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When choosing the best type of secondary glazing for your home, there are two leading options: PVC or aluminium. 

Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh which one is best for your needs.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best type of secondary glazing for your home. 

Both materials have similar insulation levels, so deciding which is best for you can be tricky.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at two types of secondary glazing for windows so that you can make an informed decision for your home.

What is secondary glazing?

Secondary glazing is an additional window installed inside your existing windows. It is a cost-effective way to improve your home’s thermal insulation and acoustic performance.

When choosing a material for your secondary glazing, you will need to consider several factors, including cost, durability and appearance.

PVC and aluminium are two of the most popular materials used for secondary glazing. 

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to weigh up all the options before making a decision.


PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a synthetic plastic polymer developed in the late 19th century. Initially used as an alternative to rubber, it wasn’t until the 1930s that PVC started to take off as a construction material. In the postwar period, PVC became increasingly popular for window frames due to its low cost and durability.

On the other hand, aluminium has been used in construction for centuries. The first recorded use of aluminium in architecture was in 14th century Venice, used for decorative purposes. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that aluminium started to be used in earnest for construction due to the development of new production methods.


PVC is a synthetic material that is easy to mass-produce and aluminium is a natural material that is more expensive to extract and process.

Therefore many think PVC is cheaper than aluminium when it comes to secondary glazing. However, this is not the case – they are both pretty similar in price.

So, if you’re thinking of getting secondary glazing installed, don’t let the cost be a deciding factor.


PVC is strong and resistant to weathering, rot and insects, but it is not as durable as aluminium and can discolour over time. 

Aluminium is a solid material that is resistant to corrosion. It is also a good conductor of heat and electricity. 


Even though PVC is strong and durable, they are not the most aesthetically pleasing option on the market. They are chunky and bulky, which can be a major downside for some homeowners.

When it comes to appearance, aluminium secondary glazing is much stronger than traditional windows, so the window design can be much slimmer. This is a huge positive, as having a slim window means that it is barely visible when fitted in place.

This is especially beneficial for period properties.

Both are available in various colours and finishes, so you can find a style that suits your home.

Thermal Insulation

PVC and aluminium secondary glazing both have similar insulation levels. They will reduce heat loss through the windows and help keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer.

PVC and aluminium secondary glazing is an effective way to improve the thermal efficiency of your home. They will reduce your energy bills and help to keep your home comfortable all year round.

Noise Pollution

PVC is a slightly more effective soundproofing material and will help to reduce noise pollution from outside sources such as traffic and construction. Aluminium is a better conductor of heat and is slightly less effective at soundproofing, but it will still help reduce noise pollution.


PVC is a strong material that is difficult to break, making it a good choice for security purposes. Aluminium is also a strong material but more susceptible to bent or brokenness. Both can be fitted with security features such as locks and bars. 


PVC is a low-maintenance material that is easy to clean with a damp cloth. Aluminium is also low-maintenance but more susceptible to scratches and corrosion.


PVC is available in a wide range of colours, including the appearance of wood. It is also available in various textures; therefore, you can use it to create multiple looks. 

The main advantage of aluminium windows is their thermal performance. Aluminium windows are slightly better at insulating than PVC windows, meaning they will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Secondary glazing can lead to significant savings on your energy bills. Aluminium windows are also robust and durable.


PVC secondary glazing windows are not the most aesthetically pleasing option on the market. They are chunky, and that can be a big disadvantage, especially if you have a small window. 

The main disadvantage of aluminium windows is that people tend to assume they are more expensive. 

Aluminium windows are generally not more expensive than PVC windows, making them a less popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners that might not have done their research. 


There are many benefits to secondary glazing, but the most important ones from an aesthetic standpoint are that aluminium can make your windows look sleeker and more modern, and it can also help to reduce noise.

Aluminium secondary glazing is naturally strong so that the window design can be as slim as possible. This is a huge positive, as having a slim-designed window means you can barely see it when fitted in place. This is a great option for period properties where maintaining the original aesthetic is important.

PVC secondary glazing windows are also available, but they are much chunkier than aluminium windows. This is a significant drawback, as the PVC windows need to be thick in order to be strong and functional. As a result, they can often look out of place in older properties.

Aesthetics are important for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to secondary glazing, they can be the difference between a successful installation and an unsuccessful one. If you’re considering secondary glazing for your home, make sure to keep aesthetics in mind.

Ultimately, your best option will depend on your budget, needs and preferences.