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Learn about Aluminum or Metal Window Frame

Aluminum or Metal Window Frame

Aluminum or metal frames for windows are a durable and low maintenance option. Aluminum or metal offer increased structural strength over vinyl windows while reducing the amount of visual material used. Heat tends to conduct through the aluminum or metal frame, but their energy efficiency is improved with thermal breaks in the frame to reduce the conduction of heat.

In colder climates, look for windows with a thermal break built into the frame. A thermal break is an insulating strip placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash. For less harsh climates, opt for non-thermally broken windows frames.

Aluminum windows have high embodied energy compared to other types of window frames, but they are very durable and have a life expectancy of over 40 years. Aluminum windows are one of the most sustainable window options from a recycling perspective. The recycling process of aluminum frames only requires melting the metal, making it an inexpensive and efficient method for repurposing.

Early window frame materials included wood, iron, and lead. Of those, wood is still used today, and metal frames have graduated to aluminum, stainless steel, and coated steel, with insulation breaks to cut heat loss. Lead is no longer commonly used in window frames.