Which Window Frame: UPVC, Aluminium Or Wood?

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windowWhen the Irish winter overstayed its welcome this year and bullied its way into spring, home insulation once again became a hot topic among homeowners. One of the best ways to insulate your home is to install double glazed windows, but what material should you choose for your window frame? Window frames come in a variety of materials such as UPVC, wood and aluminium. I have noticed a lot of UPVC windows in Dublin, but are they the best option for our temperate climate? If you are wondering which material you should choose for your window frames, take the following considerations into account:

Durability

Wood might be the most customisable and aesthetically-pleasing option, but in our damp climate, the moisture in the air can eventually cause it to warp or rot. Wood also makes a great home for insects and pests such as woodworm. If the nails become loose, wooden frames will rattle in the wind. They need to be repainted and resealed every year to prevent peeling paint.

UPVC and aluminium are not vulnerable to moisture, rotting, warping or insects, but due to its lightweight structure, aluminium can suffer from bends and dents. Aluminium and wood frames can also be damaged by salty air.

Warranty

Warranties for wood and aluminium frames typically ten for ten years. UPVC frames usually come with twenty to thirty year warranties.

Security

Some window frame materials will accommodate internal glazing; this is when the window pane can only be removed from the inside, thus increasing security. Another way to increase security is to install windows with locks. Most UPVC windows come with multipoint locks as standard.

Style

Up until recently, wood was always regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing material for window frames however advancements in the industry mean that UPVC windows are now available in wood grain effects.

Wood still holds an advantage over UPVC in terms of style because you can change the colour of a wooden frame by painting it, whereas UPVC windows are designed so that they don’t need repainting. Aluminium can also be painted but like wood, correct maintenance requires will require you to then repaint every year.

Placement

If you have an awkwardly shaped window and need a customised frame, it will be harder to get a UPVC window because they tend to come in precast sizes. In this case, wood or aluminium would be a more suitable choice.

Environmental Performance

Much debate surrounds the question of which material is the most environmentally friendly. Wood is only a renewable resource when it is sourced from sustainable forests. UPVC contains chemicals that are harmful to the environment if they are emitted during manufacture. Wood is biodegradable and UPVC can end up in landfill where harmful chemicals can leech into the soil.

On the other hand, UPVC has strong insulative properties so it keeps heat in in the winter and it keeps heat out in the summer. This means that less energy is wasted for heating and air conditioning. It is also possible to recycle old UPVC and use it to make new UPVC.

This article was written by Jenna Crotty who recommends www.airtight.ie for upvc windows Dublin.

A post by Kidal Delonix (2831 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Chief editor and author at LERAblog, writing useful articles and HOW TOs on various topics. Particularly interested in topics such as Internet, advertising, SEO, web development, and business.

1 Comment

  • It is important to note that modern aluminium windows are painted using a hard wearing polyester powder coat paint finish, which will also carry its own 10 year guarantee. The paint is generally 60 microns thick, but can be thicker for a marine finish (suitable for use by the coast).

    They can be painted in any of over 200 different RAL colour paint finishes in a gloss satin (semi gloss) or matt finish. The polyester powder coat paint is baked onto the aluminium in order to create a durable tough finish that can withstand the rigors of all weather conditions and modern living in the UK.

    It is similar to the way your car is painted and as a result will last far longer than 1 year before it needs re-painting. More like 30 – 40 years.

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