5 Star Service
5/5
Available 24hrs 7 days

UPVC WINDOWS: Pros, Cons & Comparisons

Welcome to our detailed exploration of UPVC Windows, a favored option for contemporary living spaces and home improvements. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the realm of UPVC windows, examining their multitude of benefits including their contribution to aesthetic appeal, robust security measures, and superior energy conservation.

What is UPVC?

Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride, commonly known as UPVC, is a form of plastic that is highly durable and free from the plasticizers that make other forms of PVC flexible. In the context of windows, UPVC is widely used for window frames due to its robust nature and low maintenance requirements.

Compared to traditional materials like timber and aluminum, UPVC stands out for several reasons. Firstly, it is non-corrosive, which means it won’t rust or rot over time. This is particularly beneficial in the varied Australian climate, where windows need to withstand everything from scorching heat to heavy rains. Additionally, UPVC is known for its excellent thermal insulation properties, which we will discuss in more detail shortly.

👍
Benefits of UPVC Windows
  • Durability: UPVC windows are highly resistant to weather conditions and don’t rot, corrode, or warp, making them an excellent choice for various climates.
  • Insulation: Known for their thermal efficiency, UPVC windows help in maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and reducing energy costs.
  • Maintenance: Requiring very little upkeep, UPVC windows can be maintained with simple cleaning, without the need for regular painting or treatment.
  • Security: The robustness of UPVC, combined with modern locking systems, offers enhanced protection against intruders.
  • Customizability: Available in a variety of styles and finishes, UPVC windows can match both modern and traditional home designs.
👎
Drawbacks of UPVC Windows
  • Environmental Concerns: Being a form of plastic, UPVC poses environmental impact concerns, especially regarding its recyclability compared to materials like aluminum.
  • Aesthetic Limitations: Despite their versatility, UPVC windows might not capture the classic appeal of timber, potentially affecting the aesthetic of traditional or heritage homes.

Comparison With Other Window Materials

Feature UPVC Windows Timber Windows Aluminium Windows
Durability Highly durable, resistant to rotting, and corrosion. Susceptible to rot and warp if not properly treated. Extremely durable, resistant to warping and rust.
Maintenance Low maintenance, easy to clean. Requires regular painting or staining. Low maintenance, but may require occasional retouching.
Energy Efficiency Excellent insulation properties. Good natural insulator. Good with thermal breaks, but inherently conductive.
Aesthetic Versatile in design but may lack the natural look. Natural, classic appearance. Sleek, modern profiles.
Cost Generally more affordable than timber. Can be expensive due to material and maintenance. Can be costly, depending on finishes and treatments.
Security Good with quality frames and locking systems. Strong, depending on the design and locks used. Very secure, especially with multi-point locking systems.
Environmental Impact Concerns over plastic use and disposal. Renewable resource but requires deforestation. Highly recyclable and durable, but energy-intensive to produce.
Lifespan 20-30 years with minimal maintenance. 15-20 years, can last longer with meticulous care. 30-40 years or more with proper maintenance.

For an in depth comparison on different window materials, check out our article about Timber vs Aluminium vs uPVC windows.

Costs Associated With UPVC Windows

When it comes to costs, UPVC windows are often more affordable than their aluminum and timber counterparts. Let’s break down the costs associated with UPVC windows:

Initial Investment: The cost of purchasing UPVC windows is generally lower than that of aluminum or timber windows. This makes them an attractive option for those on a budget or looking for cost-effective solutions.

Installation Costs: The installation costs for UPVC windows are comparable to other materials. However, it is essential to consider the quality of installation, as this can affect the durability and efficiency of the windows.

Long-term Savings: UPVC windows are highly energy-efficient, which can lead to significant savings on energy bills in the long run. Additionally, the low maintenance requirements of UPVC windows mean that you will save on maintenance costs over time.

Cost Comparison: When compared to aluminum and timber, UPVC is a more cost-effective option in terms of both initial investment and long-term savings. While aluminum and timber might have certain aesthetic or structural advantages, UPVC provides excellent value for money, especially considering its durability and insulation properties.

