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This is a great question as we get this all the time. Let's compare the two
Vinyl windows are more attractive and has more options for finishes, but they are thicker than aluminum.
Aluminum has a thinner frame that give it a modern look.
Vinyl Windows are durable and don't dent easily.
Aluminum windows are a little better at resisting to scratching and cracking, but they do dent easily.
Vinyl Windows are better period. They are specifically designed to provide the very best in energy efficiency.
Aluminum Windows are like radiators, when it's hot outside, it will bring in the heat inside the rooms. It goes the same for the cold weather. Yes, Southern California has pretty much nice weather year around, but think about it's one of those times when it gets super hot or super cold. You can keep your condo at a comfortable level without having to use an air conditioner or turning on the heater.
Vinyl windows is the best in thermal breaks. It minimizes heat transfer from the outside to the inside rooms.
Modern aluminum windows come with thermal breaks that are made of vinyl. It does help in making them a little more energy efficient, but overall vinyl beats it.
Vinyl windows are a better value and less expensive than aluminum.
Another benefit of vinyl windows is the noise reduction. They are more effective than aluminum. Something you might take into consideration if you live by a busy area. Of course every homeowner is different but overall vinyl windows are better in many situations. Here is a blog giving better details on the difference. Hope this helps https://www.sandiegobestwindows.com/blog/vinyl-vs-aluminum-windows/
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