Aluminium is a relatively flexible metal. Windows made of this material can be designed to be much larger and more intricate than those made of other materials without compromising on strength.
This article discusses two things you should find useful if you intend to invest in aluminium replacement windows for your home.
Aluminium Windows Are Not A Standard Product For All Suppliers
Aluminium-framed windows are often more expensive than windows made of other materials (e.g., UPVC). This is partly because the metal is a more expensive raw material and partly because some window suppliers make these windows more expensive intentionally. For example, a supplier might hike the price of aluminium windows so as to encourage the sale of UPVC windows whose profit margin is higher.
This is more common with suppliers who sell these windows as "upgrades" or as premium products rather than their standard product. Suppliers who stock aluminium windows as their standard product wouldn't have a reason to discourage the sale of their main product. You're likely to get your windows at a more affordable price from such a supplier. In many cases, "standard suppliers" fabricate the windows that they sell instead of sourcing them from third party manufacturers.
Taking time to locate your nearest standard supplier could easily translate into significant savings on the cost of aluminium replacement windows.
Important Values To Look For
Energy efficiency of replacement windows is probably a major concern for you. In this regard, you need to be aware of certain values that combine to make aluminium windows energy efficient. These values include, but they're not limited to, the following;
- The U-Value: This is a measure of the window's ability to prevent the transmission of non-solar heat (heat not derived from the sun) through the window material. The U-value is expressed as a figure that often falls between 2.0 and 10.0 watts per square metred Kelvin (W/m2.K). A lower U-value is used to indicate higher resistance to the loss/gain of non-solar heat
- SHGC: The ability of windows to block out heat coming from the sun is expressed as the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This value often falls between 0 and 1, with a lower SHGC indicating a greater ability to block out solar heat. Windows with a lower SHGC work well to keep your home cool during the summer, but their heat-blocking ability might be disadvantageous during the coming winter months.