Whether you’re building or renovating, it’s important to put some thought into your choice of window frames. Choosing the right window frames can save you a lot of money in the long run by minimizing maintenance and replacement costs and reducing your power usage and costs.
While timber and aluminium frames are generally the most common choices, uPVC windows have emerged as an energy efficient and sustainable alternative with a range of benefits. But before we get into that, let’s find out what uPVC windows are.
What is uPVC?
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most common synthetic plastic polymers in the world. During PVC manufacturing, plasticisers are usually added to make the material softer and more flexible. If no plasticisers are added, the resulting material is known as unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC). This material is more rigid and durable than PVC and is commonly used for window frames, vinyl siding and plastic pipes and plumbing.
So let’s have a look at some of the benefits of uPVC windows.
Low maintenance and durable
One of the main benefits of uPVC windows is the extremely low maintenance requirements. Unlike timber frames, they require no sanding, repainting or varnishing. They are rust and corrosion proof and they’re UV resistant, which means that won’t fade, even under the tough Aussie sun. They won’t rot or warp like timber frames can and they are completely pest proof. And because they don’t require painting, they won’t blister, fade or flake.
They require no specialist cleaning to keep them looking great. A periodic wash down with soapy water is all the maintenance they require.
Because uPVC frames aren’t prone to the damage that can affect timber and aluminium, you can expect to get a long useful life out of uPVC windows. They are resistant to moisture, chemical damage, pests, corrosion, heat and sunlight. UPVC doesn’t warp or change shape under normal temperature conditions and can be expected to provide 40-80 years of use with minimal maintenance requirements.
Combined with double glazing, uPVC windows can reduce noise transfer by as much as 50%. UPVC frames are especially installed to help create a soundproof barrier between your home’s interior and outside world.
Windows account for a large amount of thermal transfer into and out of your home. So making sure your windows are as well insulated as possible will go a long way to reducing your reliance on heating and cooling systems. This will help to reduce your power bills and make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
UPVC is an extremely low conductor of heat, which means that very little heat will be lost or gained through uPVC window frames. Combined with double glazing, uPVC will provide maximum window insulation for your home.
UPVC window frames are surprisingly eco-friendly. Their long life span (40-80 years) means that you can get a long usable life from the product. The minimal maintenance requirements, especially compared to timber frames, mean that you don’t need to use harmful petro-chemicals like paints and varnishes for upkeep, which is also good for the environment.
Additionally, uPVC frames can be made from mostly recycled materials and after their useful life can be recycled into other plastic materials like pipes, plumbing fittings and more.
Window frames can be exposed to some pretty tough weather conditions. Over time, wind and salt spray (if you live in a coastal area), rain and hail, heat and UV rays can take their toll on most window frames. However, uPVC frames are specifically designed to withstand the tough Aussie climate. They are UV stabilised and resistant to sun fading and cracking. They are much more resistant to moisture than timber and won’t corrode like metal frames can.
UPVC windows are naturally fire retardant and will not cause, support or spread fires. In many cases, they can be customized to meet the highest ratings for fire safety.
With uPVC, you can get superior quality window frames for a small portion of the cost of timber or aluminium frames.
Talk to your glazier or builder today to find out more about the benefits of uPVC windows.