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How Long Do Windows Last? The Ultimate Homeowner’s Guide

The average life expectancy of a window is 20 to 40 years.

Are you wondering how long do windows last? Well, you are not alone. The life expectancy of a window is a significant concern to every homeowner.

Whether you are installing windows to a new property or want to change the old ones, you will need to get the most of your windows, and that’s why you need to know the expected lifespan beforehand.

However, the answer to this question depends on many factors that will be discussed in this article. Keep reading to know them, and gain some insights on how you can extend your window’s lifespan.

Factors Affecting the Life Expectancy of a Window

Here are the main factors which affect the window lifespan. Combining multiple factors may make it necessary to change your window or take an immediate protective measure for your windows.

Quality of the Window Materials

There are many types of windows, thanks to the vast array of materials available. These materials have different features that make them unique. The maintenance requirements are also different. Here are the main types of window materials.


Wood is a conventional material. People have been using it since ancient times, and is still effective up to date. Its functional and aesthetic features majorly contribute to its effectiveness and popularity.

If you opt for wood, then you should choose the best quality timber. Mahogany, cypress and the oak are the most durable woods, but you can still choose the others depending on your budget.

The best quality wood can serve you for 30+ years.


Fiberglass has a similar aesthetic look to wood, although its maintenance requirements are relatively lower. Fiber is sturdy, durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
A fiber window can stay for 20 to 40 years, depending on your house’s location and the maintenance.


Vinyl is an affordable and durable option for people on a budget. These windows include non-corrosive compounds that protect them against the harsh weather conditions. Like fiber, vinyl windows may sustain you for 20 to 40 years.

Insulated (double-pane)

The popularity of double pane windows has been increasing over the years. They are beautiful, versatile, and they have excellent thermal features. The average life expectancy of a double pane window is 10 to 20 years.


Aluminum is affordable and durable when compared to vinyl windows. However, they are not excellent for energy-efficiency; hence they are not ideal for cold regions. The life expectancy of the aluminum windows is 15 to 20 years.

Don’t buy blindly; review the available window materials in the market well so that you can choose the best window for your needs.

Location and Weather Factors

Most windows are designed for durability, but the harsh environmental conditions affect them. Strong winds, hail and storms may break the windows or loosen the panes.

For instance, too much sunlight may facilitate wear and tear. Similarly, excessive moisture may cause discoloration and facilitate the cracking of the window panes. The salty air coming from the ocean, too, may affect the windows and make them weak.

If your home is susceptible to adverse weather changes, you should choose the most durable window to serve you for an extended period.

Poor Installation

Every window has unique manufacturer instructions regarding the installation. Failure to follow those instructions may make you lose your hard-earned money in the new few years/ months.

For the best results, you should install the windows well. If you are not an expert, find a window installation expert to help you install.

The ideal professional will install the windows to improve both functional and aesthetic features from the sealants to the panes.

The expert may also give you helpful tips on how to reduce window installation cost in the future. Just make sure that the person you hire is well experienced and is reputable enough to provide excellent results.

Window Usage

How often do you use your windows? Some windows are designed for specific functionality. If you use them for an extended period, they become weak and lose the curb appeal.

If you open and close the windows every day, you should handle them well to prevent breakups. You should also lubricate the hinges and the moving parts of the window.

Proper maintenance can help you prevent breakage issues. If you note damage that needs repair, fix it immediately to prevent the issue from escalating further.

And if the issue is beyond repair, find an expert to help you replace it. Window replacement is the ideal and affordable solution for the old windows.

How Long Do Windows Last? Signs That You Should Replace Your Old Window

Sometimes, a window may need a replacement even when the life expectancy period has not elapsed. Maybe you have not been maintaining it well; the weather has been harsh, or perhaps, the window was not installed well.

In that case, you should replace it immediately to prevent the issue from getting out of hand. The damaged window may pose health risks or increase your energy bills if you don’t attend to it.

Take actions immediately if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Your windows have visible cracks and other damages
  • Your energy bills are escalating, meaning that the windows are no longer energy efficient
  • The acoustic insulation has become weak and you get many noise disturbances
  • The window has become challenging to open or close
  • The window does not have the latest safety protection features
  • Visible fog in the window panes signifying excessive moisture is getting to your house
  • Visible decay on the window frames

You may also decide to change your window when renovating your historic home.

If your house is more than 30 years old, then the windows’ performance has probably gone down. The windows might also have lost their curb appeal. Window replacement would make your house better and lower your energy consumption.

Hire a Window Replacement Expert

Hopefully, you now have an insight on how long do windows last. There is no specified period for the life expectancy, but you can follow the tips discussed above to get the best out of your windows.

Observe the proper maintenance and hire a window installation expert. The professional will inspect your windows and offer helpful advice regarding the best time for replacing windows.

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