Aluminum Windows

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Aluminum Windows
Aluminum Windows
Other Names:
Replacement Aluminum Windows, Metal Windows
Windows with an Aluminum frame.

Aluminum window frames are a sturdy window solution for a replacement window project. They may be easily be extruded into complex shapes for a wide range of replacement window needs. Aluminum frames are finished with anodized and factory-baked enamel coatings to create a low-maintenance and durable replacement window.


[edit] Pros

Replacement aluminum window frames offer a strong yet lightweight window solution. Aluminum frames are appropriate framing materials for openings that require customized windows but are also suitable for standard window frames. Aluminum frames are durable enough to hold heavy, large or odd-sized panes of glass. They are generally the lowest cost framing alternative for replacement home windows.

[edit] Considerations

[edit] Condensation

Replacement window frames which are made exclusively from aluminum are not as energy-efficient as other frames which are produced using other materials. Aluminum frames often account for significant amounts of heat loss due to the fact that aluminum conducts heat. This contributes to condensation around the edge of the pane as well as along the window frame. The newest grades of aluminum frames are generally built with installed thermal breaks -- insulating plastic strips which are set between the inside and the outside of the sash and frame. These thermal breaks improve the U-value of aluminum frame replacement windows. An additional option includes aluminum windows in which the thermal break is combined with foam insulation. This combination creates a superior energy-efficient frame. Homeowners who live in extreme climates should investigate alternative framing materials since even aluminum windows with thermal breaks may still not offer the best window choice for cold climates.

[edit] Corrosion

Aluminum frames can corrode easily, making them a questionable choice for people who live in heavily polluted areas or near the seashore. Painting aluminum windows is one solution which can prevent such corrosion. In general aluminum frames require special coatings to ensure a long-lasting and attractive finish.

[edit] Aluminum Window Styles

The architectural style of a replacement aluminum window affects the amount of air infiltration that enters through the window. Quality aluminum window frames, in conjunction with adequate caulking and weather-stripping, also play a part in affecting air leaks.

[edit] Fixed Pane Aluminum Windows

Fixed pane picture windows are generally the most airtight aluminum window option when they are correctly installed. They are also the least costly type of aluminum window, costing approximately 15% less than operable aluminum windows of a comparable size. Aluminum fixed frame windows are available in a variety of shapes including quarter- and half-rounds, triangular shapes, squares and rectangles. Fixed pane aluminum window frames are a suitable window choice for rooms that don't require a venting opening.

[edit] Casement Aluminum Windows

Replacement aluminum casement windows include side, top and bottom opening windows. Casement aluminum windows open easily for ventilation. Casement, hopper and awning windows swing open from the hinges which are located on the side, bottom and top of the window sash. These windows offer a higher airtight seal than other operable windows due to the latching mechanism which draws all four edges tight against the compression-type seals or gaskets. Replacement casement aluminum windows with compression seals only allow about half as much air leakage as aluminum frame windows with sliding seals such as slider and double hung windows.

[edit] Double Hung and Slider Aluminum Windows

Aluminum horizontal and vertical sliding windows have sliding sashes. Double hung vertical sliding windows open by pulling down on the upper sash or up on the lower one. Horizontal sliding windows operate by moving the operating sash horizontally over the non-operating sash, or both sashes horizontally. Although double hung windows are the most popular type of window they are inefficient if they do not seal tightly. Aluminum double hung windows should include proper weather seals and caulking to ensure a well-sealed window. Horizontal sliders are especially suitable for window openings that require a long, narrow view but sliders, including aluminum sliders, have a reputation as windows which are difficult to seal completely.

[edit] Manufacturers

Quality replacement aluminum windows are manufactured by a wide range of window manufacturers including Milgard Windows and Doors, Champion Architectural, PGT Industries, Kawneer North America, Torrance Aluminum Windows and Doors Systems.

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