Best Aluminum Windows

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Best Aluminum Windows

When people talk about the best aluminum windows, there are two very different frames types in the discussion. The first is an all aluminum frame, also known as a thermally broken aluminum, which is a very strong window, but is very energy inefficient compared to other frame types. The second is an aluminum clad window, which is a wood interior and aluminum exterior, typically the most expensive window frame with solid efficiency numbers.

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Top Thermally Broken Aluminum Windows

Thermally broken windows are very strong and can stand up to very warm temperatures, making them ideal for warm states like Texas and Oklahoma, but beside avoided in colder climates.

Don Young 8200 Series

My top aluminum window is probably the 8200 series from Don Young. The company has a number of manufacturing plants in Texas and Oklahoma and should have plenty of coverage out there. Typically, their aluminum window series are priced out fairly and Don Young enjoys a good reputation in the industry. This would be the first place I would look for thermally broken aluminum windows.

Price Range: $450 to $650 installed

NT Twinsulator Series

My second favorite aluminum window is the Twinsulator from NT Windows. A solid performer and like most well made aluminum windows, tough as hell. NT is a Texas based company that should have coverage throughout the state.

Price Range: $450 to $650 installed

Gerkin Aluminum Windows

Gerkin is a smaller, more regional window manufacturer that enjoys a good reputation by most contractors who know the brand. They are often mentioned as for aluminum windows, allow we have no specific performance numbers

Price Range: $550 to $700 installed

Milgard Aluminum Windows

Milgard is considered a good mid range window company that makes a good product at reasonable prices. The same seems to apply to their aluminum windows, although we haven't found any specific reviews on their aluminum frames. Read additional Milgard windows reviews.

Price Range: $500 to $750 installed

Jeld Wen Aluminum Windows

Jeld Wen is a larger manufacturer, although they get mixed reviews from contractors; some thing their products are not the greatest of quality, while others like the customer service they offer and feel they are a decent value for the cost of the windows.

Price Range: $400 to $550 installed

Top Aluminum Clad Windows

Marvin Ultimate is a wood interior, aluminum clad exterior that comes in a whole host of options - lots of color, siez and hardware options. Interior wood choices include white oak, mahogany, douglas pine, fir, and cherry, which offers easy customization for a unique but classic look. With a lot of upgrades and custom options offered, Marvin windows can per window cost is $1000. The window offers decent numbers; DP50 rating, U-value 0.31.

Price Range: $900 to $1100 installed

Loewen Window

Loewen's main line of windows is a wood clad that comes in several styles: bay and bow, picture, access, specialty, and transom, awning, and the more traditional casements and double hungs. The interior can be either Douglas Fir or mahogany, and the exterior features extruded aluminum cladding and a Kynar finish. Loewen offers two separate color lines for the exterior finish, either standard colors or the architectural color collection. A Low-e2 glass package comes standard.

Price Range: $950 to $1050 installed

Thermal Enhanced Aluminum Windows Question

Dear Sir; I have noticed that a few window companies are now making "thermal enhanced" aluminum replacement windows. This being done to mitigate the metal transfer problem in cold/hot weather climates.

Do you know or have any information/opinion on if aluminum windows with the thermal enhanced construction are now rated about as well or still worse than vinyl or fiberglass for the above problem that older aluminum window frames had?

Thanks so much for your time and effort on this question. Oh, perhaps I should say we live just a little north of Green Bay, WI and have cold winters and a few weeks per year of hot/humid weather.

Gary - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Gary, a thermal enhanced or thermally broken window is a big improvement over single pane aluminum windows from the 1950s. However, they still don't come anywhere close to vinyl/fiberglass/composite in terms of energy efficiency. They are used in most commercial applications as they are much stronger than these materials. In the residential market, they are used in very hot climates like Dallas where their strength and ability to handle heat outweighs their downsides.

In Wisconsin, I would not go this route. I would find a well made vinyl or fiberglass window brand instead. This is going to keep you much more comfortable and will save you on your energy costs.

[List Redacted -- contact us directly for our good and great windows list]

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

[Gary's Reply]

Wow, thank you so much for all the fine information you sent. I will take your advice and eliminate the thermal aluminum makes as not a good idea for WI winters and a few really hot summer weeks per year.

Today I will start looking into the very helpful list of options. Vinyl vs Fiberglass Windows

If I may one other question now. With WI cold winters and some hot summer weather ( some 90 F days) is even a good quality vinyl window not so good due to the amount of contraction and expansion being hard on the window seals? If for example the seals leak after 6 yrs that really lowers the window quality long term.

If so then that would leave fiberglass or someone's composite formula. If that would be the way to go then that would save much time looking into all the vinyl windows out there if not planning on doing vinyl.

Again thank you so much for your expert time and ideas.....a big help. I'm impressed you would take the time to help consumers such as I.

I don't know much about windows.......I could tell you a lot about printing as I was a professional printer for a little over 30 years. I guess most people know a lot about their field and not so much about others!


Gary - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Gary, there is contraction with vinyl, although much less these days as they have gereatly refined the materials and process. You will find the Okna rep in your area pushing a composite frame, which is an excellent option...but it is quite expensive. Marvin sells a great fiberglass window in the Elevate, but again it is quite expensive. I still think a high quality vinyl window is the most cost effective option for many consumers. If you can afford to spend the $900 plus per window that you would be looking at and you plan to be in your home long term, then it is an excellent investment.

However, as long as you buy from a company that has been around a long time, they should be there come year 6 IF you have seal failure. Vinyl windows will have a lifetime warranty against this, but the warranty is only good if you know where to go to get the warranty serviced.

I don't hear many issues from consumers who buy quality vinyl windows until say year 25. I hear about it all the time from consumers who buy a cheap American Craftsman window from Home Depot at year 5.

Go get your bids and see what you get. While they are out there, pepper each with your questions. The more opinions and information, the better your choice will be when it comes right down to it

If I need answers to prinitng, you are my first email!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

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