Are uPVC windows worth the hype?

There is a lot of hype around windows lately (industry regulations have tightened to help reduce carbon emissions over the next several years). But as a home owner (or designer, architect, builder) it can be tough to cut through the marketplace noise and choose what is best for your home, piece of mind, and wallet (not to mention remaining environmentally conscious). uPVC window and door systems have been praised as having major benefits from both a sustainable and practical point of view. So the big question is: are uPVC windows and doors really worth the hype? Isn’t it just a plastic window system? Honestly, how well can a plastic window frame stand up against aluminium or wood? Here’s the low down on uPVC from Rehau and whether it truly delivers a bang for your South African rand:

  • Insulation: About half of your energy bill is spent on regulating your home’s temperature (more about that in this SA Décor and Design post) so keep your home warmer in winter (less of a heating bill) and cooler in summer (turn down the AC) by taking advantage of uPVC’s above average thermal properties.
  • Maintenance: uPVC windows keep up their great look thanks to a unique compound which creates a smooth gloss finish, which never warp or rot, with require very little maintenance.

Added bonus: the window and door profiles are resistant to the harsh UV rays of our South African climate (what that really means is no touch ups, painting or sanding for you).

  • Security: There is no doubt that safety is one of the most important features our homes provide but windows can offer an easy-access point to the outside world. This was recently highlighted in a story published by Cape Talk. Again this begs the comment: but it’s plastic. How resilient against intruders can uPVC really be? You will have to see it to believe it.

In addition, uPVC has an expected life of more than 35 years, plus they bust the myth of not being reusable by actually having the capability of being recycled at the end of service. So guess it is safe to say that all plastics are not created equal; uPVC is a cut above the rest.

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