How Long Do Windows Last?

How Long Do Windows Last?

Windows are a significant investment for homeowners, and so it’s no surprise that many people wonder how long they can expect their windows to last before they need to be replaced. While windows don’t last forever, well-maintained ones can last for quite a long time, but many factors contribute to their longevity. How long do windows last? Find out the answers you need below.

Generally speaking, windows last for at least 20-25 years, but this is assuming you purchase a reputable brand and have them professionally installed. If they’re carefully maintained, there’s a chance they could last even longer than that, but many brands don’t offer specific guarantees beyond a 5-, 10- or 15-year period.  Thompson Creek Window Company guarantees their windows for up to 50 years.

General Factors Affecting Window Longevity

Remember that windows are essentially the one barrier between the interior of your home and the elements, and many factors affect their longevity, including:

  • Window materials, such as whether the windows are made of vinyl, fiberglass or wood.
  • Installation procedures, including whether they were professionally installed or you installed them yourself with the help of an inspector or contractor.
  • Weather conditions, including how much exposure your windows get to sun, wind and water.

Window Materials

Window frames are generally made of vinyl, wood or fiberglass. Higher-quality windows generally have more weather stripping around the edges to keep air from entering through the sashes.

How long do windows last? Well, vinyl windows generally last the longest. Higher-quality vinyl windows may include a special ingredient in their composition called titanium dioxide, which helps prevent warping, cracking and peeling on the window frame surface.

Window glass can be single, double or triple-paned. More layers of glass generally do a better job of being energy-efficient. Some glass may be treated with a special coating that helps keep your home’s interior warm in the winter and cool in the summer by reflecting sunlight.

Special coatings and more layers of glass can add to the overall cost of your windows, but they can also help ensure they last longer.


It’s best to get your windows installed by a professional, since they have the materials, experience and equipment to ensure your windows are seated correctly and weathertight.

When you leave window installation to the pros, you get peace of mind knowing it’s being done correctly, and it may mean your investment lasts longer before needing to be replaced.

How Do You Know When to Replace Windows?

While windows typically last around 20-25 years, there are some signs that can clue you in on when it might be time to replace your windows. And while some minor problems, such as weather stripping or hardware, might be more suitable for a repair, major ones usually necessitate a replacement. Check out these telltale signs that you might need to replace your windows.

Warping or Other Damage

If your windows are warped, they might stick when you try to open or close them, and this could be due to weather expansion in the frame, especially if it’s made of wood.

Fog is a symptom that’s sometimes seen in double-pane windows — when the seal between the panes is broken, moisture can enter, forming condensation.

When to Replace Windows: Efficiency Loss Through Drafts

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat loss and gain through drafty windows is responsible for between 25 and 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. This is why it’s important for windows to be energy-efficient — they can help you save significant money on heating and cooling costs.

Worn-Out Appearance

While this is arguably the least practical reason, if your windows are looking worn, your home likely does too — and these aesthetics can affect its resale value.

Adding bigger windows in a certain room of your house, like the kitchen or living room, can let in more natural light, which can make your home’s interior appear brighter and welcoming.

Upgrade Your Windows Today

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing windows or get professional advice for boosting your curb appeal with new siding, gutters or doors, you can get the qualified assistance you need from Thompson Creek Window Company.