When comparing wood and vinyl windows, many homeowners decide to go with vinyl because they require less maintenance than their wood counterpart. That said, there is actually some maintenance that needs to be done to keep vinyl windows in great shape over the years. Be sure to do these three things.
Inspect The Windows Every Year
Part of having a professional installation will be having a contractor verify that there aren't any cracks or gaps around your new windows, which can cause air to leak out or into your home. If this is not done, your windows will not be very energy efficient.
After the installation, it is your responsibility to check the windows each year and look for gaps that could have formed. This can happen naturally due to your home settling and is no fault of your own. When you do find cracks, you'll need to apply caulk to them to seal them back up. This can be done quickly just by checking each window of your home with a caulk gun ready to go.
Clean Weather Stripping and Tracks
Another issue that happens is an accumulation of debris and dirt over time. While this isn't an issue that requires frequent cleaning, if ignored, it can affect how easy it is to close and open your windows. You'll eventually have problems with the window not sitting properly within the track, which causes problems with energy efficiency.
Do an annual inspection of your windows where you take them off the track. Clean out the tracks, and make sure that the weather-stripping is working properly. It should be stuck to the inside of the track and still big enough to close the gap within the track that would let air in.
Use The Correct Cleaners
You may have good intentions with cleaning the frames of the windows, but you need to use the correct cleaning solution. Vinyl is a delicate material, and some chemicals can damage it. Always stick to a simple cleaning solution, such as warm water and dish soap. If you insist on using a commercial cleaning solution, test it on a small area that won't be noticed, such as a part hidden by your window coverings. If it cleans the area without discoloring the vinyl material, it is safe to use it on the rest of the windows in your home.
If you don't want to risk potentially damaging your vinyl windows when cleaning them, consider having a professional window washing service like A-Plus Window Cleaning handle the task for you. They have the experience with cleaning all types of windows and know how to do it safely.