How long do windows last?

How long do windows last?

Window Replacement / by Green T Services

Windows can last between 10 and 80 years. This is because a window’s lifespan is entirely dependent upon the material, climate, installation technique, usage, thermal efficiency, and maintenance routine. In this article, you will learn about how long do windows last depending on what type of window, and the signs to when to replace old windows.

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Table of Contents

How many years do windows last?

About 10-80 years. In addition to the material, the following factors significantly affect the lifespan of the windows:

  • Climate: Extreme hot or cold, frequent changes between the two, hurricanes, hailstorms, snow, rain, salt, and sun exposure all contribute to wear and tear on your windows depending on the region you live in.
  • Usage: The more you use them, the faster they wear out from the daily function. After years and years of opening and closing, it’s more likely that parts may break or warp, and eventually, the window will need to be replaced.
  • Installation technique: This factor is a prime example of why DIY projects are better when left to projects with less margin for error. Install a window incorrectly, and you will end up with drafts in your home, broken seals, humidity, and outdoor pollution, meaning you will need a replacement sooner rather than later.
  • Thermal efficiency: A window’s U-value is a measure of its thermal efficiency. The higher a U-value is, the more heat the window will lose during cold times of the year. This heat loss increases energy bills and the build-up of condensation. Over time, an increase in condensation will lead to the need for a replacement. Energy-efficient windows last longer, reduce heating and cooling costs, and are environmentally friendly.
  • Maintenance: Following the proper maintenance protocol for the type of window you have is essential to extending its lifespan. Each will have its own unique needs based on the material it’s made from, and not attending to them can cost you decades in functionality.

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Vinyl Window Lifespan

How long should vinyl windows last? Well, it depends.

Regular vinyl windows have a lifespan of about 10-20 years. Premium vinyl windows range more in the realm of 30 to 40 years.

Sunlight will break down the vinyl material and degrade the efficacy of your windows at a faster rate. Living in an area that fluctuates between extreme heat and cold during the year will also reduce their lifespan.

vinyl window lifespan
White Vinyl Window

Wood Window Lifespan

Wooden windows last anywhere from 30 to 60 years.

The key determining factor of how long they will last is the maintenance you put into them.

It is essential to clean and inspect wood windows once every six months for cracking, moisture, weatherstripping damage, peeling finish or paint, and loose caulking.

Wood Window

Double-Pane Window Lifespan

Around 10 to 20 years. Climates that bounce back and forth between heat and cold reduce life expectancy.

A frequent change in temperature causes the air between the panes to expand and contract. This movement breaks down the seal allowing moisture to seep in.

This moisture creates fog and makes it difficult to see out of the glass. The only way to correct this is by replacing the glass pane or the window in its entirety.

Double Pane Window

Fiberglass Window Lifespan

Fiberglass windows take the cake when it comes to life expectancy delivering a whopping 50-80 years on average to homeowners.

Fiberglass is the most durable against the elements impervious to moisture, warping, and cracking. It is also low maintenance for long-term care.

Fiberglass Window

Aluminum Window Lifespan

Anywhere from 20 to 40 years.

Weather can damage aluminum. So if hurricanes and hailstorms frequent your home, your windows are going to have a shorter lifespan.

Aluminum is not the best when it comes to insulating your home. You will be spending more money on the “cost” of the windows because of their impact on your rising energy bills.

Lastly, aluminum is likely to rust after long enough exposure to the elements.

Aluminum Window

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Signs That It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

Each type of window has a signal that their life in your home is over and it’s time to replace your windows, whether it’s high energy bills, a drafty home, loud outdoor noise, fog, visible damage, difficulty operating, mold, bugs, or condensation. See how long the windows last below.

Signs Of Old Vinyl Windows

  • Rising Energy Bills
  • Pockets of cold air in home
  • Bad insulation
  • Can hear everything from outside
  • Hard to open and close

Signs Of Old Wood Windows

  • Rising energy bills
  • Warped frames
  • Wood root
  • Termite infestation

Signs Of Old Double-Pane Windows

  • Foggy windows
  • Outside of windows looking shabby
  • Water leakage

Signs Of Old Fiberglass Windows

Luckily, it is very rare that you will need to worry about replacing a fiberglass window. However, there are some signs.

  • Cold drafts
  • Really high energy bills

Signs Of Old Aluminum Windows

  • If the weatherstripping around your aluminum windows is cracked or damaged or there is moisture between your panes.
  • Water leaks

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