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Choosing the Best Window Material for Houston's Climate

posted on August 01, 2022 in Houston

Red brick exterior of two-story Houston home

Climate is a big topic for homeowners. The weather in a particular region can impact a home, making it important to choose home-related materials accordingly. Houston’s climate isn’t just famous for its heat – the summer humidity is known to be oppressive, too. Because of its location, Houstonians know to expect long hot summers and mild winters. There can also be severe weather such as heavy rain, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and damaging wind throughout the year in Houston.

Here are a few things you should know about window materials and how they can hold up to Houston’s climate as you begin your window replacement project.

Know Your Window Options

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for windows. Homeowners have their own style, budget and may have particular needs for their spaces. Choosing the right material for your windows is an important decision that can impact energy efficiency, maintenance and design. Here, we’ll break down what Houston homeowners should know about vinyl, fiberglass and wood, particularly as they pertain to Houston’s climate conditions.

Vinyl

living room with window

Let’s start with a Houston favorite: vinyl. Vinyl is made from a plastic material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It provides a significant amount of insulation and its neutral design can complement most homes. That along with its affordability has made vinyl an appealing choice for many Houston homeowners.

There is a misconception that vinyl is less durable than other materials. Pella vinyl is made with a high-quality, proprietary formula to provide more strength, security and durability. The multi-chambered frame and full welded sash improve strength while reducing sound transmission. Pella vinyl window sashes with optional performance upgrades are metal reinforced for a sturdy, wind-resistant window.

When we consider Houston’s intense summer heat, it’s important to note that Pella vinyl is also an energy-efficient window material; those same multi-chambered frames and fully welded sashes help vinyl windows block out more energy from the sun and can contribute to a more comfortable climate inside the home.

Not only are Pella vinyl windows an affordable and energy-efficient option for Houston homeowners, but our vinyl is also easy to clean and maintain. It can look great for years with no additional painting, staining or refinishing required.

Fiberglass

window in kitchen

You can find versatile fiberglass in everything from boats and airplanes to your home’s insulation. Fiberglass is exactly that: glass fibers. Our fiberglass is made when a weft inserter weaves and knits the glass fibers into a resin injector, strategically placing them to provide the material’s signature strength.

Fiberglass is a notably strong material. Pella® Impervia® uses Pella’s proprietary fiberglass, the strongest material for windows1. Because of the added strength, Pella fiberglass frames can hold much larger windowpanes to create an effect of a wall of glass.

Like vinyl, fiberglass windows are low maintenance. Pella Impervia fiberglass material won’t warp, crack or rust and is durable enough to stand up against weather events. They can also withstand extreme heat, as you’d experience in the summer in Houston, and extreme cold like the sudden snowstorms Houston has seen the last few winters. The durable frames resist expansion and contraction as the weather changes, remaining stable and rigid. Glass acts as an insulator and fiberglass provides the same benefit; fiberglass windows absorb and hold heat, keeping out high temperatures in the summer months.

Wood

chair next to a large wood window

Wood is a classic material with an organic, natural feel to it. It’s also an incredibly customizable option. Pella offers wood windows in many types, colors, styles and sizes.

If you’re concerned about severe weather and outdoor elements, Pella wood windows come covered in aluminum, a feature referred to as exterior cladding. This helps to protect the window from the elements and resists damage over time. Pella wood windows also come with EnduraGuard®, which can help protect the windows from the effects of moisture, decay, stains from mold and mildew and termite damage.

For Houston homeowners, wood windows provide natural insulation and energy efficiency. Pella offers three lines of wood windows.

  • Pella® Lifestyle Series - Lifestyle Series windows offer an unbeatable combination of energy efficiency, sound control and value2.

  • Pella® Architect Series® - Pella Architect Series comes in both Traditional and Contemporary. It’s all about the craftsmanship.

  • Pella® Reserve™ - Bring your design vision to life with virtually unlimited customizability of Pella Reserve.

Climate varies from place to place, and each location has its own set of challenges and unique factors to consider. The best way to make the right decision is with quality information, and when it comes to choosing the right windows, Pella is always available to provide answers to Houstonians’ toughest questions. Stop by our showroom or schedule a consultation with us today!

1Pella's proprietary fiberglass material has displayed superior strength over wood, vinyl, aluminum, wood/plastic composites, and other fiberglass materials used by leading national brands in tensile and 3-point bend tests performed in accordance with ASTM D638 and D790 testing standards.

2Performance solutions offering an unbeatable combination of energy efficiency, sound control and value, require upgrades to triple-pane, AdvancedComfort Low-E and mixed glass thickness. Based on comparing product quotes and published STC/OITC and U-Factor ratings of leading national wood window and patio door brands.

*Based on a 2020 survey of leading window brands among homeowners.