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UPVC Windows vs Aluminium Windows

Windows are the eyes to the soul of a home. Ensuring that they have a sunny outlook on life is heavily influenced by its material. That said, choosing the right type of material for window frames is crucial for the longevity, efficiency, and aesthetics of a home. uPVC (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride) and aluminium are the two most popular options for window frames, each offering distinct advantages. 

Primarily known for their unparalleled insulation properties and immense durability, uPVC windows have become a popular choice for residential properties. They are renowned for their ability to retain heat within the home and prevent unwanted outdoor noise from seeping in—making them the ultimate soundproof and noise-reduction windows

On the flipside, aluminium windows stand out for their strength and slim profile. Their sleek characteristics can accommodate larger panes of glass and give way to an influx of natural light. This makes them favorites for both residential and commercial buildings. Although they are typically more expensive than uPVC, aluminium frames are highly customisable.

In the battle of aluminium windows vs uPVC ones, factors such as cost, energy efficiency, maintenance, durability, and aesthetic appeal are critical considerations for homeowners and builders. 

With two worthy contenders in the game of windows, which one will open a door of betterment for your household windows? 

Let’s find out in this showdown of uPVC windows vs aluminium windows!

 

1. Materials and Composition

The distinct properties of uPVC and aluminium impact the performance, durability, and visual value of window frames. Homeowners stuck at a crossroads of aluminium versus uPVC windows can rely on the following show of strengths to make their decision.

A woman looking out uPVC windows

Properties of uPVC Windows 

uPVC has a reputation for longevity on a budget. Moreover, they are trusted for their:

  • Durability: It’s going to take a lot more than a bit of wear and tear to make uPVC window frames throw in the towel. This is due to their resistance to rot, corrosion, and ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Maintenance: They require minimal maintenance, often needing only occasional cleaning to maintain their appearance.
  • Insulation: These window frames provide excellent thermal insulation, contributing to energy efficiency throughout the building. Better thermal insulation means lower electricity bills. Lower electricity usage means higher regard for Mother Nature (and your budget)
  • Recyclability: On an ecological scale, uPVC is recyclable. This eco-friendly feat minimizes its environmental impact compared to traditional wooden frames.
  • Cost: uPVC frames are generally more affordable than aluminium and wooden frames. Despite being lighter on the wallet, the quality remains as heavy-duty as ever. 

Characteristics of Aluminium  

Aluminium is a metal known for its polished, modern appearance. These window frames are defined by their:

  • Strength: Possessing a high strength-to-weight ratio, aluminium frames can support large panes of glass with slim profiles.
  • Durability: Highly resistant to the elements and not susceptible to warping or rotting. On top of that, they can last for many years with proper maintenance.
  • Maintenance: Requires little maintenance. However, aluminium is prone to corrosion if not properly treated.
  • Recyclability: Aluminium is fully recyclable.

 

2. Aluminium Versus UPVC Windows: Design and Aesthetics 

When deciding whether to opt for aluminium or uPVC, design and aesthetics are also imperative factors to take into account. A homeowner’s choice of window frame can either make or break the overall look of a property. 

Style Variations 

uPVC windows are loved for their versatility in design, often utilized in both modern and traditional properties. More often than not, they can be found in a range of styles, including casement, sash, tilt and turn, and bay windows. Each variant is uniquely suited to different types of buildings.

On the other hand, aluminium windows are celebrated for their slim frames, which allow for a larger glass area. This feature is particularly appealing for contemporary construction, promoting the benefits of natural light and offering expansive views. 

Colour and Finish Options 

We’ve all been there and done that in terms of struggling to choose the perfect colour and finish of our windows or any part of the home, for that matter.

Traditionally, windows come in a basic white shade, but advancements in uPVC technology have expanded the palette to include a spectrum of colours and woodgrain effects. The finishes are often bonded to the frame to reduce peeling or fading over time. Today, it’s highly customizable in terms of color, size, and design options.

Aluminium windows with powder coating, which makes them resistant to scratches and weather elements, offer a broader range of powder-coated colours and finishes. However, the anodised counterparts offer limited color options and customizability compared to UPVC.

Aluminium windows in an industrial style building

3. Aluminium Versus UPVC Windows: Performance and Durability 

When comparing uPVC windows vs aluminium windows in terms of performance and durability, one must consider their thermal and sound insulation capabilities along with maintenance needs and lifespan.

