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Steel Vs Wood Vs Vinyl-Which Is the Most Ideal for Door and Window Framing?

Most homeowners only consider the cost of frames when repairing or replacing windows. However, they fail to remember that utility bills matter when it comes to doors and windows.

The Australian Energy Department indicates that cooling and heating accounts for around 44% of annual utility bills across Australia. Data from the department indicates that energy bills can be cut by as much as 50% if thermal insulation is enhanced. This should start with ensuring your window frames are energy efficient.




The term U-factor means the rate of heat flow resistance by windows. If resistance to heat flow is low (low U-factor), then the insulation properties of the window are better but if the resistance is high (high U-factor), then the window has low energy efficiency.

The U-factor is basically the resistance to heat flow offered by a window pane alone. This means that the U-factor of a frame is not put into consideration.


Types of Frames for Windows

Steel Frames

One of the most renowned materials for its versatility, strength, and durability is steel. It is easy to create a stylish and elegant façade out of steel windows. Many homeowners go for steel windows due to their ability to keep off burglars. Steal is also preferred since it is hard to twist, lasts longs, and is good at resisting fires.

However, steel’s major disadvantage is its poor heat insulation. You will need to use thermal breaks to minimize heat loss. If you conserve energy, then you will save on your utility bills. Enhanced energy efficiency also increases your home’s value.


Vinyl Frames

Frames made of vinyl have better heat insulation properties when compared to steel. Hence, they have moderate R-values. Homeowners who want affordable frames for their windows can go for vinyl frames. They are usually made using polyvinyl chloride.

These frames boast of requiring little maintenance. This means you won’t go through the stress of priming or scraping off the old paint. You only need to wash them wish some soapy water.


Wooden Frames

Wood has always been a widely used material for construction. Wood creates stylish and sophisticated windows. Wood boasts of being a poor conductor of heat.

Although wood tends to degrade with time, regular repainting can prolong its lifetime. Wood is also able to stands condensation and also stands some extreme weather elements.

With this in mind, choosing a window frame will depend on your energy efficiency requirements and personal preference. If you’re out there searching for a frame that leads in energy efficiency, then go for vinyl window frames.


Although steel might not be great at insulation, it’s quite affordable and does not demand a lot of maintenance.

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