When you buy windows for your home, you want to make sure the ones you choose offer the best protection for your home. One thing you will want to consider is what type of material you want your windows to be made from. Common choices include wood, aluminum, and vinyl.
Through trial and error, we discovered that vinyl tends to be the best option of the three. The material will also save you money on your energy bills because it is insulated. Vinyl windows never need painting or scraping making them a low maintenance solution. They are available in a variety of colors.
When it comes to vinyl windows, you can choose from PVC and uPVC options. This article will review why uPVC is a better choice.
PVC vs. uPVC
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and UPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) are both types of vinyl material used in a variety of construction processes. PVC is often used to make siding and fences while uPVC is used for window and door construction. PVC is not ideal for windows and doors due to its chemical composition.
PVC contains phthalates and BPA which are chemical compounds often used in plastic to give it its flexible characteristics. However, these compounds are highly toxic and therefore banned in the making of toy products in the United States and Europe. After conducting experiments with it, when exposed to high temperatures, they emit fumes that can cause damage to internal organs and the environment. So it’s no wonder why we wouldn’t want to use them on our doors and windows.
Additionally, PVC is porous and, therefore, more susceptible to stains. This makes it a high maintenance option for door and window framing.
uPVC does not contain phthalates or BPA. It offers high levels of energy efficiency and durability making it a terrific alternate to PVC. Other benefits include:
- Less porous and more resistant to stains
- High energy efficiency
- Rigid and does not flex
- Durable enough to last for decades
- Recyclable material
- Resistant to high impact
- Maintains its color well over time
uPVC Vs. Aluminum
Now we know the benefits uPVC has over regular PVC, but how does it hold up to other materials? After trying out this product here are some things to consider in comparing it to aluminum:
Energy Efficiency: When it comes to energy efficiency, uPVC does not heat up like aluminum does which makes it a cooler option in the summer. Ironically, aluminum also doesn’t hold in heat as well as other materials, so it is not great for energy efficiency.
Maintenance: Aluminum windows are prone to corrosion and fading while uPVC is not. They also tend to gather condensation which can lead to rust and mold. While keeping parts lubricated will reduce the chances of this happening, it adds to maintenance.
Installation: Vinyl is also easier to install than aluminum due to its flexibility.
Cost: uPVC windows are lower cost than aluminum. The installation is easier which also adds to the savings.
uPVC vs. Wood
After putting it to the test, here are some facts on how uPVC holds up against the wood.
Energy Efficiency: uPVC is preferable to wood when it comes to energy efficiency. Vinyl is a good insulator. It inhibits the transmission of heat and cold. Wood, on the other hand, can become damaged with rot allowing heat and cold to enter. The hollow core frames are also not great at offering protection.
Maintenance: Wood requires more maintenance than vinyl. It needs to be repainted or stained every 3-4 years. It is also more prone to weather or paint damage. Vinyl requires almost no maintenance other than regular cleanings.
Installation: Wood is a lot heavier than vinyl and, therefore, more difficult to install.
Cost: uPVC is cheaper than wood. It is also less expensive to install and repair.
Are uPVC Windows Secure?
After putting it to the test PVC windows can be secure depending on the locking system installed. Some windows have 1-3 locking points while some have multi-locking points. The more locking points they have, the more secure they will be.
Tilt and turn is a feature that’s not specific to uPVC windows, but when integrated, it can provide extra safety. The windows lock with a simple turn of the handle. This simple function ensures that the window is securely locked on all sides.
Safety glazing can also be added. This protects the window from damage that can occur to the pane including environmental damage and possible break-ins.
uPVC Window Colors
If you are passionate about interior design, the color of your windows can be the most important factor to consider. uPVC windows come in a wide variety of colors. Depending on the company you order from, you may have up to 60 colors to choose from.
In choosing a color, it’s important to go for colored vinyl over painted vinyl. When we trialed this product, painted vinyl fade over time so it’s not the preferred choice.
Other Energy Efficiency Considerations
uPVC is an energy efficient material, but you can look forward to even more conservation with these features.
- Multi-Panes: Two or three panes of glass will provide optimal energy efficiency.
- Low-E Glass Coating: A Low-E glass coating is a thin metallic coating that is applied to the window’s exterior pane. It keeps heat from escaping the home.
- Gas Fills: Gas fills are a special type of gas placed between panes. They add a layer of insulation against the elements.
The Right Window Company is Important
You will also get the most out of your uPVC windows if you choose the right window company. Qualified contractors will provide a terrific product, high quality installation, reasonable prices, and a reliable warranty.
Everest Windows and Doors is a recommended choice for window projects in the greater Toronto area by HomeStars. We do everything from sales to distribution to installation. Our products are made with high attention to detail. We provide architects, contractors, and developers that offer the very best in customer service.
Our findings show that uPVC may be your best choice for window material. Everest Windows and Doors will see to it that you get the very most out of the products you choose. Call us to find out when would be the best time for your window replacement and how we can get your home to the next level.