Are aluminium windows better than uPVC windows?
This question is often voiced by homeowners looking to upgrade their windows and it doesn’t come with a universal answer.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, with the most popular points of concern regarding the aesthetics, price, security, efficiency, and maintenance of the two different materials.
uPVC or aluminium windows: Appearance
The history, style, and relevant regulations associated with your property are the major factors that come into play here.
Traditionally, uPVC windows were seen as the less aesthetically pleasing of the two materials. Typically, uPVC produces wider frames, which may appear clunky to some peoples’ tastes.
However, recent advancements in manufacturing have changed this. They are able to achieve smoother designs thanks to the introduction of slimmer profiles, meaning there is no reason why uPVC windows can’t gratify a more modern look.
uPVC also tends to appear more suitable for listed buildings or properties within a conservation area. This is because they are less at odds with the character of the home. For example, a rural cottage is much more suited to uPVC windows than the contemporary style of aluminium.
If you’re not constrained by the style and regulations that come with historical homes, aluminium windows bring lots of positives to the overall design of your home. They’re slim and look incredibly stylish framing large floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s easy to curate a chic, modern appearance with aluminium and the typically wider array of colours to choose from gives you greater control over the whole design.
Ultimately, with the issue of aesthetics, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and its best to consider which style would best complement the rest of your home.
uPVC or aluminium windows: Affordability
The disparity in cost between uPVC and aluminium windows is an expected concern among customers.
Aluminium windows are almost guaranteed to be more expensive due to higher manufacturing costs. However, when considered alongside its long life expectancy, there is certainly a case to be made that aluminium may prove more cost-effective in the long run.
uPVC is the more affordable choice and also boasts of a long lifespan. They are affectionately termed ‘fit and forget’ windows by those who work in the industry. This is thanks to their being reliably resistant to rot and assumed to last many years.
The size of your home is also a factor in this equation. With a smaller home, the two choices might be more fairly comparable. But an average size and above might notice that the difference between uPVC windows and their aluminium counterparts is separated by several thousands of pounds, rather than a few hundred.
Of course, this dilemma is conditional on your own personal budget, but the best choice should become clear to you when it’s considered in tandem with these other important concerns.
uPVC or aluminium windows: Security
uPVC windows are superb at blocking out sound. This can bring further comfort and privacy but also work well in terms of safety, as it will be impossible for potential intruders to discern when you are and aren’t home.
Aluminium has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. This means that despite their slender appearance, choosing aluminium does not mean you’re skimping out on security.
All considered, there is little difference between the two materials when it comes to safety and durability. Both have excellent reputations in this arena and are known to be far stronger than other popular window frameworks, such as timber.
Moreover, both uPVC and aluminium can be layered with a multi-point lock system which provides an additional barrier against intrusion. Look for work accredited with a Secured By Design approval awarded by the Home Office and police force, which ensures your lock has been made to the highest standard.
uPVC or aluminium windows: Energy Efficiency
uPVC is known to be an impeccable insulator and thus windows made from this material have impressive levels of thermal efficiency, saving you money simultaneously.
Conversely, aluminium is commonly mistaken to be terrible in terms of energy efficiency. This is unsurprising since they are often cold to touch and it is the case that aluminium is a highly conductive material where heat passes easily through it. Yet, once again, modern innovation has changed all of this. Aluminium can achieve similar levels of energy efficiency to uPVC, this is thanks to what’s called a thermal break. This barrier stops aluminium-to-aluminium contact from the two sides of the window, which ultimately protects the heat inside your home
In short, both materials are capable of keeping your property warm throughout the winter. Especially since many UK manufacturers now install a material called Aerogel into the window frames of new build homes. Being the same component used to insulate astronauts’ clothing and shuttle equipment, Aerogel goes a long way in shielding your home from the cold, whether it’s framed with uPVC or aluminium.
uPVC or aluminium windows: Maintenance
Neither uPVC or aluminium is particularly difficult to maintain. Both are resistant to rot or change of shape. The pair also have pretty simple cleaning requirements, with only a non-abrasive cloth needed to wipe them down. Although, it’s true that uPVC does have more of a reputation centred on its easy maintenance.
The verdict on maintenance is difficult to reach. Both are easy to clean and likely to a enjoy a long life span, however, the ‘fit and forget’ nature of uPVC might just give it the edge here.
Window Installation with Framemaster
Providing exceptional service across Solihull and Birmingham, Framemaster has over twenty-five years of experience in the industry.
All of this has led to us becoming one of the most trusted voices in the local industry, where we have been proven to deliver only the highest standards of design and construction. From refined windows and doors to bespoke conservatories and orangeries, our expert and friendly staff look forward to helping you realise your vision.
Contact us to request a free quote with no added obligation. We’ll put you in the driver’s seat so that we can work together to build your dream home.