When choosing a window change and choosing new windows, it is not just about energy efficiency and price. It is also about choosing an important function for the accommodation that will last for many decades. Then it becomes important to choose a material that fits both the character of the house and the work effort you are planning.
Energy-efficient quality windows (energy-marked windows) are mainly made up of three materials: wood, aluminum or PVC (plastic). In addition, there are aluminum-clad wooden windows and PVC windows with painted aluminum profiles on the outside. They all have different characteristics that make them suitable for different houses and different needs. Still, wooden windows are the most common in Sweden. They are available in almost all designs and are often manufactured in Sweden. Many also think that the appearance of the wooden window fits best in, for example, older houses.
Wooden windows are traditionally pine, but there are also quality differences. Nuclear wood is more resistant. It is also possible to choose precious wood like oaks or teak, but it gives significantly higher prices. Wooden windows have the advantage that the material is cheap and also environmentally friendly because the production is energy-efficient. This makes the investment cost lower. But wood windows must be maintained. They will be painted and reviewed regularly, which means using products that affect the environment, resulting in lower environmental gains over time.
Maintenance costs also make a window more expensive in the long run. Manufacturers usually recommend maintenance every ten years, and thereafter every seventh year. A wooden window is heavily influenced by the weather and wind. The life expectancy can also be affected by the side of the house windows if you have screwed in thermometers or storm hooks on the window or if exposed to sea air. It may be worth choosing, for example, aluminum-clad windows on one side of the house if they are particularly exposed.
Today there are wooden windows with aluminum cladding on the outside which are in practice maintenance-free, just like PVC windows. But they also need a regular review to check if they are damaged by wind and weather. The frames should also be washed occasionally. Inside, wood windows should be maintained at the same intervals as you are renovating the rest of the interior, that is, after 15 to 20 years.
If you want new windows with less maintenance, the plastic or aluminum are the options. For both, there is a large selection of models and qualities today, and the "plastic" impression is not as obvious. Plastic windows are made in PVC and are a clear budget option: cheap to buy and some maintenance work. The plaster is molded into profiles with many chambers that make the karmen isolate well. There are a large number of colors in the standard range, and you can have a color on the inside and another on the outside. There are some models of powder coated aluminum profiles on the outside that allow you to change the color of the window.
Aluminum windows are relatively unusual in Sweden, and are most commonly used in public environments. Today, aluminum profiles are also hollow. The windows are thus as energy efficient as others. But even those windows are completely maintenance-free. For example, aluminum powder coated or surface treated in different colors can fade and then it is harder to paint them to the right color again.
Large range can be painted in any color
Can be refurbished and restored
Requires maintenance with materials that have environmental impact.
Shorter life in exposed states
Uneven quality. Lifetime depends greatly on the quality of the chosen choice, which is difficult to control for a layman.
Almost no maintenance
Durable in exposed environments
Can combine with wood that yields a traditional
Difficult to paint or paint
Fits less well in classic environments
Advantages of PVC windows:
Virtually no maintenance
Disadvantages of PVC windows
Difficult to repair in case of damage
Window guide - select the right window
2. Window Function - Long-term Investment
3. Which window is best for the environment?
4. Energy windows and u-value of windows