What's the Difference between uPVC and PVCu?

PVCu or uPVC?

What do the letters PVCu stand for?

The 'PVC' letters stand for Polyvinyl Chloride. The 'U' stands for Un-plasticised.

P - Poly

V - Vinyl

C - Chloride

U - Un-plasticised.

Isn't PVC for Trousers and Bags?

When you think of PVC the first thing that springs to mind in the soft flexible "pleather"type material.

So how can it be used to manufacture doors and windows?

Simple, there are 2 types of PVC - flexible and rigid.

Flexible PVC

Plasticisers are added to PVC to make a softer, more pliable product. It's so flexible it makes an excellent substitute for rubber. PVC products include imitation leather, clothing, 'inflatable goods and flooring.

Rigid PVC

This type of PVC doesn’t contain any plasticiser additives or, if it does, only tiny amounts. It's known as un-plasticised PVC or PVCu for short.

This absence of a softening agent makes for a harder and stronger product, just perfect for the construction of durable windows and doors.

What's the difference between uPVC, PVCu and PVC-U?

There is absolutely no difference. It's just that the little 'u' has been moved from the beginning to the end of the acronym.

Confusing? Certainly. A different name usually means a different product but not in this case.

The change from uPVC to PVCu was simply implemented to standardise the term across Europe.

So why PVCu and not uPVC

This letter shuffling is all down to linguistics.

In English, un-plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride makes grammatical sense.'But this is not the case in most other most European languages where nouns come before adjectives.'

So, for the sake of uniformity, uPVC became PVCu (or just to muddy the water UPV-C). But remember, it's just a name change, not a product change.

Why should I choose PVCu Windows and Doors?

The properties of uPVC make it the perfect material to be used for windows and doors.

Some of the benefits include:


PVCu windows and doors can withstand the very worst weather conditions. From hot sun to driving rain. No warping, twisting, rot, rust or pest infestation.

Prolonged Sunlight usually leads to fading due to exposure to ultraviolet rays but not with PVCu. Doors and windows will keep their colour and look like new for years to come.

PVCu windows and doors are robust enough to cope with heavy impact without chipping, crazing or cracking. This robustness and strength are important factors when considering home security.

Low maintenance

Just think no more painting. An occasional quick wipe over with a soapy cloth and the jobs done.;

The smooth lines of PVCu doors and window frames makes cleaning a doddle. Never again will you have to contend with fiddley nooks and crannies, flaking paint and wood with, ouch! Splinters.

Low Cost

One of the attractions of PVCu is undoubtedly the price. They represent great value for money especially if you are on a budget, as generally, PVCu windows and doors are cheaper than aluminium or timber doors.

Not only are they cheaper, but they will also help reduce your heating bills due to their energy efficiency. Who wouldn't want a warm, snug house to come home to?

Good Looks

Be the envy of your neighbours by giving your home an instant facelift with new windows and doors. It will immediately freshen up your property's appearance and ramp up its kerb appeal.

With a wide range of colours and designs, you're bound to find the perfect style to compliment your home.

Are PVCu Windows and Doors Environmentally Friendly?

This is a frequently asked and important question and the answer is yes, UPVC windows and doors are an environmentally friendly product. Here's why

PVCu Double Glazed windows reduce carbon emissions

Your home naturally loses heat through the windows, doors, roof and walls. Poorly fitted windows and doors can increase this loss dramatically. Cold spots, draughts and chilly hallways force homeowners to turn up their thermostat as the weather turns colder. But why heat the street, waste your hard-earned money and increase carbon emissions?

Keep heat loss to a minimum by replacing your old, heat-leaking doors and windows with new or replacement PVCu 'A' energy rated doors and windows. By swapping to energy-saving windows and doors, the average home can reduce its CO2 emissions by three-quarters of a tonne.


It's a common perception that because UPVC isn't organic like wood, it's not sustainable. This, however, is just not true.

Of all the polymers, PVCu has been the most researched. Since the 1940s many life-cycle studies have been carried out both in the UK and in Europe. These studies have concluded that PVCu is as sustainable as any of the other options. In fact, one of the main ingredients of PVC is salt, a natural and abundant resource.

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining - 'https://www.iom3.org/pvc-sustainability


PVCu is fully recyclable and can be continually recycled up to 8 - 10 times without any signs of deterioration or degradation.


If you are considering new or replacement PVCu windows, doors and conservatories, contact ABS Home Improvements today for honest reliable advice.

Our attractive range gives high performance, are energy efficient, will last a lifetime and are beautiful to look at.

ABS Home Improvements are registered and approved installers of uPVC fitters.

Contact Us Now for a Free, No Obligation Quote

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