Heat not only escapes through the glass panels of a window, but also the frame. On a hot summer’s day, try feeling the outer and inner portions of the window frame. The outer portion will definitely be hot, especially if the window is exposed to direct sunlight. In some windows, the inner portion can also be warm because heat is conducted through the frame.
As you already know, heat passing through the window, whether through the glass or frame, means more energy is being used to keep the home cool or warm. Therefore, you’ll need to look for window frames that conduct less heat.
The question is, which type of window frame material is more energy efficient? The most common window frame materials in the market today are:
- Wood frames
- Aluminum frames
- PVC frames
- Metal frames
Of the above materials, aluminum and metal frames conduct heat the most, so if you’re looking to conserve energy, you definitely want to avoid buying window frames made from those materials.
Frames made of wood don’t absorb and transmit heat as much as metal frames. However, wood is prone to warping, peeling, decay, rotting and all sorts of damage. Wood may be energy-efficient, but you’ll need to spend more money on maintenance and repair costs.
PVC frames are somewhere in between wood and metal frames in terms of energy conservation. Unfortunately, PVC is a somewhat weak material and is prone to damage. The material may also disfigure in extreme climates.
Perhaps one of the best framing materials available today is Fibrex, which is a composite of wood fiber and PVC. Fibrex is tough and highly durable. Moreover, Fibrex does not decay, warp, peel or blister. In addition, Fibrex is highly energy-efficient as the material prevents heat from passing through the window frame.
In the next post, we’ll talk more about a very important aspect of a window: its glass. Stay tuned!