Today, with the abundance of materials used in window manufacturing, homeowners are yet to solve another puzzle: which material to choose for their windows.
In this article we will be comparing UPVC vs. aluminum windows. Whether you are replacing your old windows or choosing them for your brand-new home, there are certain characteristics that you need to consider. While both UPVC (un-plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) and aluminum are recognized as durable materials for windows, they have some differences that will be outlined below. The characteristics that will be discussed are affordability, durability, insulation, maintenance and aesthetics.
Affordability is the first criterion many homeowners consider when choosing a window material. Both UPVC and aluminum windows can have quite a high price tag, based on style, size, décor options but considering this is a long term investment you may want to look at their durability which affects their lifespan too.
Durability is a definite advantage of UPVC material. Unlike aluminum, UPVC windows will not pick up rust and will not fade over time. Hence, UPVC is a very low-maintenance material that will require only to be wiped with a damp cloth to look fresh again. Aluminum, despite being a hard-wearing material, will still require some maintenance once in a while. However, keep in mind that windows with double glazing may need some maintenance and replacement of sealed units over the course of their life span.In general, modern technology UPVC windows are expected to last about 30-40 years, while lifespan of aluminm clad ones (aluminum over wood) is about half less and doesn’t exceed 15-20 years.
Insulation provided by the windows is another very important aspect in choosing them. This is where aluminum stands behind UPVC. The latter is a perfect insulating material: unlike aluminum, it does not conduct heat. Moreover, multi-chambered UPVC window frames come with multiple point locks, thus have a better sealing. This feature also makes UPVC windows sound-proof – an added value, which might be vital for some homeowners. Therefore, UPVC windows are much better in terms of thermal and acoustic protection. One more useful feature of UPVC frames is the built-in rain water drain system. Such frames will be especially attractive for homeowners, living in areas of heavy rainfall.
So far we outlined characteristics that make UPVC superior to aluminum. However, aluminum windows also have some very good features that will make them no less attractive than UPVC ones.
Aluminum has a great and invaluable feature: it is indefinitely recyclable, hence, more environmentally friendly. The recycling process of aluminum uses only a fraction of the energy used to manufacture it from scratch. However, during the recent years some UPVC recycling methods have been developed as well and becoming more widespread.
Some homeowners prefer to have as much sun in as possible, while others feel quite comfortable without much sunlight. For those who prefer sunlit rooms, aluminum windows might be a better option since and here is why: aluminum window frames can be made slimmer than UPVC ones, so they will have more glass area allowing more sunlight in. Windows with larger glass area also look more attractive.
The last, but not the least aspect discussed here is an aesthetic value, and here both window types may be quite advantageous. Powder coated aluminum frames look very attractive as well as UPVC frames presented in a wide array of colours. Both window types are able to boost your home’s curb appeal and complement the interior and exterior design of your place.
Some companies that manufacture high quality windows have gone farther: they have started to make combined window frames. Such windows have a profile of aluminum attached to a UPVC frame. This combination of both materials make window frames much more attractive to many homeowners: they have the security and visual appeal of aluminum and the excellent insulating properties of UPVC. Such windows can have considerably larger glass areas than standard UPVC windows. This is a perfect solution for those customers who want to have larger windows that would be both attractive and heat/sound proof.
Overall, both materials are very durable, secure and will serve you for many years. Your preferences, needs and budget will decide which material meets all your criteria and of course, you can always get a free estimate of the cost and find out about all the available options.