In modern times you will notice that aluminum windows systems can be found on some of the world’s most dramatic, prestigious, and dynamic new buildings from homes, to condos, and to skyscrapers. Although aluminium constructions have used these windows since the 1970’s, they have changed fundamentally from what they were to what they are now.
Technology, design, and manufacturing of aluminum windows systems have developed a lot since the seventies and are now considered to be the best forms modern glazing. Now there are a number of reputable companies that are producing some of the very best aluminium constructions such as windows and doors that of the highest of standards.
The problem with aluminum windows is that aluminum is a metal and a good conductor and poor thermal insulator. In contrast uPVC is a plastic which provides high thermal resistance. This means that uPVC windows are good at stopping the transference of heat and cold between inside and outside a house. So in winter uPVC windows keep the heat in and cold out; and in the summer they keep the cool in and the heat out. It is estimated that just one uPVC window can save a homeowner $20 per winter in heating costs. Aluminum windows on the other hand, seep out heat in the winter and let out the cool air in the summer.
uPVC windows are the same price as aluminum windows, can be made in all styles including patio doors, stable doors and bow windows. uPVC can be printed to look like wood or any other style. They last 35 years with minimal maintenance and are impervious to humidity.
It is easy to understand why aluminum windows became less popular. However, a few points are worth making that might make you think again about which is the better window frame type.
Firstly, the thermal resistance issue has been partly addressed by makers of aluminum windows. They now include thermal breaks that provide some insulation from outside. There is way to go but the thermal breaks will save you money in heating bills compared to aluminum windows without them.
Secondly, aluminum is a metal that tarnishes but doesn’t rust. They will outlast uPVC windows, often they are good for up to 60 years with a minimum of maintenance. The only problem with aluminum frames is that sometimes they are easy to dent.
This is often the case because most vinyl siding is not recycled and instead ends up in a land fill. Land fill fires are notoriously common occurrences. In contrast, aluminum is comparatively easy and straight-forward to recycle. This makes aluminum frames more environmentally friendly than uPVC window frames.