Should you choose aluminium frames for your new windows (or doors), or is uPVC a better option? It’s not always a straightforward choice, so you’ll need to consider the following when selecting the best material for your home.
Just Windows and Doors Ltd who are GGF members and Fensa registered, have kindly written the following article for your consideration. Do you agree with their suggestions or have other solutions?
For many people, price is the overriding concern when making a big purchase like this. And on that front, uPVC frames are a clear winner; a cheap and cost-effective material, they’ll set you back around half of the cost of aluminium frames.
Thermal efficiency is the extent to which your window frames can keep the heat locked into your home. The less warmth you lose through the windows, the more you’ll save on your heating bills. More efficient frames will also keep you comfortable, especially during the colder months. Both aluminium and uPVC can provide excellent thermal efficiency.
How good will your new window frames look? Will they suit the style and appearance of your home? While modern uPVC frames are available in a range of colours or, if you prefer, realistic wood effects, they can’t rival the slimness and flexibility of aluminium. If aesthetic appeal is your main concern, aluminium is the likely choice for you.
It’s important to consider how your window frames will fare against the weather, and what will be their likely lifespan. uPVC windows are strong and sturdy, and could last you as long as 20 years in the right conditions; however, aluminium is a superior material that will endure for much longer. In particular, if you live in a coastal area at the mercy of the elements, aluminium is unquestionably the right choice for you.
Will you have to spend much time looking after your window frames? Are they vulnerable to wear and tear? uPVC window frames are famously low-maintenance; all that they require is the odd wipe-down with a damp cloth, and they’ll be good as new. Aluminium demands a little more TLC, but a monthly clean and a periodic check is all you’ll need to commit to.
Many people, understandably, worry most about the security of their windows and doors. If a solid and secure window frame is your top priority, aluminium is the material you’re after. There’s no stronger substance to protect your windows and keep your property safe. However, uPVC window frames come a close second; so if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to aluminium, it’s a good, solid second choice.
Your choice of material will have an impact on the environment – but which has better green credentials? One factor we considered above is thermal efficiency; this is best considered on an individual basis by checking the u-value of your frames. Your windows’ expected lifespan is another consideration; longer-lasting frames will have a smaller impact on the environment because they won’t need replacing so soon.
Finally, think about what will happen to your frames once they do need replacing. While it is possible to recycle uPVC, aluminium is certainly much easier to melt down and re-use. On the whole, aluminium wins out on the environmental front.
Link to Just Windows & Doors web site for further information