Thermally Improved Aluminum Windows for the Phoenix & Scottsdale Area
Aluminum windows are a fairly popular choice of replacement windows and doors for homes in the Scottsdale and Metro Phoenix area. They are a lightweight product that is very strong, with either an anodized finish, or baked-on color that lasts for decades.
Many people like the slim frame and zero maintenance of aluminum, which provides maximum glass for viewing. It’s especially common in homes with modern, clean design aesthetic, and commercial buildings. The slender depth of an aluminum window can be a good choice for homes with narrow window openings, or where deep sills are wanted. It’s also a common material used in ceiling-height sliding glass doors, where weight can become an issue due to the sheer size of the panels, and a stronger material is needed for the frame.
DunRite offers two types of aluminum windows and doors: thermally broken aluminum windows, and aluminum-clad wood windows. They tend to be more costly and less energy efficient than other choices, so it’s important to discuss your budget, style and color preferences at the in-home appointment. This ensures you have the information needed to make an educated decision.
Aluminum & Aluminum-Clad Wood Brands We Carry…
Thermally Improved Aluminum Windows
Thermally improved aluminum windows minimize heat transfer from the window’s exterior to the inside of the home by including a gap that separates the internal and external components of the window; however, even aluminum windows with this thermal break are less energy efficient than most other material choices. With Phoenix summers lasting for months at 100+ degree temperatures, aluminum windows in general may not be the best choice for Arizona homeowners looking to lower their utility bills.
We offer the Milgard line, which are the only aluminum windows available in the Phoenix market from our lineup of manufacturers. We don’t feel other brands live up to our high standards for energy efficiency.
The Aluminum-Clad Wood Window Alternative
For high-end homes or homeowners who prefer the look and warmth of wood, aluminum-clad wood windows are a lovely solution. These have a wood stained or painted frames on the interior, and aluminum cladding on the exterior, which protects the wood from the environment and reduces maintenance. Thanks to wood’s lack of conductivity, they’re more energy-efficient than an all-wood window.
It can be a lovely design enhancement to a home that can last several decades.
We also offer fiberglass windows, which can be embossed with a wood grain look on the interior, and doesn’t have the conductivity of a metal frame. We’d be happy to discuss the pros and cons of all aluminum window types, and which might be well suited to your budget. Before you decide, it’s important to discuss all of your options, so you can make an educated decision based on your budget and style preferences. Schedule an in-home estimate today!
“We had all of the windows in our house replaced. DunRite delivered what they promised. They were on time, very good to deal with and the installation was very professional. I’d highly recommend them for any similar work.”
Common questions about aluminum windows
The answer really depends where you live.
In Arizona, vinyl windows offer much better energy efficiency than an aluminum window. In fact, aluminum windows are rarely sold in the Southwest, because it’s a highly conductive metal that doesn’t handle heat (or cold) well.
It also corrodes very easily in climates where salt is in the air and water, so it’s not a good option along our nation’s coastlines. However, there are parts of the country with mild climates all year long where aluminum windows are very popular.
However, aluminum windows offer a very different look than other window frame materials; therefore, DunRite Windows & Doors does sell one line of aluminum windows by Milgard. It has a thermally improved design to reduce the amount of heat conducted into the home. It’s not as energy efficient as other frame materials, but it is a top choice for homeowners who prefer a narrow, modern frame. Because aluminum is such a strong material, the frames can be slim and still able to support the weight of the glass. The slim frame also maximizes the amount of glass, since there is less frame in the opening, which many homeowners appreciate. Its strength also makes it ideal for oversized windows, since it can support the weight of a large amount of glass.
Milgard’s aluminum windows are available in a clear anodized finish, which shows aluminum’s silver tone, or a dark anodized color. Both the interior and exterior mush be the same color.
If you have older aluminum windows with single-pane glass, we recommend the homeowner immediately replace them with double-pane replacement windows. The metal is conducting heat (and chill) directly into the home, driving up the costs of air conditioning since old aluminum framed windows are tremendously inefficient.
Even more importantly, though, all of that expansive glass—which makes up most of the window—is dramatically heating up the house, too.
