uPVC has taken the world by storm, becoming a viable alternative to wooden window frames. By this statement alone, you might be quick to assume that wood has low performance, especially when it comes to insulation. However, this could not be further from the truth. Timber is actually a robust and practical material for use in window frames. However, to assess whether wooden frames are adequately insulated, we need to take a look at the varying benefits and features of wood in window frames. As a side point if you are in or near Hampshire take a look at French doors Hampshire.
What makes a window, well or not properly insulated? Also, in the hunt for ideal designs and materials, where does wood rank? Let us delve further:
How it Works
The primary focus on both double and triple glazed windows lies in the glazing structure. The gap between the glass panes is filled with inert gas, like argon, heavier than the surrounding area. This is the secret to the high thermal performance of double or triple glazed windows. The frame, however, can be vital to the window’s overall performance. In conventional casing windows, there’s a thermal break and seals which protect against heat loss through the frame.
Naturally, wood is a low heat conductor. As a matter of fact, wood frames don’t need a thermal break like other materials as they are usually well insulated. To be specific, wood provides over 400 times more insulation compared to steel and over 800 times in comparison to aluminium, As such, wood doesn’t depend on the surrounding casement engineering in order to display high energy window performance.
The same applies to noise insulation. Given that wood is porous in nature, there are small air pockets inside the material that contributes to sound insulation. When you combine timber with double or triple glazing, you can expect it to perform better than most materials in regard to sound penetration in your house.
When it comes to winter, you want all the heat to be retained in your house. However, the same cannot be said during the months where the sun is scorching hot. Given that timber is a poor conductor of heat, it does not contribute to the transfer of heat into the house during summer. The same applies to heat loss during the cold months. Of course, the heat transfer often boils down to the glazing. With a UV coating on the windows, it becomes far much easier to regulate the heat in your home. This is precisely why the advancement of glazing technology is important.
Wood is not only eco-friendly, but it has the lowest level of heat conductivity in any known window frame material. Manufacturing wooden frames requires less energy and fewer toxins. All this is ideal for sustainability. It is a flexible material that is easy to form and work with and can be finished to any texture or colour. If cared for and maintained properly, it can increase in durability with age, a reason that makes it an appealing building material even today!
What are the Downsides?
Given that timber is a good performing material in regard to insulation, why isn’t it widely adopted? Well, it all comes to maintenance. Wood as a frame material needs to be consistently and conscientiously maintained, painted, and treated for during its lifetime. Failure to do so only makes it more prone to warping, damage, and rot. All these are issues that can easily see you replacing your entire window system. This makes it a less appealing solution for window frames.