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Are Aluminum Replacement Windows Good?

There’s a reason you don’t see too many aluminum windows being installed around the Valley of the Sun these days… What was innovative in 1912 is no longer the leader 100 years later.

There are more energy efficient options available, and with the exception of one Milgard product that we sell, most aluminum products are outdated or in the process of being phased out. Based on DunRite’s 20+ years of experience? They’re the least desirable option for Phoenix area homeowners, right alongside entry-level vinyl windows, which can warp and melt. 

Both are NOT something we’d  recommend. 

That being said—if you’re still wondering “are aluminum replacement windows good,” here’s what you need to know. It depends on where you live. They are common in many states where extreme heat or cold isn’t an issue.

Looking Back in History

Aluminum windows first appeared back in 1912, touted for their “high efficiency as to weather tightness, great ease of operation, low upkeep costs, great strength, and beauty,” according to national preservation notes shared by the U.S. National Park Service. 

Revolutionary for their time, they were thick, hearty and solid options that quickly led to an explosive industry for replacement windows, leaving wooden windows in the dust.

Perhaps their popularity would have stuck around, but WWII and the increased demand of aluminum to support the production of military equipment in the 1940s led many window manufacturers to scrimp on the original thickness of aluminum windows and opt for thinner frames. Over time, those modern aluminum windows lost the character traits that made them so marketable in the first place, since their durability and longevity suffered significantly with those thinned materials. 

Today, They’re Considered Outdated

Today, you’ll still find aluminum windows in many older homes, especially in homes predating 1980 with original single-pane windows, but you won’t see homebuilders installing them in new construction around the Valley, and you definitely shouldn’t see reputable window and door companies selling them as a great option. 

They don’t meet Energy Star® ratings in the Valley and most local building codes.  

There are only two places you should see aluminum still being used: (1) in oversized patio doors, as a way to reduce the overall weight and increase the strength of the frame.  You might also see it where energy efficiency is sacrificed to get a particular look for aesthetics.

Ultimately, reputable window companies have been phasing out aluminum windows in the Phoenix area for good reason—aluminum windows are inefficient when it comes to energy, resulting in homeowners paying far more than they should for heating and cooling. Perhaps it’s time to explore newer, more innovative products if you’re ready to replace your old aluminum windows. 

More than 100 years later, there are far more innovative window solutions for you to choose from, with better energy efficiency, durability and longevity.

Even a high quality aluminum window that has all possible upgrades for energy efficiency simply cannot compete with modern materials, such fiberglass, Fibrex® or vinyl. They offer impressive energy savings, and are much easier on the wallet when it comes to utility bills. 

If you’re ready to replace your windows with smart, energy efficient options that can last for decades, we serve homeowners in the Phoenix metro area. Just reach out to us at (602) 456-2227, or via our website form to schedule an estimate!

Published: June 28, 2022

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Please note that we install replacement windows and doors, but we don’t repair them or replace broken glass. Three-item minimum purchase, some doors excluded. Refer to our FAQ and warranties page for details.


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