Window Shopping Guide Feature

Window Shopping Guide - Choosing the Right Material

If you’ve just started to shop for windows and patio doors, energy efficiency is likely top of mind – with low-maintenance, curb appeal, and style close behind. So you may be wondering, how does the material type affect these features?

The answer may surprise you!

Material Type and Energy Efficiency

Window Shopping Guide - Energy Star Label
Window Shopping Guide - Energy Star Label

When it comes to energy efficiency, you may not realize that the type of glass, quality construction and proper installation play a bigger role than the type of material itself. Whether you choose wood, fiberglass or vinyl, look for quality windows and patio doors with:

  • Double- or triple-pane Low-E insulating glass with argon that will meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® certification in your region
  • Wood, fiberglass or vinyl frames constructed for strength and durability and designed to help guard against water infiltration
  • Proper installation. A great window is only as good as its installation

NOTE: Since aluminum window frames conduct heat and cold, they are typically not as energy efficient.

Window Shopping Guide 3
Wood windows offer a variety of colors and interior finishes to compliment the style of your home.

So Why Choose Wood?

Want plenty of design options inside and out! Then wood’s the one. From classic styles to custom shapes to just about any interior or exterior color you can imagine. And remember, today’s quality wood products are easy to maintain. New enhancements deliver lasting beauty and performance.

Look for low-maintenance features like:

  • Strong, durable frames with exceptional wood protection that provides advanced protection against the effects of moisture, decay, stains from mold and mildew - as well as termite damage
  • Interiors finishes to complement your décor! Save time and money with prefinished painted or stained interiors
  • Low-maintenance aluminum clad exteriors that resist fading and help protect for years. And virtually unlimited colors that can really elevate your curb appeal
  • Smooth operation
  • Easy-clean features, so you can clean the outside from inside your home
  • Quality hardware in your choice of today’s popular finishes
  • And innovative features like motorized blinds-between-the-glass

Window Shopping Guide 1
Live in a climate with extreme temperatures? Fiberglass resists wear and tear from extreme temperatures.

Why Fiberglass?

Fiberglass is exceptionally strong, stable and durable. Live in an exceptionally hot or cold climate? Fiberglass composite frames won’t warp in summer or turn brittle during winter.

Look for low-maintenance features like:

  • Low-maintenance durable, powder-coat finish - inside and out – for the look of painted wood
  • Several interior/exterior color choices
  • Smooth operation
  • Easy-clean features, so you can clean the outside from inside your home
  • Quality hardware in your choice of today’s popular finishes

Window Shopping Guide 2
Look beyond price alone! With a wide variety of options available, it’s important to consider quality and durability too!

Why Vinyl?

Vinyl is a great low-maintenance choice. It’s known for its affordability. But just like wood, there are several levels of quality. Be cautious about making your decision based on price alone.

Look for low-maintenance features like:

  •  Quality vinyl that has been performance-tested to resist yellowing
  • Multichambered frames and fully welded sashes for added strength and durability
  • Color choices (typically limited to white or tan). Some offer painted vinyl or faux wood finishes, but be sure to check the warranty
  • Smooth operation
  • Easy-clean features, so you can clean the outside from inside your home
  • Quality hardware in your choice of popular finishes

So, once you’re assured your options meet ENERGY STAR® certification, choose the material type that gives your home the curb appeal and style you’re looking for!

Checkout this chart for a general “snapshot” of material types

Window Shopping Guide Chart

“Aluminum is often thought of as maintenance free . The  accumulation of dirt and organic components on aluminum is a slow process. However, corrosive contaminants, such as chlorides and sulfates, can eventually build up on the surface and attack the surface coatings or even the substrate. Therefore, regular maintenance is very important in preventing the potential for deterioration.” From

This article was written by

Nicolle Picray, Content Marketing & Social Media, Pella Windows & Doors

A self-proclaimed Social Media Geek and DIY aficionado, Nicolle is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on content creation and curation. In her free time she can be found pillaging thrift shops for furniture projects, attempting to rationalize with her 4 year old daughter, and editing her husband’s honey-do list.

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