Which material is more durable? uPVC or aluminum?
uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) is one of the popular choices for window frames for a long time. As a material uPVC is durable and does not rot over a period of time. Thus, it has a longer lifespan and requires a lesser level of maintenance. The downside is that the frames can degrade over a period of time, however, at a much lower rate when compared to wooden windows. The shelf life is ranging between 20-30 years after which it may require replacement.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is a more robust material and can be used as a window frame for almost an infinite period of time. Aluminum is thus a highly durable material and aluminum of a good quality can last up to 45 years since they do not degrade in the same way as uPVC does. Another advantage with aluminum is that it does not rust, so you can easily render the aesthetic appeal of your property without any rusty patches.
Which material is more energy efficient? uPVC or aluminum?
Aluminum windows are comparatively less favorable when compared to uPVC due to its low thermal efficiency. As a material, aluminum is highly conducive which easily allows the heat to pass through and enter your home, making it hotter and less comfortable.
However, technology today has come a long way and become better where aluminum windows feature a thermal feature which is used to insulate the space. Ultimately, the level of thermal efficiency offered by both aluminum windows and uPVC windows is variable and it comes down to the quality of materials and manufacturing processes used.
Which material is more aesthetically appealing?
When you are choosing a window for your home you should not necessarily ignore the aesthetic aspect of the same. Choosing an aesthetically appealing window can increase the beauty of both inside as well as outside of your home.
Aluminum frames make for some incredible views outside your home with the sleek sightlines. Further, the slimmer design can hold larger glass panes along with offering you with a strong durability. Larger glass panes also enhance the natural light that enters your home. Other advantages of aluminum windows include:
- Sleek style
- Improved slightness
- More natural light
A lower aesthetic appeal is, unfortunately, the downfall of uPVC. It offers you a plain and white simple look which comes off as quite unattractive for the consumers to purchase. Some attributes of uPVC windows include:
- Various colors and finishes
- Plastic appearance
- Good value
#Tip: Both materials can be colored in an extensive range of RAL colors which can make it more attractive and appealing.
Security of uPVC and aluminum windows:
Aluminum and uPVC windows are both durable materials which make it more secure when compared to regular wooden windows. However, the level of security of the windows depends upon the quality of the locks which come installed with it.
It does not matter much if you go for aluminum or uPVC each provides you with modern and multiple locks which you can install which can secure the windows.
Soundproofing of uPVC and aluminum windows:
uPVC offers you with a better installation capability when compared to aluminum windows. uPVC is one of the best insulators in the market which is available which provides the best soundproofing capability if you are living in a busy locality.
When compared to aluminum uPVC has a much better capability to keep the sound out making it a reason for its increasing popularity.
Ease of maintenance:
When choosing the most appropriate window for your home, you usually look for one which offers you the least amount of maintenance.
uPVC is undoubtedly one of the best options if you want easy to maintain windows. Thanks to the highly plasticized material, they are easy to clean and maintain with a simple wipe down the cloth, if they get dirty.
Aluminum is also is an equally sturdy choice, the metal is easily resistant to corrosion and is also completely weatherproof. This enables the windows to look as amazing as the day on which it was installed, free from any kind of rotting or warping.
Which one is more cost effective? uPVC or Aluminum?
Aluminum windows tend to have a higher price point when compared to uPVC windows. However, in the long run, aluminum is less likely to degrade than uPVC which makes it the more cost-effective choice.
There are many attributes to keep in mind which determine the cost of aluminum windows:
- Size of the aperture
- Number of panes in the window
- Glazing (double or triple)
- Locking mechanisms
- Colors and finishes
- Quality of aluminum used (prime aluminum billets or scrap aluminum)
However, today aluminum is becoming more and more reasonable due to their increasing popularity. When the manufacturers are increasing the production of the windows, the lower cost due to bulk production also slowly trickles down to the consumer.
Today, the cost of uPVC products has reduced considerably due to the increase in mass demand for the product since the 1980s, which makes it a more affordable product when compared to aluminum. uPVC plastic is widely found in white window frames throughout the country offering lesser maintenance and negates the need for regular paintwork or periodical paintwork or lubrication.
uPVC windows also offer excellent insulation and tend to cost far less than aluminum or wood. uPVC windows come with a very high-quality surface finish and fit seamlessly with contemporary, modern interiors as well. When it comes to pricing, uPVC is the cheapest material as compared to aluminum or wood.
Pros vs Cons:
Aluminum windows pros:
- Lightweight, sleek, easy to clean and economical.
- Far more environmentally friendly than uPVC and wood.
- Impervious to denting and weathering
Aluminum windows cons:
- Aluminum is a great conductor of heat and thus provides poor thermal insulation and high thermal conductivity.
- Requires maintenance if anodization wears out.
- Aluminum is prone to oxidation and susceptible to corrosion especially if you live near coastal environments.
uPVC windows pros:
- Virtually maintenance free and easy to clean
- The extremely thermally efficient material provides your home with greater heat insulation as compared to aluminum and wooden windows.
- UPVC windows have UV resistant blend and do not fade under sustained exposure to the sun.
- Doesn’t Rot, Corrode or Rust.
uPVC windows cons:
- Resale value of the property doesn’t get a boost as compared to wooden and aluminum fittings.
- Significantly weaker than other materials.
Which should you choose? Every homeowner is different!
Aluminum or uPVC, that is the question!
Aluminum vs uPVC is not very easy to make a clear-cut choice. There are many factors that go into it, such as your personal preferences, budget, or any other factor that is important to you. Every homeowner is different with separate likes and dislikes.
If you want a window which is highly durable and aesthetically appealing aluminum is the right choice for you. Despite the higher initial cost it is a more durable choice in the long run due to its increased sensitivity.
uPVC is the right choice to make if you want a window which will require low maintenance and better protection from loud sounds and noise. Even though it is not the best choice when it comes to aesthetics, you can still customize it to suit the needs of your home by choosing from a wide range of color options.