Q: There are beautiful autumn days here in New England, but it’s not unheard of to experience snow and other bad weather ailments. I’m doubting my exterior can handle the cold, rainy weather that fall brings to the area. Are vinyl windows a good investment to reinforce my home for fall?

A: We all know that autumn in New England can be unpredictable. If you’re living with inefficient windows, it can wreak havoc on your exterior as well as your bank account. Vinyl windows are by far one of the best investments to reinforce your home not only for fall, but for every season.

What Makes Vinyl So Durable and Dependable?

Vinyl is the most popular window material in America. Poly-vinyl chloride is the main ingredient of vinyl frames—which is a tough and chemically resistant material that is popular in the home improvement industry, medical field, and more. According to PVC, poly-vinyl chloride is 57% chlorine and 43% carbon.

Not a chemistry whiz? No worries. This simply means that vinyl is an efficient, waterproof, and affordable window frame option.

Unlike wood, vinyl is a non-porous material. This means that the frames won’t absorb moisture, which is critically important to preventing rot. Its ingredients also make the frames highly resistant to chipping, peeling, or warping—which are all typical problems of classic wood window frames.

Although vinyl windows are exceptionally durable and dependable on their own, it’s important to realize the importance of professional installation. Whether you choose a low quality or high quality new window, improper installation will only downgrade its performance. While investing in high quality windows is smart, don’t cancel out its benefits by attempting a DIY window installation project.

How Will Vinyl Windows Block Out Autumn Winds?

Feeling a fresh breeze in the spring is great—but fall is a different story. To block out the chilly winds of the fall season, you’ll need to focus on an issue known as air infiltration. Air infiltration is the process of air making its way into your home from the outdoors. It also can allow warm air from your home to escape right through the window.

Air infiltration has several entry points:

  • The frame
  • The sash
  • Where the sash meets the rail

According to the American Architectural Manufactures Association, air infiltration testing has several requirements to pass. The window product must not allow more than 0.3 of cubic air to pass through the window per square foot.

In a test laboratory, new sample products are subjected to constant air pressure that simulates 25 MPH winds. This represents time-averaged weather conditions. Temperature and barometric pressure is also considered during the testing process.

How do Vinyl Windows Handle Wind-Driven Rain?

A windy, rainy day is the definition of autumn weather. Vinyl windows can handle both wind and rain under two conditions: professional installation and durable, waterproof window frames.

When you opt for professional window installation, an airtight seal is created to block out both rain and wind. Just like air infiltration entry points, it is possible to find rainwater coming through the frame, sash, and where the sash meets the rail.

A lot of times a window leak is the result of the connection between the wall and the window frame. Silicone caulking can help prevent these leaks, but initial window installation completed by a professional will ensure there is no disconnect between the wall and the window.

Keep in mind that weatherstripping is another component to help block out rain and wind. Therefore, it’s important to find replacement windows that include high-end, precision-engineering stripping that blocks gaps.

Lastly, waterproof vinyl frames block out moisture, repel water, and help keep your home bone dry.

How do Vinyl Windows Keep Your Home Warm?

Blocking out wind and rain is great, but your windows need to help keep your home toasty warm. Vinyl window frames include cavities where foam is filled for extra insulation. Furthermore, advanced technologies are added to the glass package to help keep utility bills low.

Look for vinyl windows that include dual or triple pane glass, as well as argon or krypton gas. These are two of the keys to insulating your windows and keeping your home cozy warm this autumn and winter season.

Did you find this information helpful? Coastal Windows & Exteriors is dedicated to helping homeowners across New England maximize the aesthetics and efficiency of their homes. Contact us now to improve your home’s value and boost curb appeal at 978-304-0495 or by emailing questions@mycoastalwindows.com