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uPVC vs Aluminium Windows

When choosing windows for your home or business, one of the main factors to consider is the frames. Aside from timber windows, your main options are either uPVC or aluminium. 

Each material offers advantages and disadvantages, so your choice will likely rest on a combination of your budget, main requirements, and personal taste.

The Difference Between Aluminium and uPVC Windows

Perhaps the main difference between aluminium and uPVC windows is the thickness of the frame. Aluminium frames can be much thinner than uPVC, allowing a larger surface area of glass, better views and more natural light to flow. This, together with their green credentials makes them a popular choice. 

uPVC frames make up for slightly reduced visibility by being more cost-effective, easy to maintain and reducing noise transmission from outside.

Pros and cons of uPVC vs Aluminium windows 

uPVC Windows:


  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Very low maintenance and easy to clean
  • Weather resistant – made to withstand wind, rain, high and low temperatures
  • Strong, durable and long-lasting (20-30 years)
  • Available in a variety of styles and finishes and several colours
  • Tend to be cheaper than aluminium and timber windows 
  • Lightweight and cheaper to transport
  • Safe and secure
  • Reduces ambient noise pollution


  • Fewer design choices are available
  • Customised colours may fade over time
  • Can occasionally crack, unlike aluminium 
  • Lifespan isn’t as long as aluminium
  • Frames are thicker than aluminium, blocking more of your view and natural light
  • Less eco-friendly to manufacture 
  • Frames are harder to recycle

Aluminium Windows:


  • Slim sightlines for great views and lots of natural light
  • Weather resistant 
  • Highly durable, with a lifespan of approximately 45 years 
  • Infinitely recyclable
  • Abundant natural material 
  • Manufacturing requires less energy than uPVC and timber


  • More expensive than uPVC windows
  • Not as energy-efficient
  • May need to maintain or repair hardware such as screws in the frame

What is the difference in costs?

Aluminium windows tend to be more expensive than uPVC windows, at least for the initial outlay. You should expect to pay around £475 for a high-quality aluminium window. The average cost of an uPVC window is approximately £325. £150 is a significant difference, especially if you have several windows to replace and/or are on a tight budget. 

The style of the window – casement or sliding sash – and the type of glazing used will also affect the price. 

However, you need to factor in the potential savings each type of window offers. 

Thanks to thermal breaks, aluminium windows are far more thermally efficient than they used to be, saving you money on your energy bills. However, uPVC windows still edge it in this category.

Aluminium windows last longer, so you are unlikely to have to pay for replacements or repairs.

The Benefits of Aluminium Windows

One of the biggest benefits of using aluminium for window frames is that it is incredibly tough and durable, with an average lifespan of 45 years. 

Aluminium can be made to any size and shape, allowing ultra-slim sightlines on your windows. More glass surface area means better views and the ability to maximise natural light.

Strong and secure, enhanced with multi-point locking systems, aluminium windows are also virtually weatherproof. Aluminium does not rust, swell, warp, or crack no matter the weather. It is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance, although screws may occasionally need replacing towards the end of the window’s long lifespan.

Eco-conscious buyers like aluminium because it is non-toxic, energy-efficient,  infinitely recyclable and the most sustainable choice for windows. Not only is aluminium an abundant natural resource, but it requires comparatively little energy than timber or uPVC to turn into window frames.

Although we may think of aluminium as a modern material, at least in appearance, Manchester Window Factory has a range of slimline aluminium windows to suit any style. From art deco and Scandi to a traditional period appearance, our wide range of colours and finishes can help you achieve the look you crave.

The Benefits of uPVC Windows

uPVC beats aluminium in terms of price and energy-efficiency. uPVC windows are usually cheaper, and can also help you save money by reducing your heating bills.  Double or triple-glazed, they have noise-reducing properties and multi-point locking systems for extra security.

uPVC is lightweight, so it is more cost-effective to transport, and installation is relatively quick and easy for a professional fitter.

They are available in styles including classic and heritage, in a rainbow of colours and finishes, including realistic woodgrains. 

uPVC requires very little maintenance, and uPVC windows are easy to clean, with a lifespan of around 25 years. It also fares better than aluminium in coastal areas.

How can Manchester Window Factory help you decide?

With 25+ years of experience providing and installing high-quality windows, we’re confident we have the answers you need.

Whether your primary concern is cost, energy efficiency or aesthetics, we can help you find the right windows for your home. 

To learn more about our aluminium, uPVC, and timber window options,  call us, drop us an email or visit our Altrincham showroom. You will find the latest opening times on our contact page. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form for a free no-obligation quote, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.


Do aluminium windows cause condensation?

Historically, aluminium windows did have a problem with creating condensation. However, today’s aluminium windows are properly insulated and ventilated, to prevent condensation from forming. If you have a condensation problem on an aluminium window, there may be a fault in the frame, or it may have been poorly installed.

Which is more energy-efficient, uPVC, or aluminium windows?

uPVC windows are more energy-efficient than aluminium windows and can reduce your energy bills by up to £165 a year. Double-glazed A-rated uPVC windows can also save 375kg of carbon dioxide a year.