Choosing a window is not an easy decision and choosing the right window is a question that many ask themselves when faced with the choice, should you choose wooden windows, PVC windows or aluminum windows? In this article you will get tips on different window materials as well as advantages and disadvantages.
When you are facing a window replacement and have to choose new windows, it is not just about energy efficiency and price. It is also about choosing an important function for the home that will last for many decades, then it will also be important to choose a material that suits both the character of the house and the work effort you plan yourself.
Energy-efficient quality windows, i.e. energy-labeled windows with a U-value of 1.1 or 1.2, are mainly available in three materials: wood, aluminum or PVC (plastic). In addition, there are aluminum-clad wooden windows and PVC windows with color-painted aluminum profiles on the outside. They all have different characteristics that make them suitable for different houses and different needs.
read about: How to insulate doors and windows?
Choosing wooden windows?
Wooden windows are still the most common and wooden windows are available in almost all designs. Many also think that the look of the wooden window fits best in, for example, older houses.
Wooden windows are traditionally in pine, but even there are differences in quality. Solid wood is more resistant. It is also possible to choose hardwood such as oak or teak, but it gives significantly higher prices. Wooden windows have the advantage that the material is cheap and also environmentally friendly because the production is energy efficient, and this means that the investment cost is lower.
But wooden windows must be maintained and must be painted and inspected regularly, which means that you use products that affect the environment, which results in lower environmental benefits over time.
The maintenance cost also makes a window more expensive in the long run. Manufacturers usually recommend maintenance every ten years and thereafter every seven years. A wooden window is greatly affected by weather and wind.
The service life can also be affected by which side of the house the windows are on, if you have screwed in thermometers or storm hooks on the window, or if they are exposed to sea air. It may be worth choosing, for example, aluminum-clad windows on one side of the house if they are particularly exposed.
Today, there are wooden windows with aluminum cladding on the outside that are practically maintenance-free, just like PVC windows. But they also need regular inspections to check if they are damaged by wind and weather and the frames should also be washed from time to time.
On the inside, wooden windows should be maintained at the same intervals as the rest of the interior, ie after 15 to 20 years.
Advantages of wooden windows:
Large selection, can be painted in any color
Can be renovated and restored
Disadvantages of wooden windows:
Requires maintenance with materials that have an environmental impact.
Shorter life in exposed positions
Can be uneven quality, and the life depends a lot on the quality of the wood chosen, which is difficult to control for a layman.
Choosing PVC windows?
If you want new windows with less maintenance, PVC (plastic) or aluminum are the alternatives. For both, there is today a large selection of models and qualities and the “plastic” impression is not as obvious.
Plastic windows are made of PVC and are a clear budget alternative: both cheap to buy and a little work with maintenance. The plastic is cast in profiles with many chambers that make the frame insulate well. There are a large number of colors in the standard range, and you can have one color on the inside and another on the outside.
There are some models with powder-coated aluminum profiles on the outside that allow you to change the color of the window.
Advantages of PVC windows:
Lower price than wood and aluminum
Windows Almost no maintenance
Disadvantages of PVC windows
Harder to paint or repaint
Harder to repair in case of damage
Choosing aluminum windows?
Today, the aluminum profiles are also hollow and the windows are thus as energy efficient as others. But not even aluminum windows are completely maintenance-free. For example, aluminum that has been powder coated or surface treated in different colors can fade and then it is more difficult to repaint them to the right color again, even if it is practically possible.
For both aluminum and pvc windows, maintenance usually means a little more problematic handling compared to wood, and if you are unlucky, it can simply result in a replacement of windows.
Advantages of aluminum windows:
Almost no maintenance
Durable in exposed environments
Can be combined with wood that gives a traditional feel to the interior
Disadvantages of aluminum windows:
Higher price than wood and pvc windows
Harder to paint or repaint
Fits less well in classic environments