How Long Do New Replacement Windows Last?
Windows are a crucial feature of your home — they provide lighting, protect you and your structure from harmful elements, affect your overall energy efficiency and help enhance your daily comfort. But until they begin showing signs of wear and tear with broken or cracked glass, malfunctioning locks, refusal to reliably open and close or aesthetic damage, you may not consider the overall value your windows offer.
When choosing new replacement windows for your home, remember that the materials, overall construction quality and environmental condition of your product will determine how useful and efficient they are as well as how long they’ll last. Some windows can maintain their look and efficiency for up to 40 years, while other options may persist only about 10 years.
Glass Window Lifespans
How long you can expect your new windows to last largely depends on which type of materials you decide to use to construct the window. Before selecting a new replacement window for your home, remember to note the different construction materials available and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Three popular and common window construction materials homeowners can choose from include:
- Wood: A window with a wood frame is classic and gives your home a quaint and charming appeal, but this material requires a lot of proactive maintenance to stay in quality condition. Typically, a wood frame can last 10 to 20 years with regular upkeep — some professionals estimate they can even last 30 or more years — but if you neglect them, they can become damaged and warp, requiring premature replacement.
- Aluminum: Aluminum-framed windows are incredibly strong and durable, and with proper maintenance, they can last a very long time. However, without specialty coatings, aluminum is a terrible insulator, which can lead to rising heating and cooling costs. Aluminum windows can last 15 to 20 years without maintenance and 30 to 40 years with attentive care.
- Vinyl: For the most dependable and efficient windows, trust a vinyl frame. Vinyl windows can be manufactured to fit several window sizes and match different color trims. Vinyl can expand and contract in variable temperatures, but the installation techniques and material quality will largely determine whether you’ll encounter those negative effects. Vinyl is a very popular window installation today because it’s virtually maintenance-free and can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years.
Factors That Determine How Long New Windows Last
Not only do the construction materials of your new windows affect how long they last, but several other factors also affect their lifespans, including:
- U-factor: How thermally efficient the window is has a huge effect.
- Warranties: A longer manufacturer warranty shows confidence in the overall product.
- Improper maintenance: Insufficient or improper maintenance can damage your windows, reducing their longevity.
- Exposure to the elements: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or harsh climates can deteriorate the products.
- Poor installation and settling: If the window wasn’t properly installed or the building settles post-installation, the windows will be difficult to use.