Thermal Insulation and Energy Efficiency

uPVC Windows:

  • Outstanding thermal insulation that effectively reduces heat loss due to the material’s non-conductive nature. 
  • Includes multiple chambers within frames that enhance energy efficiency.

Aluminium Windows:

  • Integrated with thermal breaks to minimize heat transfer. However, they are less insulative in comparison to their uPVC counterparts. 
  • Improved thermal performance in modern designs, but they tend to conduct more heat than uPVC does.

Sound Insulation and Comfort

uPVC Windows:

  • Superior soundproofing qualities, contributing to a more comfortable indoor environment.
  • Density helps dampen noise, making them ideal for residential areas.

Aluminium Windows:

  • Achieves good sound insulation with the right glazing options.
  • Inherently less soundproof than uPVC, but can be enhanced for increased comfort.

Maintenance and Longevity 

uPVC Windows:

  • Extremely low maintenance; does not warp, rot, fade, or corrode under normal conditions.
  • Long-lasting with a lifespan of up to 35 years.

Aluminium Windows:

  • Highly durable and can last up to 45 years with adequate maintenance.
  • Minimal maintenance, yet susceptible to corrosion if not properly treated or if damaged.

4. Cost 

Next in our guide on uPVC windows vs aluminium windows, let’s take a look at the cost of each type.

The initial cost of uPVC windows typically positions them as the more affordable option for budget-conscious homeowners. In contrast, aluminium windows are often more expensive at the outset due to the higher cost of the raw material and complex manufacturing processes. The table below summarises the cost comparison between the two:

Material Approximate Cost Range (per window)
uPVC AU$ 380 – AU$ 1,000
Aluminium AU$ 680 – AU$ 1,250

 

5. Environmental Impact 

Viewing uPVC vs aluminium windows from an environmental standpoint, both materials possess diverse benefits to take into consideration. UPVC windows are typically crafted from recycled content, reducing the need for new materials. To boot, uPVC itself is recyclable at the end of its shelf life. 

Bringing a similar level of eco-friendliness to the table, aluminium can be made from up to 100% recycled content. However, the environmental impact of aluminium is more significant compared to uPVC. 

A Summary: UPVC vs Aluminium 

Characteristic uPVC Windows Aluminium Windows
Durability Does not warp, rot, fade, or corrode under normal conditions. Highly resistant to the elements and not susceptible to warping or rotting, but can corrode if damaged or not properly maintained.
Maintenance They require minimal maintenance, often needing only occasional cleaning to maintain their appearance. Requires little maintenance. However, aluminium is prone to corrosion if not properly treated.
Customization Highly customizable in terms of color, size, and design options. The anodised types offer limited color options and customizability compared to UPVC.
Insulation
  • Outstanding thermal insulation that effectively reduces heat loss due to the material’s non-conductive nature.
  • Includes multiple chambers within frames that enhance energy efficiency.
  • Integrated with thermal breaks to minimize heat transfer. However, they are less insulative in comparison to their uPVC counterparts.
  • Improved thermal performance in modern designs, but they tend to conduct more heat than uPVC does.
Costs Relatively more affordable ranging from AU$ 380 – AU$ 1,000 per window. Slightly more costly, running from AU$ 680 – AU$ 1,250 per window.

 

The Verdict: Aluminium or UPVC? 

Two window experts installing a uPVC window

To settle the ultimate debate of uPVC windows vs aluminium windows, the answer is both—it’s all a matter of preference!

However, if more customization options, better insulation, less maintenance, and lower prices are boxes that need to be checked off your list, then the perfect match for your home would be uPVC windows. Although quite similar in many departments, uPVC carries perks that transcend face value alone, promising to stand the test of time.

At Windows Tech, we consistently provide countless state-of-the-art uPVC windows across Melbourne. Infused with our seal of excellence, our mission is to keep our customers happy and their homes secured—and we succeed at it every time. 

Talk to us today to learn more about our uPVC window frames!

Alex Rogovenko

Alex is the driving force behind Windows Tech, a Melbourne-based company renowned for its high-quality, energy-efficient double glazed windows and doors. With a strong focus on personalized services and sustainability, Alex has positioned the company as a leader in the industry, reflecting his modern entrepreneurial vision.