The Benefits of Aluminium Windows
New windows instantly improve the appearance of a home but with so many options available, it’s difficult to know what type of windows are the best. You might be wondering what is the difference between uPVC and aluminium windows or whether, in fact, timber frames are right for your property.
Which is Better Aluminium or uPVC Windows or Timber Frames?
The first thing to do is to check whether you live in a listed building or in a conservation area. If you do, you will probably need permission to change your windows and the type you can have will be limited. It may mean that you will be required to fit traditional timber frames. Timber frames can truly enhance a period property, and there is something quite charming about wooden sash windows, but they require regular maintenance and are not as well insulated as uPVC or aluminium windows. Timber also swells and warps with changes in weather which is problematic when opening and shutting windows. If you have no restrictions on the windows you can fit, you can opt for maintenance-free frames such as uPVC and aluminium. These require no painting – just a little cleaning is all this is needed to keep them looking as good.
What is the Difference Between uPVC and Aluminium Windows?
Aluminium windows were first popular in the 1970s. But the metal was cold and condensation built on the inside of the frames. In the 80s, uPVC, with its warmer feel, became the favoured material to use in double glazing. Unfortunately, the frames were easy to break into and presented a security risk. Fortunately, both materials have been greatly improved over the decades with all of the past problems corrected. There are a few things to consider when deciding which is better PVC or aluminium windows.
The Frame Width
If you’re after a sleek look to your home, aluminium frames offer slimline frames. Thanks to the strength of the aluminium alloy used, narrower frames can be made meaning more of the window is made up of glass. uPVC frames, on the other hand, are thicker and chunkier. With bi-folding or patio doors, a more modern look is achieved with the slimmer aluminium frames and the maximised amount of glass.
uPVC windows are commonly fitted in white, but these days there is a selection of shades to choose from. Heritage tones of green and brown can be purchased as well as classic black and grey. Aluminium frames are powder coated and you can choose between a high gloss or matt finish. They come in a huge choice of colours including pastel tones, bright primary shades and a range of trendy grey hues. The up-to-date look provided could be the reason why you choose aluminium windows over uPVC ones.
As uPVC is a warmer material, it offers good insulation helping to keep heating bills down. The old issues with security have been overcome by internally glazing uPVC windows. Past problems with condensation on aluminium window frames have been corrected with the introduction of thermal breaks – a barrier between the cold outside temperature and the warmth of indoors. This feature provides a great level of insulation and energy efficiency. Aluminium windows also provide excellent security and are difficult for intruders to break.
The Life Span
When you’re considering which is better aluminium or uPVC windows, it’s useful to know the expected life span of each. Both types offer long-lasting service with only a small amount of regular care required. uPVC is expected to last around 15 to 20 years – the material used can discolour and become brittle over time due to the weather and UV rays. UPVC can warp little when used in larger frames or sliding doors making opening and closing more difficult. Aluminium windows, on the other hand, are very durable and are expected to last between 30 and 35 years depending on the spec. The material isn’t prone to twisting or warping meaning sliding doors continue to operate smoothly.
The Environmental Benefits
Aluminium is a resource that is 100% recyclable, and the recycled material has exactly the same high quality as virgin aluminium. It can be melted and reformed indefinitely making it one of the most environmentally friendly materials in use.
When it Comes To the Price, Which is Better Aluminium or uPVC Windows?
There’s no getting away from it, uPVC is the cheaper of the two options. So if you have a very strict budget, then the price of the aluminium windows might be a deal-breaker. But, if you plan to stay in your property for a long time, aluminium windows will last for many more years, so you won’t have to go through the upheaval of replacing the windows so often.
Why choose aluminium windows? A lot of it will come down to the look you want for your home. Aluminium frames offer the most modern look and they maximise the glass used. This provides more light inside the home and gives a better view of the outside. UPVC frames, however, give a home comforting reassurance, it’s a familiar look we have all grown up with and know well. The best way to decide which is better pvc or aluminium windows is to walk around your neighbourhood looking at other homes nearby. Take a moment to understand what it is you like or dislike about other people’s windows, and that will help you decide.