There is a lot to consider when choosing windows for your home. While many people will focus on the type of glass and style, the frames you choose are equally important. The choice of frame can impact your new windows’ strength, security, and thermal performance. Aluminium and uPVC are two of Australia’s most popular choices for window frames. Both frames have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, aluminium frames are the most popular choice.
Let’s explore the two materials and find out why.
What Are uPVC Windows?
uPVC stands for Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride. The material is rigid and durable, making it a popular choice in the building industry. uPVC frames are weather resistant, long-lasting, and a cheaper alternative to aluminium. In addition, double-glazed uPVC windows offer increased energy efficiency, and the material is recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
What Are Aluminium Windows?
Aluminium window frames are lightweight, strong, and extremely durable. They are available in anodised and powder coat finishes that allow excellent choice when it comes to matching your colour specifications. Aluminium’s strength also allows for incomparable slimline frames, allowing more light in without compromising security. In addition, double-glazing aluminium windows offer superior energy efficiency and significant noise reduction.
uPVC vs Aluminium Windows: What Is The Difference Between uPVC and Aluminium?
Both uPVC and aluminium frames are good options for the harsh Australian climate. However, they do differ in durability, cost, and customisation options. To determine which material is best for your needs, let’s break down the pros and cons of each.
Which Is More Durable, uPVC or Aluminium?
Aluminium frames are a lot stronger than uPVC. This superior strength allows the use of a much thinner frame which may be desirable in specific design requirements. The increased strength of aluminium also supports the use of larger glass panels which suits projects that desire large windows with less panelling. Aluminium outperforms uPVC in overall durability, with uPVC reporting a 20+ year lifespan, while aluminium boasts a lifespan of 45+ years.
What Are The Pros and Cons Of Aluminium Windows?
It is clear why aluminium frames are the popular choice for windows in Australia, but every material has pros and cons. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of aluminium.
Advantages of Aluminium Frames
Aluminium is extremely durable and resistant to the harsh Australian weather. It has high corrosion resistance and will not swell, crack, split or warp over time. Aluminium frames boast a superior lifespan compared to uPVC and require little maintenance.
Due to aluminium’s strength, your windows can efficiently be designed to meet custom specifications without compromising safety or security. In addition, with a wide variety of finishes available in hundreds of colours, it is easy to match your window frames to seamlessly coordinate with your colour palette.
While uPVC frames may be a cheaper alternative, aluminium frames are considerably more affordable than other frame options, such as timber, without compromising on quality and durability. Aluminium window prices are very competitive making them a great option..
Aluminium is 100% recyclable, non-toxic, and completely sustainable. Furthermore, the recycling process of aluminium requires only 5 percent of the initial energy required to create it.
Aluminium windows double glazed offer outstanding energy efficiency for your home. Homeowners can expect up to a 50% reduction in their energy bill when combining the benefits of double glazing with their aluminium frames.
Disadvantages of Aluminium Frames
Some people prefer the appearance of natural timber frames over aluminium. However, many options are available with aluminium frames to customise colours and imitate a wood finish.
Aluminium readily conducts heat, which means it may conduct unwanted heat through the frame in hot climates. However, Thermally Broken Aluminium frames provide excellent thermal efficiency. These frames are created by installing a non-metallic resin or plastic material in the aluminium frame that separates the interior part of the window from the exterior. As a result, the pathway for heat transfer or conduction through the window is thermally broken, resulting in your house remaining cooler during summer and warmer during winter.
Is Aluminium Better Than uPVC?
There is a reason aluminium frames are the most popular choice in Australia. They outperform uPVC in durability and strength and offer superior customisation options for those with specific design requirements. In addition, combined with double glazing aluminium windows provide excellent thermal control resulting in reduced electricity costs.
Why Is Aluminium Better Than uPVC?
To recap the many advantages of aluminium frames, here are the top 5 reasons you should choose aluminium over uPVC.
- Aluminium frames can last a lifetime
- Thermally broken aluminium windows outperform uPVC for energy efficiency
- Superior strength allows for thinner frames and larger glass panels
- Endless design options with colour customisation
- Competitively priced and affordable quality product
The aluminium range at Eco Smart Designs offers:
- Numerous configuration options for all windows & doors
- 200-300% improved thermal efficiency, U-Value as low as 0.9
- 93% UV reflection
- 88% Noise reduction
- Argon filled gaps
- Internal and external flush casement
- 150 RAL colours, plus woodgrain-effect foils
- High-security with up to 6/8-point locking systems
- Low maintenance / zero maintenance frames
- Suitable for coastal properties
- Suitable for bushfire-prone areas
- Exceed all existing building standards
- Heights up to 3m
Which Is The Best Choice For You?
The right window elevates your home’s exterior, offers protection against the elements, and can potentially save you significant money on your power bill. Choosing the right between uPVC vs aluminium windows that suit the design of your home while meeting your functional requirements is essential. There are many factors to consider, including the type of glass, the design, and the frames. Aluminium frames, particularly thermally broken aluminium frames combined with double glazing, offer outstanding energy efficiency, strength, durability, and design customisation that cannot be matched by uPVC.
Contact the team at Eco Smart Designs to discuss the best choice for you. We are a family-owned and operated business specialising in Thermally Broken Aluminium double-glazed windows and pride ourselves on our workmanship and superior customer service. Whether you are looking at retrofitting an existing property or planning a new build, we will guide you through every step.