Vinyl windows are nothing new — first introduced by BF Goodrich in 1959, they’ve been part of the American home renovation scene for nearly fifty years. Yet for all that longevity, many people don’t know very much about vinyl windows — not what they’re made of, nor what advantages they offer the homeowner.
What is vinyl?
In the simplest possible terms, vinyl is a mixture of petroleum and salt. It comes into existence as a powder, which is used to create a resin. This resin can be extruded — this is how most home replacement windows are created — or molded, or bent into shape used a process called thermoforming.
What is the history of vinyl windows?
They say every cloud has a silver lining. Vinyl windows were born out of the horrors of war. In Post-WW II Germany, there was a tremendous need to rebuild a devastated country — and an equally tremendous shortage of building materials. Rather than using scarce wood or metal to frame windows, Germans began manufacturing vinyl windows.
The trend crossed the pond in 1959, coupling the German innovation with the American taste for streamlined style. The industry hit the ground running and has never looked back.
What are the advantages of vinyl windows?
Vinyl windows originated to counter a shortage in traditional building materials. However, they turned out to be more than a stopgap measure. Vinyl windows offer a number of benefits that make them the window of choice for many homeowners.
Vinyl windows save energy. By eliminating air leakage, vinyl windows keep warm air inside during the winter and cooled air inside during the summer. This obviously has a positive effect on energy costs: if you’re not losing 40% of your heat to the great outdoors, you’ll save a lot of money.
Vinyl windows are earth-friendly! Rather than cutting down trees to produce wood framed windows or mining aluminum from deep below the earth’s surface, vinyl windows can be produced from recycled materials. Vinyl can be recycled and reprocessed repeatedly, and scrap from production is routinely worked back into new material. Industry estimates tell us that as much as 99% of all vinyl manufactured eventually makes its way into a finished product. There is little to no waste — an imperative consideration to those who want to take it easy on the earth.
Vinyl windows have a proud tradition. Born out of necessity, they’ve evolved constantly as manufacturers continually strive to improve energy efficiency and eliminate production waste. This makes them a truly attractive choice for the green, environmentally-conscious homeowner.
It isn’t just environmentalists who opt for vinyl. Homeowners who want to improve the market value of their home often choose vinyl home replacement windows, as do those who want to save money on heating costs.
People may not know the history of vinyl. They may not understand what chemicals go into the frame’s makeup nor the processes that vinyl must go through before it emerges as a shiny new window frame. None of that matters! They can still enjoy vinyl window’s many benefits!