PVC windows have enjoyed their popularity for many years. They are chosen by customers much more frequently than wooden or aluminium windows. What determines this?
Until a few decades ago, wooden windows were installed in most buildings. Unfortunately, the old-style wooden joinery had many disadvantages. It was relatively fragile, did not provide good thermal insulation and the wood – improperly protected – often started to rot due to the influence of the weather. It is also significant that in the past, structural muntins were quite commonly used in wooden windows: negatively affecting the thermal insulation properties of the window. In the course of time, production techniques for timber joinery have been improved, eliminating the problems faced by owners of old timber windows; in addition, aluminium joinery has been introduced onto the market, the availability of which, also for final customers, has increased considerably. Even the first plastic windows were more durable and easier to maintain than the wooden joinery that was once produced. For structural reasons, they also provided better thermal insulation. Consequently, wooden windows installed in old houses and blocks of flats were gradually replaced by plastic windows. The production techniques for plastic joinery have also been significantly improved, improving the quality of the resulting PVC products – they are now free of the disadvantages of the older types of PVC windows. They also offer far greater possibilities in terms of construction, design and functionality. For these reasons, among others, the lion’s share of enquiries and orders placed by investors relate to plastic windows.
What determines the popularity of PVC windows?
A factor that very often decides on the choice of plastic windows is their attractive price. PVC is a much cheaper material than wood (the acquisition, processing and subsequent protection of which is expensive) and aluminium. PVC windows will always be slightly cheaper than aluminium or wood windows with similar parameters.
Another advantage of plastic windows is their ease of maintenance. PVC windows do not usually require any special maintenance or care – it is enough to clean and adjust them from time to time or to oil the fittings in order to guarantee their trouble-free operation. It is also quite easy and quick to remove any dirt.
Finally, plastic windows offer great design possibilities. They can come in a wide variety of colours (woodgrain and also RAL veneers), which is also highly appreciated by customers.
Wood and aluminium are chosen less frequently mainly because of their price. However, it is also significant that many customers fear that wooden joinery will have a shorter lifespan – although in fact: modern, well-protected and regularly maintained wooden windows are extremely durable. Aluminium, on the other hand, is not an obvious choice – some people thinking of replacing or buying new windows don’t even realise this option exists, or are concerned about the ‘cold interior’ effect. However, it can be seen that in recent years aluminium has also become an increasingly popular choice in the design of detached houses.
Is it worth buying plastic windows?
High-quality plastic windows can successfully serve you for many years. So if their aesthetics suit individual preferences and fit well with the appearance of the building – there is no reason not to opt for this option. Modern PVC windows offer good performance. There are sometimes claims that plastic windows can easily turn yellow or warp when exposed to the sun – however, these disadvantages were mainly associated with old windows of this type. High-quality, correctly installed PVC joinery maintains its original appearance and serves without problems for many years. Contrary to appearances, it is also difficult to say that plastic windows are not ecological. From the perspective of environmental protection – the key issue in the case of joinery is its thermal insulation. Good thermal insulation of windows improves the energy balance of a building, and this is beneficial from an ecological point of view. The most important thing, therefore, is to choose windows with the best possible (i.e. lowest possible) thermal insulation coefficient. PVC windows, however, can’t be used for really large glazings – if that’s what you’re after, you should opt for aluminium joinery instead.