What makes uPVC windows good? In the modern market, you’d think it’d be quite easy for you to spot differences between a good uPVC window and the bad ones. It is at least in Ireland and the UK because the windows now have certifications. These are energy ratings that let you know how good each window is at keeping your heat inside. The A-rated uPVC windows are the best ones, in general, followed by the Bs, and then so forth.
That means the problem is solved for you, yes? Unfortunately, it’s not so easy. Just because some window comes with an A-rated certification on it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a great window. This rating system is often a voluntary industry standard rather than something enforced by objective inspection and review. That’s why it’s helpful to know a few things you should see in uPVC A-rated windows.
One thing that you should look for is the reinforcement. Rather than aluminum or steel, it will often be something ‘warmer’ such as carbon. That will minimise the heat loss that happens through the window frame. It’s also necessary for the double glazing to get updated so there is a warm edge spacer bar, as well as Low-E glass. It should also be gas-filled. The most common choice is argon, but some go as high as krypton gas.
If you’re looking for good uPVC windows, A-rated or otherwise, then take a close look at the plastic which is used in the window manufacturing. There should be a minimum of a 10-year warranty or guarantee on it, if not longer. That will cover it in the event of warping or discolouring.
Also, see what the guarantee is on the double-glazing. Many older ones featured 7-year warranties. However, many of the newer ones will actually have a warranty of twice that, ranging 15 years or even longer.
The locking system is also worthy of your consideration. The market has many kinds of locking systems available, and a number of window makers will just pick the cheapest one that’s on the market. Of course, you should always ask for a better system. Espag locking systems are commonly used, but if you’d like just a bit more security, go for a shoot-bolt system as an improved option.
Window handles are also something that comes in a variety of options. Some of them are going to only last you half a year, or maybe a year at most, based on how much they get used. Others might last 5 years or longer. It’s actually really hard to tell this with the naked eye. Protect yourself with a 2-year guarantee on any moving parts of the window. Also, ask about their repair policies, just in case.
Buying new windows that are more energy-efficient is a good thing if you want to keep your home warmer without spending as much on your utility bills. Still, there are other factors to consider, such as exterior visibility, security, ease of use, durability, and warranty so you protect your home and investment.