If you're looking into replacement windows for your home, you can choose from wood, aluminum, or vinyl. You'll want to consider the appearance of the frame and how well it insulates against heat loss. Here's a look at how these windows compare.

Wood Frames Are Traditional

If you have an older, historic home, then wood frames are probably the best type because they have a more traditional appearance. Wood is the original material for window frames. While it looks appealing, wood does have some drawbacks when compared to aluminum and vinyl. For one thing, wood requires the most maintenance. Being a natural material, it is subject to rotting and damage by insects. Plus, you'll need to keep the wood painted or stained to keep it looking nice and to protect the frames.

Aluminum Frames Are Lightweight

If your home has old aluminum frames in it now, you may resist the idea of going with aluminum again. However, aluminum window frames have changed over the years. They don't pit and discolor like the early versions did. And they are made to be more energy efficient. One big problem with aluminum frames was they allowed heat to transfer easily, so they were the least energy efficient option. Today, you can buy higher quality frames that are better insulated and that hold up well for years. One of the big advantages of aluminum is that it is very lightweight, which makes it the ideal frame for large picture windows.

Vinyl Frames Are Becoming Popular

You've probably noticed that vinyl frames are getting more popular all the time. They have a distinctive look so you probably love them or hate them. However, they are popular for a reason. They are practically maintenance free and they provide excellent insulation. The vinyl is made with tiny air pockets, so it reduces heat loss through the frames. Vinyl never needs to be painted and it doesn't discolor or decay. The color is added when the vinyl is made rather than being applied to the surface. This makes scratches and other light damage nearly invisible.

You can see each type of frame has its advantages, so you may have a hard time choosing. To make your choice easier, you can choose a hybrid type of frame. For instance, you can buy replacement windows with wood on the interior side for improved appearance, and aluminum or vinyl on the exterior side, which reduces the need for upkeep. You can even buy vinyl frames with the color of wood and texture of wood grain for frames that look like expensive hardwood, but require none of the maintenance of real wood.

For more information, contact local professionals like JFK Window & Door Co.