uPVC Windows vs Aluminium Windows – Which is best for your customers?
Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride, otherwise known as uPVC, is a low maintenance alternative building material that can substitute for timber or aluminium. uPVC has become a popular choice for homeowners looking for effective thermal insulation and noise reduction and is considered a more cost-effective alternative to more traditional materials due to its lower initial price point. The material is made from vinyl polymer bound to chlorine atoms and boasts very high strength. uPVC is among the top three most popular (by usage) synthesised plastics in production worldwide!
Aluminium is a traditional, high-price point material for windows and doors. Aluminium has often been considered the best material for windows because of its longevity, durability, and providing a distinctive, high-quality look to a building. However, it has been criticised over the years for its poorer thermal performance compared to other materials, although this can be circumvented with modern innovations. As uPVC begins to take over as the most popular material on the market, is it time to say that uPVC is now the more attractive option. Or is aluminium still the ultimate choice?
Durability and Installation
uPVC windows are exceptionally durable for the low price point at installation. Highly resistant to wind and rain, uPVC is an incredibly strong material, proved by its popularity across many industries. Due to its composition, uPVC will not rust or rot and is resistant to chemical erosion. The overall low maintenance of uPVC is an incredibly important part of why they are so attractive to homeowners. The composition is designed to be a ‘fit and forget’ installation that does not require any special coating to ward off dirt, dust and bacteria.
On the other hand, aluminium has a much longer lifespan than the uPVC at around 45 years! Therefore, the higher price point of aluminium windows is reflected in them is a long-term investment for homeowners looking to increase the value of their homes. However, the low price point of uPVC means it could be a much more cost-effective solution for the modern homeowner.
Both uPVC and aluminium are lightweight materials that are easily manipulated. As a result, installation is considered an easy process with both materials. In terms of production, aluminium requires large amounts of energy for the binding process in creating the alloy. Therefore, whilst the installation process can be relatively simple, aluminium production is complex. uPVC, on the other hand, is very easily produced and sourced. As it is among the top three synthetic plastics, a consistent supply of uPVC is available for installations, which is reflected in its low price point.
Aluminium as a material has taken steps to become a better heat insulator. Through a thermal break, aluminium elements of the installation are separated to prevent global cooling of the whole installation. The material itself has been called a poor insulator, and homeowners may have cold window sills in the winter. However, the modern innovation of thermal breaks ensures that aluminium is a high-performance thermal insulator. uPVC, on the other hand, is an exceptional heat insulator. The material does not conduct heat, preventing temperature shifts over the year. Therefore, whilst also being a cheaper alternative to aluminium, the energy efficiency of uPVC is relatively the same, if not better. Homeowners can be sold on much lower energy costs over the course of the year due to not needing to regulate the temperatures of their homes with fans or heating with both uPVC and aluminium windows.
Aluminium has a sleeker and higher quality ‘look’ to it. Traditionally, aluminium has been considered the premium material when it comes to windows. The lower price point of uPVC, however, coupled with its various benefits, is extremely significant for potential customers compared to aluminium. When coupled with the potential for lower energy costs is similarly significant to potential customers, particularly as prices for a lot of materials and energy are currently going up.
Which is best?
There is no definitive answer when it comes to deciding which is better. Aluminium is more expensive but has a much longer life span and provides an ultra-modern aesthetic to the home, potentially raising its value. On the other hand, uPVC has a lower life span but is an exceptional thermal insulator requiring low maintenance with a much lower price point.
Here at Dempsey Dyer, we offer both aluminium and uPVC windows in various styles and colours. Using our online quoting engine, you can design the window that you need in the material you desire to receive a free quote today! Furthermore, don’t hesitate to contact us with any specific questions or join our free newsletter to receive updates on everything happening here at Dempsey Dyer.