “sticky” windows isn’t reason enough to replace them, but combined with the fact that their old windows are probably also drafty and inefficient, window replacement starts to make a lot more sense.
Replacing Your Old Aluminum Windows
Having all of your home’s windows replaced may sound like a huge, disruptive home improvement project, but it doesn’t have to be! When you work with a San Diego replacement window company like BM Windows, we walk you through the entire process. We help you choose the best windows for your home, take all the measurements, order the products you need from the manufacturer, and complete the installation. In most homes, the window installation itself typically only takes one day! Our installation crew will haul away your old windows and clean up after themselves. All that’s left for you to do is enjoy your new windows!
If you need financing to be able to pay for your new windows, we can help with that as well. We work with a third-party financing company that specializes in funding for energy-efficient home improvement projects like new windows.
If you have any questions about window replacement, we’d be happy to answer them. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members. We won’t pressure you to buy anything if you’re not ready. We’ll just give you all the information you need to help you make an informed decision about replacement windows and doors.