uPVC windows have long ceased to be a luxury and have become an indispensable attribute of a modern home. In addition to the fact that they have a lot of useful performance characteristics, since they serve for a very long time and look attractive. Before installing metal-plastic structures, it is very important to know which are the best quality uPVC windows to install for your home.
What are uPVC Windows?
In most cases, uPVC windows are made of a special polymer material – polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They differ in a variety of shapes and colors, but all have certain structural similarities. A uPVC window includes several basic elements, among which are:
- double-glazed window.
Note! When installing uPVC windows in a window opening, it is necessary to take into account the size and characteristics of the material from which the building is made.
The window frame is the main element of the system. Products such as sashes and fittings are fixed on it. Sashes are movable window elements that can be opened in several directions. For their work, it is necessary to install the appropriate fittings.
There are three main options for fixing the sash:
In the first case, the sash moves inward, and the tilt angle is controlled by means of special mechanisms. The second fixing option involves opening the transom relative to the hinges installed in the horizontal plane. In turn, the structure, fixed by the combined method, combines both of the above methods.
A double-glazed window is a sealed structure that includes a certain amount of glass, docked with each other using spacers. There are several main types of double-glazed windows.
At first glance, the frame is a fairly simple design, but this is not the case. It is made from a special window profile, which has a rather complex structure. It has a cellular structure and includes a certain number of chambers, which are delimited from each other by partitions.
For a more visual study of the structure of the profile, you can use the search on the Internet. Cutaway pictures of uPVC windows are freely available and anyone can get acquainted with them.
What is the best uPVC window profile?
One of the main characteristics by which all window profiles are classified is the installation depth corresponding to the thickness of the frame. Today, this indicator fluctuates depending on various factors, however, there are certain standards. Manufacturers of uPVC window products most often produce frames with an installation depth of 58, 60 or 70 mm. If necessary, you can purchase more “thick” structures (with a width of up to 130 mm).
The second equally important characteristic of profiles is the number of cameras. These cavities are filled with air and extend along the entire length of the window frame. Depending on this, the following types of profiles are distinguished:
There may be more chambers, but the most popular products today have a three-chamber structure. The frame design assumes the presence of not only empty cavities in the profile, but also reinforced ones. The latter are necessary to give the structure the necessary strength and rigidity indicators. The reinforced cavity in a uPVC window contains a polymer layer, and in a metal-plastic one – a metal one (usually aluminum).
Helpful information! The operational characteristics of the structure directly depend on the number of cameras in the window profile. Here we can note the following pattern: the more chambers, the higher the thermal insulation qualities.
All profiles are also subdivided into O- and U-shaped according to their shape.
O-shaped. A closed loop, which does not have the best thermal insulation characteristics. The design features of this type of profile affect its rapid cooling.
U-shaped. They have higher thermal insulation characteristics and are used in the production of uPVC windows much more often.
The last criterion by which profiles for uPVC windows are classified is their class (economy, standard or premium). Experts recommend using structures that have a standard class for installation for private purposes. Economy products freeze too quickly, and premium products are distinguished by their high cost and the presence of, in fact, unnecessary functions.
As a rule, the profiles are standard white. Windows in wooden houses are produced in the color of various types of wood. If desired, you can order a profile of any color (red, blue), however, it should be noted that colored structures have a higher cost in comparison with standard white ones. Before choosing a color, it is recommended to study the photos of uPVC windows on the Internet.
What type of double glazing is best?
A glass unit is a very important element of a window. It is limited to the frame and is fixed in its opening. A glass unit can consist of two or three glasses, which are located at a certain distance from each other. The width of the air chamber between the panes can be different, depending on the model of the window (from 1 cm or more).
The design of the glass unit is completely sealed, so its disassembly is not possible. The glasses are docked with each other along the perimeter, and between them there are special inserts. The air in the air chamber is moisture-absorbing and is often represented by the inert gas argon. Air dryness is the main factor that determines the thermal insulation properties of glass units.
If you break the tightness of the glass unit, then moisture will penetrate into the structure, which will subsequently affect the formation of condensation. There is a standard for the distance between the glasses – 1.6 cm. This indicator allows you to achieve the highest rate of thermal insulation. If the distance between the glasses is higher, then the thermal conductivity of the glass unit will increase.
Varieties of double glazed windows
Depending on the number of chambers, the following types of double-glazed windows are distinguished:
- with one chamber (2 glasses);
- with two cameras (3 glasses).
