Two common types of windows are often suggested when people go window shopping – UPVC, or unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, and aluminum. So what are the differences between these two types of window frames?
Aluminum windows are inexpensive and simple to install. Aluminum is a long-lasting, lightweight, rust-resistant element. The oxidation that occurs is a dull sheen that doesn’t affect the window’s quality or the fixture’s integrity.
uPVC, or rigid vinyl, windows are a little more expensive, but they are more energy efficient than aluminum windows because they do not allow the transfer of the outdoor temperature to the indoors. The uPVC frames keep heat where you want it – indoors or out – and helps manage energy costs. These stiff frames are also more secure because aluminum frames can be bent and broken into while uPVC frames would require much more force.
The downside of uPVC windows is that they do not last as long as aluminum windows (about 25 years vs. roughly 60 years, respectively). When they are discarded, aluminum windows are easy to recycle but uPVC requires special processing, typically ends up in landfills, and is toxic to humans and animals when burned.
So which one is better? It depends what your needs are. If you’re looking for energy efficiency and safety, uPVC is your best bet. But if you want less expensive, long-lasting, recyclable windows and don’t worry much about energy efficiency, then aluminum windows are probably what you want.
If you’ve noticed a significant difference between the two in your own homes, please let us know. We’ll be glad to hear from you!
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