Vinyl windows are impervious to rust, rot, blistering, corrosion, flaking and infestation by termites or other insects.

Today, plastic rivals traditional materials for windows and frames, providing competitive energy efficiency, aesthetics, design flexibility and cost criteria. For example, polycarbonate plastic—the same material used in eyeglasses and known for durability and clarity—is used in windows. Shatter-resistant and lightweight, the plastic product has low thermal conductivity, thus reducing heating and cooling costs though still providing protection against dangerous weather.

The presence of mold can have drastic affects on indoor air quality and the health of those with asthma or hypersensitivity. When plastic is used as window dressing, such as solid vinyl or vinyl-clad frames, it serves to help minimize condensation, thus aiding in the prevention of mold.

A study by an internationally respected lifecycle analysis firm shows vinyl window frames require three times less energy to manufacture than aluminum window frames. Beyond that, the use of vinyl window frames has been shown to save the United States nearly 2 trillion BTUs of energy per year—enough to meet the yearly electrical needs of 18,000 single-family homes. The design of vinyl window frames further enhances energy efficiency by creating chambers in the frame that provide additional resistance to heat transfer and insulating air pockets.

The energy efficiency of vinyl windows and glass doors can mean less electricity is used to heat and cool a home or building which can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with coal-fired power plants. In addition, the low maintenance requirements of vinyl windows and glass doors eliminate the need for paints, stains, strippers and thinners, which can negatively impact air quality.

Energy Conserving Windows Resources

Drain the Rain on the Plane

This blog accompanies 1-2 minute videos (11-14) of’s new educational videos on the perfect wall. They present Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng, ASHRAE Fellow of, an international...

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window insulation Foam Plastic Insulation Sheathing

New Guides for Window Installation Help Prevent Construction Problems

According to new step-by-step guides produced by the Applied Building Technology Group (ABTG), there are many different approaches to window installation that utilize Foam Plastic Insulation Sheathing (FPIS). The guides address...

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Inspired by Sandy, College Team Builds Energy Efficient Shore House with Plastics

The following is a Professor Plastic article, originally printed on Hurricane Sandy was devastating. Many communities and homeowners up and down the East coast are still recovering. But in its...

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Tiny Houses—Big Energy Savings with Plastics

Tiny houses —100 to 400 square feet—are fueling conversations about the impact of our buildings on the environment. Buildings use 41 percent of our nation’s energy, and much of that energy is wasted...

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An Energy and Water Efficiency Playground on California’s Capitol Lawn!

In April, ACC joined groups from the energy and water efficiency sectors to demonstrate to California regulators and lawmakers how chemistry enables new and existing technologies that can help California meet its ambitious...

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