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How Long Should My Windows Last

how long should my windows last

It’s a question that many homeowners have asked themselves at some point. 

The answer is not as simple as it may seem, but this article will discuss the factors involved in determining how long your windows will last and what you can do to ensure they stand the test of time.

How long should my windows last?

The average life expectancy for residential windows is about 20 years and it varies depending on the materials used. 

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean your replacement time will be at the end of those 20 years.

For example, if your windows only have a small crack that you can’t even see from the inside of your house, then it doesn’t need to be replaced yet. 

However, if any part of the window is broken or deteriorating in some way and needs repair before being safe for use again.

It depends on how well you protect them from the elements. 

Clean off any dirt or debris near and around your windows regularly, repair problem areas immediately if noticed, use proper window treatments so sunlight does not fade materials in direct sunlight, and protect them from rainwater damage by covering them with tarps during a storm.

Assorted-color Wall Paint House Photo

Different types of Windows

  • Single Pane Windows – are the most traditional type of window.
    • They are usually made from a single piece of glass or plexiglass, with two sides facing each other and held together by putty, glazing compound etc.,
  • Double Pane Windows – have an inner pane of glass fitted within an outer pane to form a double-glazed unit that gives improved insulation.
    • Double-pane windows can help prevent drafts, reduce noise pollution from outside and help keep the warmth inside during the winter months.
    • They also have better insulation values than single pane windows due to their ability to trap air.
  • Double Hung Windows – are the most commonly seen type of window, but they can be particularly difficult to open and close due to their weight.
    • The bottom section is fixed in place while the top half opens inward or outward by sliding vertically.
    • Double hung windows come with a wide range of sash weights which allow for different types of locking.
  • Triple Pane Windows – offer even greater insulation than double-pane by adding a third pane of glass within the unit (usually made from Mylar or vinyl).
    • Some triple pane windows also have a thin layer of argon, krypton or other type of gas between the panes.
    • Triple-pane windows provide excellent insulation and soundproofing due to their triple-thickness glass panels which trap air inside.
  • A Quad-pane window – has four glass panels and can help reduce noise pollution as well as cut down on heating bills by keeping cool air inside during summer months.

Different Types of Window Frames

  • Aluminum Frame Windows –  are considered an economical choice and are available in a wide range of designs, including single-hung sashes, double hung windows and casement styles.
    • They can also come with different finishes for added insulation such as screens or storm panels.
  • Fiberglass Frame Windows – offer good durability at a reasonable price point while still allowing homeowners to choose from a variety of styles and materials, including wood-grained or simulated divided light sashes.
    • Fiberglass is also highly resistant to rotting, corrosion, insects and warping.
  • Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Window Frames – are strong enough to be used in hurricane zones as well as coastal areas where they can withstand high winds better than other materials.
    • FRP windows are also resistant to fading from the sun, chipping and peeling paint as well as cracking due to cold weather.
    • They can come in a wide range of styles including single-hung or double-hung sashes that open vertically or horizontally depending on your preference
  • Aluminum clad wood window frames – provide homeowners with an economical option that is low maintenance and durable due to its aluminum coating.
    • The wood window frames can also come in a variety of styles, including single hung sashes, double hung windows or casement options which open outward from the side.
  • Wood Window Frames – are considered one of the best choices for energy efficiency as they provide better insulation than metal ones and can reduce your heating and cooling bills.
    • They are also available in a range of styles including single-hung, double hung or casement sash windows that open inward or outward.
  • Wood clad window frames – provide insulation and protection from the elements due to their exterior aluminum cladding which is resistant to warping, cracking and other signs of wear.
    • Depending on your preference, they can also come with single or double hung sashes that open upward and downward.
Window of a Classic Brick House

Different Types of Window Glass

  • Low-E glass windows – are especially good at blocking out ultraviolet rays, but they also come with other benefits including added energy efficiency and noise reduction.
    • Low-E stands for ‘low emissivity’ which means it reflects heat away from the home while still allowing natural light to pass through.
  • Heat Mirror glass windows – are similar to low-E glass in their ability to reduce noise and retain energy, but they offer better insulation than standard windows that do not have this feature.
    • Heat mirror glass comes with a thin metallic coating on the outside which reflects heat back inside your home.
  • Energy Efficient Windows – are designed to keep cool air in during summer months while keeping warm air intact during wintertime due to their argon gas filling.
    • They are also available as low-E glass or heat mirror windows that contain a thin metallic coating on the inside to reduce noise and unwanted drafts, while still allowing light into your home.
  • Tempered Glass windows – offer the best impact resistance and safety as they will not shatter into dangerous shards if broken.
    • They can also resist scratches, dents or other signs of wear that come with everyday use.
House Windows


It is important to consider the materials as well as the style of your windows when choosing which ones you want to install. 

By taking the time to learn about different types of window frames and glass, homeowners have a better chance at picking out high-quality windows that will not only stand up against time, everyday wear and tear but also provide them with energy efficiency all year round.