If you place your palm on the window glass while standing inside your home, you can feel the heat: especially on a window with direct sun hitting the glass. It’s scorching, forcing your air conditioner to work overtime.
Today’s insulated glass does a much better job, with gas insulation filling the gap between each glass pane. Combine that efficiency with a frame material that’s more energy efficient than aluminum, and you’ll see immediate savings on your HVAC utility bills. According to EnergyStar®’s regional map that breaks down savings by city, you’ll save as much as 31% annually on your heating and cooling when you upgrade single-pane windows in the Phoenix area, and 17% by replacing older double-pane windows with new.
How do you replace aluminum windows? The two primary options are to have a windows and doors company replace them for you, handling the purchase and the installation, or to go the DIY route by purchasing the windows from a home improvement store, then either installing them yourself or having a handyman do the work. There are pros and cons for each choice, but it boils down to paying more for convenience, expertise and quality, or saving money by taking on the labor and risk, and perhaps compromising on features or color.
If you have double-pane or triple-pane glass in your aluminum window frames, any window repair company can provide a replacement unit that includes all necessary panes, low-E coatings and gas insulation fill that you need. This ensures the glass replacement has a level of energy efficiency that’s comparable to the original. They can also typically match the color of glass and spacers between each pane of the existing window. They will need to come out to your home to do an assessment and provide the cost.
You typically wouldn’t call a window and doors company to repair broken glass, unless you purchased a glass coverage warranty at the time of purchase. They replace the entire unit, glass, frame and all, and usually have a minimum purchase of multiple windows. They don’t sell just the insulated glass unit, or handle the installation.
You also wouldn’t go to a home improvement store, or purchase a cut piece of single-pane glass.
Like any other type of window frame, we recommend cleaning with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge, and warm water with a small amount of mild dish detergent. If the frames are oxidized, you can try using a simple solution of water and vinegar, or purchase a solution designed to remove oxidation from aluminum.
Be sure to avoid abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scrubbing pads and bristled brushes. It’s also important to avoid using high-pressure spray and pressure washers. To safeguard your window warranty, it’s best to check with the window manufacturer, when possible, and follow their advice.
We do not recommend painting either aluminum or aluminum-clad windows, since it voids the warranty. We also are vehemently against painting them in a dark color, which can easily cause them to absorb too much heat, causing damage to the window and/or home, and negating any energy efficient features the window had before being painted.
If you are thinking about replacing the windows on your home, aluminum windows are typically available in either a clear anodized finish that shows the silver tone of the aluminum, or a dark bronze anodized finish, which is very popular.
Aluminum-clad windows might surprise you, though! They come in an amazing array of baked-on colors straight from the factory. You can even order some products in custom colors, for a completely unlimited range of choices… making it simple to order windows that perfectly coordinate with an existing color palette. You can also have different colors on the inside versus the outside, such as a wood finish and black exterior, white interior and black interior, or any one of a number of colors.
If warranty is a concern, some manufacturers offer a shorter warranty on factory-applied paint, versus their maintenance-free anodized options.
If you choose to paint your aluminum windows, we strongly recommend using a paint professional who provides some sort of guarantee on their work and the durability of the paint. You’ll want to avoid dark colors, which can damage your windows and hinder energy efficiency, and avoid a gloss finish, which highlights dents or scratches in the metal.
If you have factory-painted windows that need a touchup, be sure to check the manufacturer’s website, as they may offer their factory paint in touch-up bottles and larger sizes. They will also be able to provide instructions on how to get the best results.
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Here’s What Our Customers Say…
The installers were efficient and cleaned everything up nicely. Our salesman, Sal, was awesome. He was very accommodating. He answered some questions for me about other windows and doors in my house. He offered my advice on some screen installation. He actually recommended a different type of company to complete the work I wanted done. (just like the movie Miracle on 34th Street). We were not happy with one of the choices we made with the door installation. We thought we would like our choice of framework but did not like the selection once it was up. Even though it was DunRite’s fault, they exchanged the section we were not happy with and did not charge us extra money for their time or the new materials.
I would highly recommend the company.