Choosing window types is often seen as challenging for homeowners. It is vital to avoid misinformation and outdated views, to make the right decision. Here we give you everything you need to know when comparing uPVC windows to aluminium windows.
We will help you carefully consider the benefits of each. You will be able to choose the frames that match the age and style of your property and sit comfortably within your budget.
uPVC windows (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) have been popular since the 1980s. They tend to be slightly better sound insulators compared to aluminium windows. However, this shouldn’t be a major deciding factor as the glazing plays the most significant role when looking to block outside noise.
Aluminium frames are thinner, so if you are looking for a modern home’s minimal look, aluminium will let you achieve this. The aluminium is finished with a stylish powder coat, but both window styles present opportunities to choose any colour, including realistic woodgrains.
Energy Rating & Cost
Aluminium windows used to have low thermal efficiency. This was because the material conducts heat very well, making it easy for heat within your home to pass through the frames to be lost to the outside. However, innovation and technology changes and modern aluminium windows have a thermal break (a barrier that stops aluminium-to-aluminium contact), reducing heat loss through the frame. Some contain insulating materials in the core to further improve efficiency.
uPVC windows and aluminium windows can be as efficient as each other. The minimum standard of energy-saving windows is a C-rating, with A++ denoting the highest energy rating.
uPVC windows tend to be cheaper, which has made them more popular than aluminium windows. However, with a longer lifespan, aluminium windows can offer a similar lifetime value.
Durability & Security
uPVC windows are strong, rot-resistant, and have a long lifespan with very little maintenance. You can expect new uPVC units to last for twenty years or more. Aluminium windows are also durable and should have a working life of 40 years or more. They do not rust or rot, so they always look spectacular.
Both window styles are less vulnerable to brute force attacks, which can be a problem for timber-framed windows. However, the level of security lies mostly in the choice of locking mechanisms. Look for multi-point locking and windows that are denoted as Secured By Design. Secured By Design are windows accredited by the police and home office.
uPVC windows can be recycled many times, and aluminium windows are environmentally sound, using only 5% of the energy to recycle them than creating the metal in the first instance.
High-grade windows are becoming more affordable all the time, and they are a worthwhile investment that will add value to your home.