Windows are an important part of any building, providing natural light and ventilation. However, there are many different types of windows to choose from. From classic double-hung windows to modern tilt-and-turn designs, each window has its own unique features and benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore how each of these uPVC windows works, along with the pros and cons. In fact, uPVC windows frames bring several benefits, including excellent energy efficiency, noise insulation, low maintenance, security, UV resistance, and BAL40 compliance.
Fixed windows are the most straightforward window design, but while they provide an excellent view of the outdoors, there is no opportunity for airflow. If you need a window for ventilation, then a fixed window is not for you.
On the other hand, because you can’t open a fixed window, it has no moving parts to wear out. Combined with a uPVC frame, these windows are incredibly durable and provide resistance against the elements, including air infiltration that can cause draughts and increase the risk of condensation.
uPVC fixed windows are also highly secure because they’re fixed, which means you can have much larger windows. This, in turn, allows an expansive view of the outdoors and makes it easier to use sunlight for natural illumination or passive heating during colder seasons. uPVC fixed windows are also highly energy-efficient and insulate against outside noise (which can be important if you live in an urban area).
Fixed windows can be tricky to clean because you have to clean them from both the inside and outside—which is challenging if your window is installed up high. Finally, even with uPVC fixed windows, a balance needs to be struck between how much light you want to allow inside and the energy efficiency you can achieve.
Note that several types of fixed windows exist, including the uPVC corner windows, uPVC shaped windows, and uPVC bay windows discussed later in this article.
Sliding windows slide along low-friction tracks and are a great way to take advantage of natural ventilation and light. These are the easiest windows to operate because all you need to do is slide them open to the left or right hand side by using a handle. uPVC sliding windows are also simple to clean and maintain. While they are particle and easy to operate, they use brush seals instead of double compression seals which can have a negative impact on the air infiltration entering and leaving the building.
Keeping the window track clean is important to prevent debris buildup, which can make it difficult to slide the window open and closed. Sliding windows can be easier than other windows to break into as they generally have simple latch locks. To ensure more security, install multi-point locking systems. Finally, as with fixed windows, several types of uPVC windows have sliding window features and will be discussed further.
uPVC tilt and turn windows are the most versatile option because they can either tilt open or turn inwards based on the position of the handle. This also means they are flexible regarding how much ventilation you need and can be set to reduce the risk of a child or small pet getting out.
When used in a tilt position, these windows promote natural convection by allowing the upward movement of hot air towards the ceiling to escape, subsequently being replaced by fresh air. uPVC tilt and turn windows offer the added convenience of being washable from the inside, making them ideal solutions for multi level houses and buildings. Tilt and turn windows, featuring multiple latching/locking points around the opening, are challenging to open from the outside, enhancing security.
Tilt and turn uPVC windows might not be the best solution when inside space is limited, such as in a bathroom or small kitchen. While these windows provide easy access to maintain and clean, the window mechanism is complex enough that replacing it can be costly unless you use a top quality mechanism providing you with the best value for money in the long run.
uPVC awning windows are top-hung windows that open outward from the bottom (hence the term awning) using a winder. Their operation is effortless, and because they swing open from the bottom, you can keep them open during rain and wind as they act as an awning.
Needless to say, uPVC awning windows are a great option if you’re seeking good ventilation. They are also highly secure and sturdy and are an excellent replacement for existing window styles in your home.
The primary drawback of awning windows lies in their use on the first floor of a house—if someone is outside, they may unexpectedly walk right into an open awning window!
Tilt only windows lean inwards at the top and are hinged at the base. These windows, sometimes called hopper windows, are a great ventilation solution but can be a problem if there is limited interior space for them to open into. Care must be taken to avoid placing them where they interfere with furniture, doors, etc. However, on the positive side, uPVC tilt only windows can be opened to improve airflow and still provide a clear view of the outdoors.
If ventilation is your main concern, uPVC casement windows can provide you with the right solution. They have an outward opening side hung design that offers better airflow than awning windows and only matched by the tilt and turn and sliding windows. How far they open is fully adjustable, giving you control over ventilation, view, and security. The primary drawbacks of casement windows are the size limitation for the openings and their overall cost.
A uPVC push out window is similar to a casement or awning window because they open outwards. The major difference is that push out windows use a simple lever or handle instead of a winder and they have a similar mechanism like the tilt and turn windows to provide the multiple latching/locking points. Another difference in their design is the use of friction to stay in position, making them easier for you to operate and less bulky in appearance. And like awning and casement windows, push out windows provide excellent airflow and unobstructed views.
Tilt and slide windows can either be tilted inward or slide completely open. This makes them an extremely versatile option for your home. Because of the tilt option, they can be set so you can enjoy outdoor air without putting children and small pets at risk of falling out. The sliding mechanism also runs along an easy-to-use low-friction rail system.
Because uPVC tilt and slide windows tilt inward, you’ll need to consider where to place them to avoid interference with internal blinds, furniture, appliances, or doors. Additionally, their maintenance will be a bit more challenging than other window designs because the sliding rail must be kept clean and debris-free for the window to move smoothly.
If you’re looking for a window that provides a practically panoramic, seamless view, then a uPVC bi-fold window may be your answer. These windows are made of hinged window panels that fold into each other. The hinged window panels are mounted and slide along tracks located at either the top or bottom of the window. Once the panels have been folded together, they can be slid partially to the side or fully for a wide-open view.
uPVC bi-fold windows are a great solution if you want to maximise the window opening and provide excellent ventilation. While It is important to keep the tracks clean, the maintenance, setup, adjustment and cleaning can be quite complex due to the multiple panels and the hardware to link them together.
If you want the look of a double hung window without the limitation of sliding up or down, then double hung look alike windows are your answer. These windows are basically tilt and turn or awning windows, with all the benefits that come with them and the same easy operation. uPVC double hung look alike windows are extremely easy to clean and maintain, provide great flexibility with how much ventilation is allowed, have a classic look, and enhance your home’s security.
Corner windows are an example of a fixed window. Although they don’t support ventilation and airflow, they allow you to enjoy a fantastic view of the outdoors and take advantage of natural light. And uPVC corner windows provide additional benefits such as energy efficiency, noise insulation, and durability. Corner windows are also a fantastic way to introduce sunlight into dark corners.
Bay windows consist of three fixed picture windows: one in the centre projected outward from the wall and one on either side. The side windows are angled from the edge of the centre window to the outside wall. The result is a stunning view that makes you feel as if you are outdoors.
uPVC bay windows are often used as a breakfast nook or reading nook, offering natural light and beauty without compromising energy efficiency or introducing unnecessary noise into your home. They are also highly secure and durable but can be costly.
Whether you’re looking for a picture-perfect view that doesn’t compromise energy efficiency or a window solution that combines ventilation and functionality, there’s a window for you. And here at Windows for Life, we offer a wide range of uPVC windows for every need, including colours, shapes, and sizes. Contact us today for a consultation or quote!