So, You Think Aluminium is Expensive?

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Aluminium

Aluminium windows and doors are sometimes thought of as being a relatively expensive option – certainly more expensive than PVC-U and probably on a par with timber at the beginning. But when you weigh up how much they cost over their lifetime and compare that directly with PVC-U and timber, then the picture is actually very different.

Aluminium windows and doors are sometimes thought of as being a relatively expensive option – certainly more expensive than PVC-U and probably on a par with timber at the beginning. But when you weigh up how much they cost over their lifetime and compare that directly with PVC-U and timber, then the picture is actually very different.

That’s because the biggest cost associated with aluminium is the energy used to extract the material in the first place – 1kg of aluminium takes the same amount of energy as lighting up a hundred 100-watt lightbulbs. But aluminium is one of the most sustainable resources on the planet and the energy used when it is recycled is only a tiny fraction of that. Once you know that 90% of the aluminium used in windows and doors has been recycled at least once, that explains why it’s nothing like as expensive as it was when it was brand new. 

The sustainability factor obviously helps to make aluminium attractive and affordable for homeowners, but things get even better when you look at the costs of maintenance and how the material performs over time.

When it comes to maintenance, aluminium windows and doors are almost uniquely weather resistant. They won’t deteriorate over time like timber or PVC-U in bad weather or highly polluted settings and they will never corrode because, even untreated, aluminium forms its own natural layer of aluminium oxide as soon as it comes into contact with air. 

Most aluminium used for windows and doors is anodised or powder coated to guarantee durability and give buyers the vast choice of colours and finishes which they love. That means there’s no need for expensive painting and varnishing like there is with timber and no risk of fading or warping like there is with PVC-U. All that’s needed to keep aluminium windows and door looking good for decades is an occasional clean.

In the 21st century, aluminium windows and doors are generally accepted to have a lifespan of more than 40 years before they can be fully recycled. That’s more than the 25-year lifespan of PVC-U and on a par with timber so, if you thought aluminium was expensive, you might want to think again.
 


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Aluminium profiles in a factory

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