19 Jun 2024

Choosing the Right Doors and Windows to Maximise Natural Light and Airflow in Your Home

Natural light and airflow are vital elements in creating a comfortable and inviting living space. When it comes to renovating or building your dream home, choosing the right materials, style and placement for your doors and windows plays a crucial role in optimising these aspects.


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In this article, Wojciech Brozyna, Managing Director at Aluprof, one of the prominent European suppliers of aluminium building systems for commercial and individual construction industries, delves into the importance of selecting the appropriate doors and windows to enhance natural light and airflow, ensuring a pleasant living environment for you and your family.

Choosing the right materials

When seeking to maximise natural light and airflow in your home, the choice of material for your windows and doors is paramount. Each material possesses distinct characteristics and properties that will impact how light gets into your home and air circulates around it. There are a range of materials on the market, including aluminium, timber, UPVC and composite materials, each possessing its own qualities and benefits.


Aluminium is renowned for its exceptional durability, making it a great long-term choice for windows and doors. The material raises the quality of your home by allowing light and air to seamlessly flow. One way in which this happens is through the ultra-sleek frames, which allow for larger glass panels, maximising natural light while providing unobstructed views of the outdoors.

As well as maximising light, though, aluminium is known for its thermal performance. With advanced technologies, such as thermal breaks and insulated glass, aluminium products help minimise heat transfer, keeping your home comfortable all year round whilst also saving on your bills. By sealing out draughts and maintaining consistent indoor temperatures, you can control the airflow in your home. What’s more, the strength of aluminium allows for triple-glazing options, further balancing the temperature in your home. If you are looking for a high-quality, durable material that supports light and airflow into your home, aluminium is a sound bet.

In addition, aluminium windows often include ventilation measures, such as trickle vents, to improve indoor air quality. These discreet slits, equipped with adjustable covers, maintain continuous ventilation, which is crucial for modern airtight homes. Essential for moisture control, they mitigate mould formation by facilitating the removal of excess humidity.


Timber can be a versatile material, suiting different architectural styles. It typically has a more traditional appearance, adding a certain character to a space. Specifically, timber frames can be designed with larger window openings in mind, allowing more natural light to enter the space and brighten the interior. With airflow a consideration, timber windows and doors can be crafted with adjustable louvres or vents, enabling precise control over airflow and ventilation. 

It’s important to consider external conditions, however, which can affect the performance of any material. Timber can require regular maintenance and upkeep to prevent warping or rotting over time, which, in turn, impacts its performance. Poorly-fitted timber frames or joints may develop gaps over time, leading to air leaks and draughts that can create an inefficient and uncomfortable environment.


Contrary to timber, UPVC frames are often manufactured with tighter seals and weather-stripping, minimising air infiltration and maintaining a more pleasant and consistent indoor temperature. However, these frames tend to have chunkier profiles, which are not as slim as high-quality materials such as aluminium, meaning natural light entry will be compromised. With UPVC windows and doors, versatility can be a challenge, with fewer options for adjustable ventilation compared to other materials, potentially limiting airflow control.  


Finally, it’s worth looking briefly at composite materials. These can be engineered to provide strength and stability, combining many of the benefits of aluminium, timber and fibreglass. Many composite frames offer good thermal insulation, preventing heat loss or gain through the frames and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment with minimal reliance on mechanical systems. While typically more expensive than other systems and materials, composite frames provide enhanced insulation and longevity, making them a popular choice for energy-efficient homes.

Choosing the right style

Once you’ve decided on your material, it’s important to look at the style of doors and windows because not only does this contribute to the overall aesthetic of your home but it will further affect natural light penetration and airflow, too. 

Bi-fold and sliding doors

Bi-fold doors are a popular choice for homeowners seeking to ‘bring the outdoors in’. These doors consist of multiple panels that fold in an accordion style, creating a wide opening that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior living areas and, as such, brings light and air into your home.

Bi-fold doors can span a wide area, often being several metres in length, allowing for unobstructed views and ample natural light penetration when fully open. They are versatile and can be installed in various configurations to suit different architectural styles and space requirements. By effortlessly connecting indoor and outdoor spaces, bi-fold doors enhance ventilation and create a sense of spaciousness, which is ideal for entertaining or enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your home.

Sliding doors offer a sleek and functional design that maximises natural light without compromising on space. Sliding doors are an excellent choice for areas with limited space. Unlike traditional doors, they don’t swing open and don’t require the space that bi-folds do, either. However, since the sliding panes stack over each other, it should be noted that one pane will always remain closed unless there is a recess in the wall to accommodate all of the panes.

Choosing the right placement

Strategic placement of doors and windows can significantly impact the natural light and airflow within your home. It is important to firstly understand how the direction of the sun affects sunlight exposure in your home. South-facing windows receive more direct sunlight, while north-facing ones receive softer, indirect light. Consider placing larger windows on the southern side of your space to maximise light flow throughout the day.

Moreover, installing windows or vents high on one side of the room and low on the opposite side can create a natural convection current, drawing cool air in from below and pushing warm air out from above. If you live in an urban or densely-populated area, it’s a good idea to place windows higher on the wall to let in light while maintaining privacy.

Another aspect to consider is to tailor your window and door placement to suit the specific functions of each room. For instance, prioritise larger windows in living areas and smaller ones in areas that would benefit more from increased air and light flow.

By carefully considering the material, style and placement of your windows and doors, you can optimise natural light and airflow, creating a brighter, more comfortable living environment and ensuring your home will sustain for years to come.

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