Helpful information! As a rule, single-chamber structures are used for the installation of a double glazed window in residential buildings.
Glasses in standard single-chamber systems are 4 mm wide, and the distance between them is 1.6 cm.The installation depth in this case is 2.4 cm.This design allows not only to provide good thermal insulation and protect the room from frost in winter, but and reduce the noise level coming from the street.
Two-chamber structures are more reliable and have better thermal insulation. Of the disadvantages of such double-glazed windows, one can single out the fact that they practically do not transmit ultraviolet rays.
Today, you can also find other types of double glazed windows.
Soundproof. Such structures include special glasses that are equipped with a protective film. This allows you to reduce the noise level by several times. Such insulating glass units may differ depending on the thickness of the glass.
Energy saving. They include special I-glass, which is made using modern technology and is equipped with metal spraying. Thanks to this element, the thermal conductivity of the glass unit is reduced several times. I-glass is a reliable screen and does not allow heat radiation to penetrate into the room.
Protective. Glasses in such models are equipped with protective films that prevent the scattering of fragments in case of damage to the structure. Most often, protective glass units are installed in shops and banks.
Tinted. From the name it is clear that such double-glazed windows are distinguished by their opaque properties. Experts advise installing them if the windows face the sunny side.
When choosing a double-glazed window, first of all, it is necessary to focus on the location of the building and its purpose. For shops and kiosks, it is advised to buy shockproof glasses. If the building is residential and is located in a noisy area (for example, near a road), then it is better to choose double-glazed windows with sound insulation.
Other components of uPVC windows
The composition of uPVC windows also includes other structural elements, which will be discussed below.
Slopes. These products are made of plastic or drywall, which has moisture resistant qualities. They border the structure on all sides and are installed at the very end of the PVC window installation. Thus, the slopes are a decorative finish.
Shpros. These are special pads that are installed on glass and have two main functions. The first is to strengthen the structure of the glass unit, and the second is decorative. The window with spros looks stylish and unique. Today you can find many varieties of these products: straight, rounded, as well as curved.
Window sill. A special panel that is made from PVC or chipboard. Differs in a variety of finishing methods. If you wish, you can purchase a varnished window sill, a laminated model and even a product with imitation of wooden and marble surfaces. This structural element of the system is highly durable and easy to maintain. It also acts as an additional insulating element.
Helpful information! Window sill installation takes into account three mounting options: glue, brackets or polyurethane foam. The standard length of this part is from 4 to 6 m, and the width is selected depending on the depth of the opening and can be 0.1–1 m.
Shtulp. It is a profile that is mounted to one of the leaves (right or left). During installation, the windows are fixed from the outside. It provides a high level of sealing of the structure and strong fastening. Thanks to this product, it becomes possible to completely open the window.
Low tide. Street overhang whose function is to protect the bottom of the binding. This element is fixed on a special profile, which serves as a support and is located under the window frame.
Seals. Products that are made from a special material and serve as heat insulators. Thanks to these elements, the possibility of moisture and draft entering the room is excluded. The main qualities of seals include high strength, resistance to deformation and environmental friendliness. The materials for the manufacture of these products are PVC or silicone.
Mosquito net . This product is used to keep the room safe from mosquitoes, flies and other insects. From a constructive point of view, there are several types of grids: frame, sliding, roller shutter and plunger. The last two are the most modern and reliable.
And also it is worth mentioning ventilation. It is a novelty on the modern market, which is offered by many companies involved in the production of uPVC windows. This system, integrated into the window, allows air to enter the house, filtering it from harmful impurities.
Fittings of a uPVC window
Window operation depends on its functional part – fittings. This is a system that consists of separate, interconnected devices located along the inner perimeter of the window frame, as well as on the outer side of the sash. The interaction of individual elements of the fittings with each other allows you to adjust the position of the window.
The standard set of fittings includes a minimum of functions, but each manufacturer can add additional options to the basic configuration at the request of the buyer. These include:
- protection from children;
- sash squeeze protection;
- additional ventilation modes (for example, micro-slot).
Note! If necessary, it is possible to purchase special anti-burglar fittings. It differs in that it has high strength, and also protects the window from power breaking, drilling. It also comes with special locking handles. Such windows are recommended for installation on the lower or upper floors of buildings that are most vulnerable to burglary.
In order to extend the service life of the hardware, it is necessary to periodically clean and lubricate it. In this case, the system will last several years longer.