Sash windows are made up of one or a number of movable panels (otherwise known as sashes) which form a softwood frame to hold a single-glazed pane of glass. Such windows are opened by sliding the pane of glass vertically or horizontally. Traditional sash windows are often a feature of Georgian and Victorian homes, and are appreciated by many due to their classic, period aesthetics. Beyond their visual appeal however, there are some notable downsides to these types of windows: they tend to suffer from rot and distortion of the woodwork, they require regular maintenance and they are not energy efficient whatsoever. Because of these reasons, high quality, double-glazed uPVC windows have become increasingly popular since they can be constructed to replicate the traditional sash style while offering significantly superior energy efficiency and lower maintenance. We have a selection of high quality uPVC windows here at Unicorn Windows.
During the hot summer months, uPVC windows are effective at preventing the room from heating up, and in the winter they prevent the heat from escaping. Because the plastic used in these windows is such a poor conductor of heat, insulation is greatly improved, and thus energy bills are cut dramatically. According to leading uPVC window manufacturer Profile 22, the latest generation of double-glazed uPVC windows can cut your annual heating bill by as much as 25 percent! If you also factor in the need for chopping down trees to create the softwood frames for traditional sash windows and the additional CO2 emissions caused by the transportation requirements of this process, uPVC can be seen as the more environmentally-friendly option for your home.
Separating fact from fiction
Because of hazardous production processes used by some factories which produce uPVC, the material itself has been described as dangerous to the environment. This presumption has also been perpetuated by the ineffective methods of disposal used by many companies – because uPVC is difficult to dispose of in an environmentally-friendly way, companies opt to leave waste materials in landfill sites which are incredibly toxic to the environment. Fortunately, this is not always the case.
Many companies involved in uPVC usage and production are looking for greener alternatives to dumping their waste materials in landfill sites. Profile 22 have a recycling facility in the UK, and because their windows can be recycled up to ten times, this gives the windows a lifespan of 400 years, paving the way for a sustainable future. PVC recycling specialists, Ecoplast, are also focused on delivering sustainable waste solutions when it comes to uPVC windows. Currently, their facilities allow them to recycle 50,000 tonnes of uPVC waste per year, helping to supply recycled materials and products to a range of industries.
For more information about the recycling process used for uPVC windows, check out this excellent video produced by VEKA (one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of window systems).
Tags: energy efficiency, recycling, the environment, uPVC