uPVC Windows Alliance

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Windows lose and gain heat by conduction, convection, radiation and air leakage. This heat transfer is expressed with U-values.

As a rating of energy efficiency, U-value can be used to consider performance of windows, exterior doors, skylights and all other exterior building components, including exterior walls.

In windows, the U-value measures how well heat is transferred by the entire window, that is the frame, sash and glass combined.

The lower the U-value, the more insulated the window unit and therefore the better the window will be in retaining the interior’s heat in the winter and keeping heat out during summer.

U-values are important because they form the basis of any energy or carbon reduction standard.

A significant part of the thermal energy transmission can be through the frames, or profiles, depending on how well the profile material conducts heat. Metals are generally good conductors which is why they feel hot to touch when exposed to the sun. This makes them poor thermal insulators.

Timber and plastics such as uPVC are poor conductors which therefore stops the heat transfer from the heat-exposed side to the non-exposed side. PVC and timber window frames are approximately thermally equivalent and provide a high level of energy efficiency compared to a standard aluminium frame.


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