uPVC or PVCu has recently become the de facto material for window and door frames, especially in new build housing developments. Some homeowners, however, have always realized the benefits of natural materials over manmade. Sourced from managed forests, timber is an environmentally friendly, thermally efficient, good-looking and low maintenance material. Windowand doors installation is an important long-term investment. They can add value to your property, save on bills, reduce condensation, improve peace and quiet and reduce the time you spend on maintenance.
Before taking the plunge,it is worth looking at whether it is better to choose wooden or plastic windows. Here is a comparison to help you make the decision.
PVC-u windows are cheaper option. However, they rarely offer the best value. Wooden windows will last at least twice as long.
Wood windows typically come with have a 30-year warranty, PVC-u windows typically have a 10-year warranty.
Modern PVC-u or wood windows need low maintenance. The only annual maintenance they need is for the frames to be washed down and the hardware lubricated. Factory-finished wood windows need an initial fresh coat of paint after ten years, then at seven-year intervals. This returns their original condition and allows to change theircolour. PVC-u windows do not need to be re-coated, but gradually lose their finish. Wood windows are easier to repair than PVC-u.
Using wood from sustainable sources makes this window framing option the most environmentally friendly of all. Windows with wooden frames come with a negative GWP (global warming potential) which implies that over their long period of service they are capable of reducing the Co2 amount from the atmosphere. PVCu production involves the release of very poisonous chemicals, six of which are listed for priority elimination.
It takes about eight times more energy to create a PVC window frame. Environment activists are plagued by the concern that PVC waste would elevate to 6.4 million tons by the year 2020. 43% more waste is generated by PVC windows than timber windows. Out of this about 82% goes into landfill and 15% is incinerated. Only 3 % of the waste is recycled.
Wood is the greenest choice for window framing. Studies show its superiority across a range of environmental impacts. For every wood window you fit instead of a PVC-U window, you save around 160kgs of carbon dioxide.