Timber remains the best choice of material for your new windows, even hundreds of years after it was first used. Timber windows have various benefits over UPVC. They will not only add value to your home but are also cost effective and more environmentally friendly.
Wooden frames can retain your property’s authenticity and in doing so add value. This obviously depends on the location and history of the building but replacing original wooden frames with alternative window materials can make a home appear more modernised and result in a loss of original character and charm.
Traditional timber sash windows are one of the most distinctive and attractive features of period properties so maintaining them is well worth it in terms of property value as well as exterior and interior looks.
However, whether you’re in a conservation area or you just appreciate high quality design, wood windows offer a range of styles, finishes and colours that will meet your specific requirements.
Wooden windows are very effective at providing insulation for your home as they have very low levels of thermal conductivity. They are especially good at protecting against cold winter winds and will have an overall positive impact on your home’s energy efficiency.
Long lasting and cost effective
The structural integrity of wood lends itself extremely well to window frames that need to be durable and strong. Its natural cellulose and tough fibres are ideal for withstanding years of weathering and in the long term is a far better choice in regards to value for money.
Figures show that while the average lifespan for UPVC windows stands at 30 years, but with regular maintenance the average lifespan for timber windows is an impressive 72 years.
Better for the environment
When deciding between wooden windows and plastic windows one of the many factors you may wish to consider is the environmental impact of your decision.
Environmental Impact: Manufacturing Windows
The production of uPVC windows results in the release of highly poisonous chemicals which threaten the environment and human health. UPVC production involves six of the fifteen most hazardous chemicals listed by European governments for priority elimination.
As timber is a sustainable resource, as long as it is properly sourced, manufacturing timber windows from sustainably managed forests reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Unlike the production of uPVC windows, the manufacturing process for timber windows doesn’t involve any harmful toxins, and there is less waste overall. New trees planted in sustainably managed forests will also outweigh any carbon dioxide created during the production of the final product.
When purchasing wooden windows you can ensure that the wood is sourced from properly managed forests, by checking whether the company uses certified timber.
Normally after around 20 years, uPVC windows will require replacing. Discarded windows usually end up in landfill sites, as although recycling uPVC windows does exist, this is limited to waste sections left over in manufacturing rather than for complete redundant windows. By leaving these windows in landfill sites, highly poisonous chemicals can be released into the environment.
In contrast, if a timber window is damaged, it is relatively easy to repair the frame to ensure your home is secure and insulated. This means that timber windows can last a lot longer than their plastic counterparts. When the windows do need to be replaced, they can be disposed of by burning* and recycling reusable parts.
At The Sash Window Workshop, we always aim to be as environmentally friendly as possible when disposing of our waste. When we remove your old wooden windows and frames from your property, we will return them to our workshop to be dismantled.
Once dismantled, the iron weights are recycled. Where possible, any off cuts from the timber are burnt in our wood waste furnace, alongside timber shavings and dust from our workshop. The heat from the furnace is then piped around the factory to provide central heating.
As long as care is taken in the choice of preservatives, paints and stains, timber windows are by far the best environmental choice for anyone conscious of their carbon footprint, with the traditional process of manufacturing wooden windows using significantly less resource and energy.
*historically lead paint was sometimes used to paint windows. If there is any chance that your window was previously painted with lead paint, it is not safe to burn the window and should be carefully disposed of when replacing. Todays windows do not use lead paint.