The Most Common Problems With Vinyl Windows

There are so many options when looking for window replacements, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. One of the biggest decisions to make is what material is best suited for your window needs. 

A material that is commonly used in window replacements is vinyl. While vinyl does have its benefits, it also has many drawbacks that many may not be aware of. Let’s discuss the most common problems with vinyl windows, their lifespan, and the best alternatives for your window replacement. 

5 Most Common Problems With Vinyl Windows

Shorter Life Span

Because vinyl is susceptible to damage from the sun, moisture, and other natural elements, extreme weather and temperatures can age vinyl windows rapidly. 


Windows made of vinyl tend to expand and contract easily, which causes air to enter the areas around the window. This can not only prevent your window from closing and opening properly, but it can also lead to warping. If a window is warped, the air seal will be poor and require regular caulking to function properly. 

Energy Efficiency

In theory, the argon gas in between the panes of vinyl windows is supposed to make them energy-efficient. Unfortunately, since this material contracts and expands so easily, this seal can quickly become compromised. Hot and cool air will be able to enter and escape your home, creating energy inefficiency that can be expensive. 

Seal Failure

Like many other problems that plague vinyl windows, seal failure can also be caused by the contraction and expansion of the material during extreme temperature fluctuations.  The vinyl frames and glass do not contract and expand at the same time, which causes the seal to wear out. 

Lost Glass Area

Lost glass area will be a problem if you’re trying to replace your existing wood windows with vinyl. Typically the old wood window will not be completely removed during the replacement, so the vinyl window will be measured to fit into the old window’s frame, resulting in the loss of glass area. 

Vinyl window material


What Is the Lifespan for Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years on average. However, windows that are installed in an area exposed to the sun for most of the day or in hot climates will not last as long. Additionally, areas with moist air can shorten their lifespan through gradual water damage and harmful microorganisms. 

Are Vinyl Windows Worth Installing?

Vinyl windows are a popular choice for window replacements. They are cost-effective and low maintenance and under the right conditions, can be lost lasting for their price.  If you’re on a budget, vinyl windows are a good option. 

However, due to their many issues, they are not the most energy-efficient or long-lasting option available. 

The Best Alternative to Vinyl Windows

The best alternative to vinyl windows is fiberglass windows. They have a higher initial investment, but they make up for that with increased longevity, durability, and energy efficiency, potentially saving money in the long term. Fiberglass windows have a life expectancy of up to 50 years, which is longer than other window options available like vinyl, wood, or aluminum. 

Unlike vinyl, fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract, and it doesn’t transfer heat or cold due to its insulation. Fiberglass windows are about 15% better than vinyl windows in insulating your home, as well as less likely to form air gaps, which makes them 30% more energy efficient. 

Additionally, fiberglass windows come in a wider variety of styles and colors because, unlike other materials, they can be painted to match your home. They are also well-known for being able to mimic the look of wood windows for that aesthetic without all of the problems that actual wood windows have. 

Because fiberglass windows are such a high-quality product with a long lifespan and low maintenance, they can increase your home’s overall value, too. 

Vinyl window interior

Upgrade Your Windows With NEXT Door & Window

At NEXT Door & Window, we pride ourselves on our high-quality windows. Our selections include the ultra-durable Marvin and Infinity From Marvin collections. Windows from Infinity From Marvin are created with Ultrex® fiberglass, which is 8x stronger than vinyl, and includes Low-E coated glass to help avoid heat transfer. These windows will be a long-lasting protector against drafts in your home and a boon for energy efficiency. 

We are popular throughout the Madison and Chicagoland areas for our quality products, exceptional service, and results that exceed expectations. We offer all of our customers our red carpet experience, which provides you with your own project manager to keep you up-to-date and involved with the newest addition to your home. 

At NEXT Door & Window, we are happy to provide:

  • Top-Quality Products
  • Exceptional Service
  • Experienced Technicians
  • An A+ BBB Rating
  • Custom Factory Paint And Stain Before Installation

Elevate your home with upgraded window replacements today. 

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