How Long Can I Expect My New Windows to Last?
It seems like major features of a house are on a ticking countdown toward needing replaced. A standard asphalt roof lasts about 15 to 20 years, then there’s the furnace, water heater, siding, and your windows. Moving into an older home feels like everything around you has to be replaced, but if you’re going to upgrade one of its features, make it the windows—you won’t regret it
Lifespan of New Windows
There are many advantages in upgrading your windows, the biggest one being the savings you’ll see through your energy bills thanks to their energy efficiency. You’ll also benefit from a boost in your home’s curb appeal and later, resale value. Day to day, you’ll notice limited noise because of your newer windows’ insulating factor as well as a more comfortable and stable temperature inside your home, which is all too important in the winter months when cold air drafts are at their worst.
But you don’t need convincing if you’ve already upgraded and are enjoying the slew of benefits that come with having new energy efficient windows, however, you may be asking yourself how long will your new investment last?
There are several determining qualities that need to be accounted for when talking about a window’s lifespan, so there’s no clear-cut answer as to how long your new windows will last. The type of material, the installation, the usage, and the surrounding climate are all factors that can affect just how long a new window will last.
The frequency of how much you use your window can determine how long it will last. Most windows are made to open and close. Operable windows are opened by means of sliding the window sash or using a crank. These windows are meant to be used, and the good news is that even if you open and close them a lot and they do suffer damage, the fix is relatively easy.
Usage-related problems can always be resolved, but if you ignore a broken crank or a malfunctioning sash, it can shorten the overall lifespan of the window. Repair these problems right away so you can enjoy your new windows for as long as possible.
Surrounding Climate & Weather
No matter what style of window you have, windows of all types are designed to combat adverse weather and extreme climates (although some styles of windows are better for certain regions than others). Still, despite being meant to last with exposure to all kinds of climates, windows can still become damaged from prolonged exposure to things like extreme hot and cold temperatures as well as extreme temperature swings, salt, sunlight, and moisture.
With changing temperatures, windows can become warped, shifting or changing shape. This can shorten its lifespan. Vinyl windows are especially known to crack with temperature swings. The Midwest’s four seasons can be tough on a window’s overall lifespan, from the freezing cold winters and the hot summers. Out west, the intense heat can also cause damage to a window’s material.
Moisture plays a considerable role in determining how long your new windows will last. For wood windows, moisture can warp the frame causing difficulty in the windows’ ability to function. Discoloration and cracked paint are also causes of exposure to moisture.
In order to avoid adverse weather and a temperamental climate from negatively impacting your new windows, make sure you ask your window contractor the best material and style that’s best for where you live. Although extreme temperatures, exposure to moisture, and damage from storms is out of your control, you can at least install a style and material of window that will be the best at combating these factors.
The type of material you choose for your new windows is perhaps the biggest attribute that can impact lifespan.
Wood windows: there’s nothing quite like the look of traditional wood windows. Wood windows will last a long time if you take care of them properly. Investing time and maintenance into your wood windows will allow them to last as long as they’re meant to, which on average can be 15-20 years.
Vinyl windows: on average, good quality vinyl windows can last you 20-40 years. Again, the surrounding climate can make or break this estimate so make sure you’re choosing the right material for the area you live in. You don’t want your new vinyl windows to be overexposed to harsh sunlight or extreme temperatures because your vinyl windows will end up lasting on the lower end of their estimated lifespan.
Fiberglass windows: Fiberglass windows are made to last about 50 years. This window material is up to 8 times stronger than vinyl thanks to its frame reinforced with glass fibers. These windows don’t require much upkeep, so if you’re looking to maximize the lifespan of your new replacement windows, fiberglass is the best choice—and also the most expensive one.