UPVC windows are by far the most popular choice of replacement windows. However, before making your decision, it is advisable to explore the features of uPVC windows and compare them with other types of windows. Below there is a detailed comparison of uPVC windows, wooden windows and aluminium windows which should help you choosing the best option.
One of the main reasons why uPVC windows are so popular is their low price; uPVC windows are the cheapest window option now available. Another benefit of uPVC windows is their high energy efficiency. uPVC windows have low heat conductivity, which means that in winter your home will be warmer and in summer it will be cooler. Energy efficiency of uPVC windows leads not only to pleasant room temperature, but also to lower heating and air conditioning bills. One more attractive feature of uPVC windows is low maintenance, as uPVC windows require no painting or varnishing; it is enough to clean them occasionally with a mild cleaning solution and to apply special oil on their moving parts once a year. Indeed, uPVC windows are generally worry-free because they do not rot, mould or rust due to weather conditions; they do not get attacked by insects (unlike wooden window frames).
The colours of uPVC windows also prove to be stable and remain vivid for many years. uPVC material is generally less tough compared to aluminium or wood; to make it stronger and sufficient for large glazing units, uPVC profiles are reinforced by steel or composite material bars which make them sturdier. In addition, uPVC windows do not harm the environment: most of the uPVC profiles can be recycled after the windows are no longer used. The production of uPVC windows has been improved by using stabilizers which are nature-friendly or lead-free. On the negative side, uPVC windows may not be suitable to some traditional houses where exact replication of the style and image is required. Moreover, uPVC windows are difficult to repair once their service life has ended. And even though uPVC windows can be selected in various colours, there are some restrictions: dark colours such as black or brown can absorb too much heat and affect the performance of uPVC windows, so they are inadvisable in south-facing uPVC windows. uPVC windows can be custom made in various shapes and designs.
Benefits of uP VC windows:
Resistance to weather,
Wide choice of colours and laminate,
Drawbacks of uPVC windows:
Not as sturdy,
Cannot replicate wood 100 %.
Comparison of uPVC windows, wooden windows and aluminium windows by using certain criteria is given in the table below. All three types of windows can vary in their specifications: there are slim and wide profiles, budget-oriented or passive house options. Glazing also affects the overall window performance, depending on whether it is a double glazed or triple glazed unit, the width of the unit and glass type.
Wooden windows are appreciated for their natural beauty, but they have a much higher price than uPVC windows. In addition, wooden windows require regular maintenance such as painting and varnishing.
Benefits of wooden windows:
Natural appearance and cosiness,
Many design options.
Drawbacks of wooden windows:
Low resistance to water,
Regular maintenance needed.
Aluminium windows are tough and durable, and need almost no maintenance. However, aluminium windows are more expensive compared to other types of windows. If aluminium windows are manufactured without a thermal break, they are more prone to heat loss.
Benefits of aluminium windows:
Possibility to make large structures,
Resistance to water,
Drawbacks of aluminium windows:
Poor energy efficiency (if no thermal break is used).