Those of us in the replacement window industry often get asked what window brand they recommend. There are so many products on the market, and it can be overwhelming for consumers, so we understand why we get this question a lot. In this article, I wanted to compare two replacement window brands (Simonton and Anlin) that are popular with San Diego homeowners to help bring some clarity.
Before we get started with the comparison, there are a few things to know. First of all, both companies manufacture only vinyl windows, so if you are looking for fiberglass or wood windows, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Second, both are established and well-regarded vinyl window manufacturers that make quality products at a good price point. Third, all of the products offered by both companies will offer you more energy efficiency than older, single pane aluminum windows, so either brand will likely be an upgrade from what you currently have in your San Diego home.
Simonton is part of Ply Gem, a large corporation that also sells other exterior home products like siding, roofing, and gutters. Anlin is a much smaller company, currently only selling their products in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.
Availability and Reputation Within the Replacement Window Industry
Most recently, Simonton received the honor of “Best Vinyl Window” from Consumer Reports in 2014. Simonton used to top J.D. Power’s list of window companies based on customer satisfaction, but has slipped several places down the list in the last few years. Anlin is a much smaller regional window and door manufacturer, and doesn’t often get recognition by the major consumer publications. However, Anlin has a great reputation within the replacement window industry for both service and product quality, and receives high customer satisfaction ratings from online sites like Yelp.
Anlin windows are not as readily available as Simonton windows. This is due largely to the fact that Anlin is very choosy about the dealers they allow to sell their products. So what intially seems to be a check mark in the “negative” column for Anlin is actually a positive, since Anlin has, in a sense, vetted replacement window companies for you. In other words, if a San Diego replacement window company sells the Anlin brand, they are more likely to be a solid, reputable company with well-trained installation teams.
Comparing Energy Efficiency of Anlin and Simonton Windows
When comparing the energy efficiency of the two brands, look at each window’s NFRC thermal performance numbers. The NFRC offers an unbiased, third-party rating system that gives consumers a simple way to compare “apples to apples” when it comes to windows and patio doors. You can find the NFRC thermal performance numbers on both companies’ websites.
The most important number to look for is the U-Factor number. A lower number is better. U-Factor numbers will vary, even among products by the same manufacturer, as the number is affected by many things, including the window’s size, type of glass, spacer technology, the type of gas in between the window panes, and the window frame design. Make sure you are comparing the U-Factor of windows with similar features. For example, compare two single slider windows of the same size, with dual-panes, a slim frame design, Low-E glass, and Argon gas in between the panes to determine which window will make your home more energy efficient.
Professional Opinion of a San Diego Replacement Window Specialist
In my professional opinion, even though Simonton is much more of a household name when it comes to replacement windows, I prefer Anlin windows over Simonton for San Diego homes. They offer a great product for the money, with many great features that come standard. If vinyl replacement windows are what you’re looking for, you really can’t go wrong with any of the Anlin product lines. Even their “budget friendly” lines are great!
Whatever brand of windows you decide to go with, make sure you hire a reputable window replacement company for the installation. Even the best, most expensive windows on the market will do very little for your home’s energy efficiency if they are poorly installed. And the installation company will be the one you call if you ever experience problems with your windows, so you want to makes sure you choose a San Diego replacement window company that will likely still be around down the road.
Overall, both window brands are good choices when it comes to vinyl replacement windows, but I give the edge to Anlin Window Systems because of their reputation for quality and customer service, as well as their industry-leading warranty. For more details about any of the products sold by Simonton or Anlin, visit their websites or contact an authorized dealer.