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.

If you’re wondering how long replacement windows last, the reality is that each type of replacement window has a different shelf life depending on whether or not you care and maintain them.

window lifespan

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.

window frame types and styles

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.

For Quality Window Replacements, Rely on Glass.com

When you need window replacements for your home, trust Glass.com to assist you in finding quality, trusted professionals in your area. With Glass.com, you can easily request free service quotes and schedule fast, no-obligation appointments. Call us today at 816-945-2778 or complete our online contact form to learn more!

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Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.


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By Daniel Snow

Daniel Snow serves as the operations manager for Glass.com and is also a contributing editor. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from George Mason University and has a background in the real estate industry. After high school, Daniel even worked at a family-owned glass shop for a short period of time and is an Auto Glass Safety Council certified installer.

In his free time, Daniel enjoys being outdoors, especially around the water where he can be found surfing, fishing, and boating. He has a passion for bringing old vehicles back to life and loves working with his hands to restore cars, boats, and motorcycles.


5 responses to “How Long Do New Replacement Windows Last?”

  1. My condominium is about to do a complete window and frame restoration.The frames will be aluminum.The company supplying the window system is promising a 40 service life.This seems like a very long time for aluminum windows that won`t be able to get attentive care.I would like to ensure we are getting what we pay for.
    How can I find out a windows service life without involving the manufacturing company?

    • Hi Mark, The upside to aluminum windows is that they do not suffer rot, rust, or material breakdown. 40 years is not out of the question, but they may require maintenance from time to time to stay in top shape. Questions to consider: Does the company offer a warranty for all 40 years? Has the company been manufacturing windows for a long time? Do they have proof of longevity?

      • Hi Mark,
        We’re sorry to hear of your shower door’s leak! Without more information, or an in-person inspection, it’s hard to say what the best corrective action would be. Check through our tip in the blog- Is it a leak that can be corrected by caulking a crack or hole? Is it leaking through a gap in the shower door that could be corrected by adding a sweep or seal? Is the curb causing the water to drain out of the shower instead of back in? You might be able to add a rubber dam that stops the water and redirects it back into the shower.

  2. Hi! I’m looking to replace my windows (very drafty, shake within the frame during high winds, let dirt/dust in). And I had a consultation with an Andersen rep and they mentioned the flaws of vinyl. Should I be concerned with installing vinyl windows into my condo? I plan to stay in this condo for 2 years and then eventually renting out.

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