Composite vs. Aluminum Windows

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Composite vs. Aluminum Windows

If you are considering composite vs. aluminum windows, here are four areas to compare and contrast these very different window frame materials. See how they stack up in terms of strength, aesthetics, energy efficiency, as well as cost and value.

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Aluminum windows are the strongest material on the new or replacement market. This superior strength certainly holds true when compared with composites. However, the majority of the best composite replacement windows will provide more than enough strength for most residential homes. For those consumers who live in very warm climates, aluminum may be a very nice option because the frame strength can stand up to all of that summer heat. More on Aluminum Window Reviews


Composites are a bit all over the board when it comes to aesthetics. They are made in so many different finishes, colors etc. that how each individual model and brand looks will depend on the specific window. Aluminum, on the other hand, has a much more distinctive look that most intallers would refer to as commercial or modern. Clean lines, thinner frame, darker colors are typical characteristics for aluminum windows.

Energy Efficiency

Aluminum may be strong, but it is at the bottom of the list when it comes to energy efficiency. Todays aluminum windows are all thermally broken, meaning they offer better performance numbers than in days past, but still can't compete with other materials. Composites are very decent in terms of energy efficiency, with models like the Starmark from Okna offering excellent energy efficiency and performance numbers.

Costs & Value

Composite windows will encompass a large range in terms of price. Amsco has a relatively low cost composite that should run in the $500 to $550 installed range, while Renewal By Andersen costs are often well north of $1 per window. Aluminum windows are typically on par with fiberglass windows, although aluminum clad windows that use a wood interior will be amongst the more expensive windows on the market.

Bottom Line

There are tons of differences when it comes to composite vs. aluminum windows. Composite windows will be very different depending on the specific model and brand. Aluminum windows are strong and durable frames that are not as energy efficient as most other frame types out there.

Fibrex Composite Windows And Aluminum

How do the fibrex composite windows and aluminum windows compare?

Renee - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Fibrex is a good product, but essentially it is a combination of vinyl and sawdust that is used to create the composite material.

Aluminum is WAY stronger than a composite frame but is not very energy efficient. But it stands up to all that heat better than any other material and is why Don Young's aluminum windows do so well in Texas.

High quality vinyl works well in the desert. For instance, the Renewal window can't hold a torch to the best vinyl windows in terms of energy efficiency and/or air infiltration rates. The problem is the best vinyl window brands aren't available out west. Anlin and Amerimax would be the two brands I would point to that are well regarded and available.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

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