Thinking of upgrading your old windows to something more modern? Many homeowners opt for the benefits of vinyl windows for energy efficiency, clean look, and ease of use. But they aren’t the best option for all homes. Here are some of the benefits of vinyl windows and some of the negatives to consider.

Pro: Energy Efficiency – Save Money

Vinyl windows have great thermal performance ratings, so you will be saving on energy in the long run. Vinyl has been around a long time and manufacturers such as Harvey have perfected the designs of their windows to be both airtight and operate smoothly and easily. These perfections mean that there won’t be large gaps between the window and the frame, so you won’t experience major air leakages due to poor design. Vinyl is also significantly less likely to warp like wood or dent like metal. Vinyl is the best material at limiting airflow.

Pro: Low Maintenance

One of the greatest benefits of vinyl windows is that they are easy to pop in and out of the frame, so they are easy to clean and replace. Once the window frame is installed, you should be able to replace the window by yourself in the case that a panel is damaged. Vinyl isn’t sensitive to any of your common household cleaners, so you can just wipe away with a rag, and you’ll have clean windows instantly. Vinyl is also more durable than many other materials, so you won’t need to repair or replace window components as much as you would with metal or wood.

Con: Fewer Color and Trim Options

Vinyl windows come in a variety of colors and styles, but nothing can really compare to the color options with wood and some of the specialty metal work you can get for decorative windows. Wood windows come with more options for trim and casing. Wood can be stained and colored to your hearts desire. Limited vinyl styles can be a turn off for homeowners who are following a specific design plan.

Con: Less Flexibility with Design

If you install wood windows in one color, you can paint over the frames a few years later if you’re renovating your home. With vinyl windows, however, you’ll have to completely reinstall the frames if you want a new color because the material cannot be painted. This is a reason that homeowners choose not to install vinyl windows. However, most homeowners prefer the standard white so the flexibility to re-color and stain isn’t a major issue. But, it’s also hard to beat the elegance and upscale look of wood windows especially when paired with a traditional or vintage home. These folks usually opt-out of vinyl as well.


When it comes down to it, there are many benefits of vinyl windows for any modern home. Even if you’re looking for a classic style, there are vinyl windows in neutral colors with traditional grid accents. When choosing your windows, you should make a list of your priorities. Where does energy efficiency and low maintenance land on your list? If they’re near the top, vinyl windows are definitely for you. Need color, stain, and design flexibility for your upscale home – wood windows are likely best for you.

Browse Harvey’s window options

Or check out our 7 Window Styles and Where to Put Them Guide for pictures and a quick read on the different window styles/functionality and where they make the most sense for your home – room by room.

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