Expert Tips

  • Prioritize quality and thermal performance in UPVC windows for durability and efficiency.
  • Ensure professional installation by reputable companies for optimal performance.
  • Choose styles that match your home and opt for multi-point locking systems for security.
  • Select high energy-rated windows for better insulation and energy savings.
  • Check for a comprehensive warranty and adhere to maintenance tips for longevity.

Case Studies

Case Study: Transforming James O'Connor’s Sydney Home with UPVC Bay Windows

James O’Connor from Parramatta, Sydney, aimed to renovate his home for a more spacious and illuminated living area, with concerns about window insulation and durability. We recommended and installed custom-designed UPVC bay windows, chosen for their insulation, durability, and low maintenance. The project significantly enhanced the living space with increased natural light and consistent temperature, achieving a modern look with minimal upkeep. Mr. O’Connor praised the transformation, noting the substantial improvement in his home’s appeal.

UPVC Bay window installation

Case Study: Upgrading Mrs. Isabelle Smith’s Sydney Home with UPVC Casement Windows

Mrs. Isabelle Smith from Mosman needed to replace her damaged and drafty timber windows. She sought durable, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance windows that would match her home’s charm. We recommended UPVC casement windows for their insulation, durability, and minimal upkeep, offering various styles to suit her home’s aesthetic. Following her style selection, we replaced the old timber windows with UPVC casement ones. Mrs. Smith was thrilled with the upgrade, noting improved insulation, reduced energy costs, and lower maintenance, enhancing her home’s comfort and appeal.

UPVC Casement windows in Mosman

FAQ

Are Vinyl & Upvc windows the same thing?

Yes, in Australia and many other parts of the world, the terms “vinyl windows” and “UPVC windows” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same type of windows. Both terms refer to windows that have frames made from a particular type of plastic known as Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC).

Are UPVC Windows Soundproof

UPVC windows are excellent at reducing noise levels. Their insulation properties not only apply to temperature but also to sound, making them ideal for homes in noisy areas.

Can You Paint UPVC Windows?

Yes, UPVC windows can be painted, but it is essential to use the right type of paint and primer to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the UPVC surface.

How long do UPVC windows last?

UPVC windows are known for their durability and can last for around 20-25 years or more with proper maintenance.

Are UPVC fire resistant?

UPVC material is fire retardant, meaning that it does not support combustion and will self-extinguish if exposed to fire.

Do UPVC windows discolour over time?

High-quality UPVC windows are resistant to discoloration. However, lower quality UPVC may become slightly discolored or fade over a long period, especially when exposed to harsh sunlight.

Are UPVC windows environmentally friendly?

UPVC windows are energy efficient, which is beneficial for the environment in terms of reducing energy consumption. However, as a plastic, UPVC is not biodegradable and recycling options are limited compared to materials like aluminum.

What kind of maintenance do UPVC windows require?

UPVC windows require minimal maintenance. Cleaning the frames with a mild detergent and water a few times a year is usually sufficient. It’s also a good idea to occasionally lubricate the hinges and locks.

Conclusion

UPVC windows are an excellent investment for any homeowner. They offer a range of benefits including durability, energy efficiency, and security. However, like any investment, it’s important to do your research and choose quality products and installation services.

As a seasoned glazier currently working with Splendid Window Glass Repairs, I can personally vouch for the long-term benefits of UPVC windows, especially in the diverse Australian climate. If you are considering UPVC windows for your home, I highly recommend consulting with experienced professionals who can guide you through the selection and installation process.

For more information on our window installation service, feel free to reach out to us on 02 8880 6429

AUTHOR
Phillip Sharp
Phillip Sharp

Phillip Sharp has spent more than three decades honing his skills as a glazier in Sydney. He is currently employed at Splendid Window Glass Repairs, where he specializes in glass replacement and repair in the Sydney Eastern Suburbs area. With his wealth of experience and commitment to excellent craftsmanship, Phillip is highly respected in the industry and trusted by clients to provide top-quality work.