Wooden windows and doors may look beautiful on traditional buildings, but when it comes to contemporary spaces, aluminum is the way to go. Western Window Systems has done the research and enhanced the technology to make aluminum a smart choice. Ty Cranford, the company’s architectural sales director, knows. Before Cranford started at Western Window Systems in 2007, he spent 15 years selling wood clad windows for one of the top companies in the industry. Cranford is the third generation of his family to be in the window and door business. Here, he dispels misconceptions about aluminum and shares just some of the benefits.
Contemporary design means open layout, clean lines, narrow profiles, lots of glass, and disappearing walls. When you design a contemporary home, the objective is to see out—not for the eye to be drawn to the window. Aluminum finishes are dark, with thin lines. And since aluminum is stronger than wood, you can go bigger with your sizes to truly speak the contemporary language.
Aluminum has not historically been considered energy-efficient, but with the technology of our Series 7000 performance line of moving glass walls and windows, that’s changed. Products in the Series 7000 performance line achieve across-the-board low U-value ratings and feature low-E, argon-filled dual-pane glass. They also comply with California’s rigorous Title 24 requirements. We all know energy requirements keep getting stricter, and our performance line meets today’s energy values by default, so you don’t have to make tradeoffs.
Generally aluminum requires very little maintenance, while wood has the potential to deteriorate without ongoing refinishing to the unclad surface. The condensation resistance of our Series 7000 performance line is competitive to that of clad wood windows, as we utilize a thermal strut system and specify the proper glass makeup. In fact, most of our Series 7000 door systems and windows meet or exceed the condensation resistance factor (CRF) of leading wood window manufacturers.
Aluminum is a great option when you consider the environmental impact. Our products are backed by the Energy Star rating; it takes just 5% of the energy needed to recycle aluminum than it does to produce new. It’s one of the most renewable materials out there. And it’s a very eco-responsible material when you need to replace it. However, considering the way aluminum windows are designed today, I’d be surprised if you need to replace them anytime soon.