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In the last couple of decades, aluminum windows and doors have really gained popularity. People assumed for a long time that aluminum only came in one color, silver. But with developments in fabrication and coatings, aluminum windows and doors are now available in many various colors and finishes.
Continue reading to learn about the benefits of aluminum and to see how it compares to wood and uPVC for windows and doors.
Aluminum is a very strong material, which enables a lighter and slimmer frame profile. This gives more area for a larger glass to be used, allowing more light into your house. Due to aluminum’s high strength, it isn’t prone to twisting, flexing, contraction, and expansion like wood.
Both wood and PVC can expand and contract from heat, especially when used in a large frame or door, which will make the doors harder to open and close.
Aluminum is highly resistant to outside elements and weather. The color coatings are very durable and never need to be repainted. Aluminum windows and doors can last 20 to 30 years with minimal maintenance. UPVC has a life span of about 15 to 20 years but can start discoloring after about 5 years.
Aluminum windows and doors are practically maintenance free when compared to wood and uPVC. They are powder coated which means they won’t discolor, corrode, and are resistant to fading. You also never have to repaint them.
Wood windows and doors require the most maintenance and quickly age when exposed to sunlight. They also need to be repainted every couple of years to prevent moisture from soaking into the wood. UPVC windows and doors are also low maintenance but start to look aged more quickly than aluminum.
Although the type of glass installed in windows has the biggest impact on thermal efficiency, the frames also play a big role. For a long time, aluminum was associated with poor thermal efficiency since it’s a good conductor. But now many aluminum doors and window frames feature a thermal break, making them much more efficient.
A thermal break separates the interior and exterior frame pieces with a less conductive material. This material helps to resist thermal transfer from the outside into the interior. Although wood has good insulating properties, it can contract in colder weather which will create small gaps between the seals. This makes them leaky in the winter time, allowing drafts to creep into the home.
Aluminum can be powder coated, which is a very durable finish. It is also available in many colors and can even imitate a metallic or wood grain. Different sides of the frame can come in different colors, allowing for greater customized styles to match any home design. Aluminum is also the perfect choice for contemporary and modern homes due to its slick and narrow frame profiles.
Aluminum is a very recyclable material. As a matter of fact, 70% of all aluminum ever produced is still currently in use today. Recycling aluminum only uses 5% of the total energy used during manufacturing, making aluminum very environmentally friendly.