Why use UPVC windows and doors?

UPVC tilt and turn windows, above the loft of one of our off-grid tiny homes.

Physics 101: Condensation is caused when moist air of a warmer temperature comes in contact with the surface of a cooler temperature.

When Paul Hennessey of Park Homes moved from Wales to New Zealand, he'd never heard of a dehumidifier, nor experienced condensation forming inside his house due to cold weather.

Why's that? Because aluminium framing is no longer acceptable for use in most British and European houses, and is utilised solely in the commercial and industrial realms. The reason being that aluminium, which is one of the best conductors of heat, will transfer whatever the temperature is outside to the inside of the house, and vice versa; the heat you produce inside, will be transferred to the outside.

Although timber frames are commonly used, for the last few decades the material of choice throughout Europe has been UPVC windows and doors.

We thought we'd take a look into why an entire nation would be convinced that something as durable, efficient and insulating as UPVC frames are not considered a viable option by many people, and have therefore been shunned in New Zealand for so long.

Almost like an urban legend,  people repeat a story that UPVC windows can't resist the strong ultra violet rays of the Kiwi summer. The reason being that when UPVC frames were first introduced to New Zealand in the 1970's, the first generation of frames didn't have any UV protection at all in their makeup and quickly turned yellow and brittle. 

The truth is, the same thing happened in the UK too, but the manufacturers quickly realised their error and within a year the improved UV resistant frames were substituted. Unfortunately the reputation of these frames were permanently tarnished in New Zealand from that day on, and no one wanted to risk their hard earned money on something that wasn't tried and tested.

As quoted in BUILD magazine Aug/Sep 2006, today UPVC frames have been used in 80% of the world without complaint for the last 40 years, in climates and temperatures much more severe than we experience here. From the blistering heat of the Aussie outback to the sub-zero temperatures of Canada and Scandinavia.  UPVC windows and doors are 40% more energy efficient than double glazed aluminium framed windows and doors, which makes a big difference in the depths of winter.

[UPVC] is long lasting, can be recycled, needs no maintenance, and is a lot more thermally efficient than aluminium.
— Former President of the UK Federation of Master Builders, Ken Miller

Another couple of reasons we like UPVC and have them as standard in all our Park Homes, is the colour matching or wood grain finishes you can have to match the beauty and aesthetics of your home, and the amazing 10-year guarantee on them. They also have a 5-point locking system making them stronger, sturdier, and more secure than most other window systems out there. Now that's something you can put your trust in! 

But don't just take our word for it, take a look online for credible sites that compare UPVC with aluminium frames and you'll be amazed!

Have you experienced the benefits of UPVC? Let us know by commenting below >>