The Gateway to the West. The Arch. Air so thick you struggle to breathe and winters chilly enough that you still need a parka. These things characterize the St. Louis area. When you live in an area that has four legitimate seasons, you want to make sure you can live in relative comfort despite the temperature variance.
Quality windows, not just an HVAC system, will make the biggest difference in creating a climate-controlled home.
Because the weather in St. Louis area varies from 25 degrees in the winter to a muggy 90 degrees in the summer, you need to consider which windows will work best for your home to keep the heat where heat belongs, whether it’s inside your home on a cold winter day or outside your walls on those oppressively humid dog days of summer.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about vinyl windows in St. Louis.
What Are Vinyl Windows?
When you think of vinyl windows, you may have immediate visions of yellow, cracking, warped window frames with moisture locked between window panes.
And you would be right if we were living in 1975.
The vinyl windows of the twenty-first century are not your grandma’s windows.
Vinyl windows have been around for a while. They were invented in the 1950s in Germany when wood, aluminum, and steel were scarce, and builders were looking for a suitable replacement.
The energy crisis of the 1970s made vinyl windows a popular choice, and they’ve stuck around and improved with time.
You may have memories of yellowed frame windows that left their pristine white finish behind years after their installation. Sun turned the sheer, pliable white to brittle, yellowed material, and your grandma would have had to replace them more quickly than the wooden windows of the past.
Heat, humidity, and cold all wreaked havoc on these windows.
St. Louis, you weren’t kind to vinyl.
But that’s not today’s vinyl. Twenty-first-century vinyl is composed of synthetic materials made from ethylene and chlorine. We call it polyvinyl chloride, or PVC or vinyl for short.
Vinyl generally speaking is resistant to moisture, humidity, and decay much like the Tupperware in your cupboard. It lasts a long time much like plastic because it essentially is plastic, but plastic made for the elements.
Because of its synthetic nature, vinyl, for the most part, can be recycled. When a homeowner is done with the windows, the frames can be melted down or ground and then reused. Ultimately vinyl is an environmentally friendly material.
The Benefits of Vinyl Windows
Because of their unique construct and material, vinyl windows offer a variety of benefits for homeowners, both practical and aesthetic.
Electric bills go up so easily with bad windows. A single window with a single draft can cause a furnace or air conditioner to run hours more than necessary.
Homeowners need energy efficient windows.
Vinyl windows provide superior thermal protection compared to wood or aluminum windows.
Similar to their counterparts, vinyl windows have some specific elements that make them more or less energy efficient such as multiple panes of glass, low emissivity glass, and insulation within the window frames.
Vinyl windows have airtight vinyl affixed to glass, which then stops drafts and restricts airflow where you need it restricted. With a vinyl window, you should not feel that icy finger of air that tends to creep in between the cracks.
This means your house stays warm on those 25-degree winter days and cool during the thick, 90-degree August days while your power bill stays low.
Imagine plastic versus aluminum or wood in any product. Plastic withstands heat and elemental destruction. Aluminum can dent. Wood can fade and rot.
Vinyl just lasts longer.
Twenty-first-century vinyl is a longer-lasting product than what scientists came up with in the 50s. It maintains its color and shape longer than the vinyl of the past and is just as durable if not more.
Vinyl requires less maintenance than wood or aluminum windows. With their minimal peeling, cracking, warping, and fading, they do not require painting or staining.
Vinyl also cleans up well with a simple soap and water solution (and sometimes some elbow grease).
Additionally, vinyl is as tough as leather.
Picture golf-ball size hail falling from the sky.
Paint chips off the wood. Wood splinters. Aluminum dents. Vinyl just sits there.
Where the first-generation vinyl-window owners had the basic white for their only choice, homeowners today have countless color options to choose from—colors that do not fade like the vinyl windows in the Cold War. Windows of the past came in just the basic white, and they all pretty much looked the same.
Thankfully, science has an amicable relationship with design today, resulting in beautiful vinyl windows of all shapes and sizes. Not only are they practical, but they are popular for any use.
Vinyl windows cost less than the typical aluminum or wooden window. They’re among the most affordable types of replacements on the market depending on the design.
Additionally, if you do have deeper pockets, designer vinyl allows for a more elegant look and the opportunity to have a unique look to your home overall.
Vinyl window sales make up more than half of the market share of residential window sales. People use them.
In fact, in the 90s alone from 1992 to 1998 the sale of vinyl windows in residential new construction and remodeling grew by almost 125 percent.
The quality of vinyl windows continues to improve, and the average homeowner can see a good deal when he’s looking through it.
You care about the environment. And vinyl IS plastic. So does that mean it’s harming the environment?
Because of its man-made nature, vinyl is recyclable. You can feel good about what happens to your windows when you DO finally replace them. They do not have to end up in a landfill next to a pile of diapers.
When you recycle your window, the vinyl is melted and remolded into new products—sometimes new window frames and sometimes other usable products..
Why Vinyl is a Good Choice in St. Louis
With our variance in temperature and constant humidity, vinyl windows are a premium choice for St. Louis homeowners.
If you’re looking to replace old windows, update your home’s windows, or just replace a single, broken window, we’re here for you.