The Lifespan of Windows: How Many Years Do They Last?

January 1, 2023

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How many years do windows last? This is a vital question, as windows aren’t always a cheap investment! Also, homeowners often want to know when to budget for new window replacement. Lastly, note that high-quality windows can mean steeper installation costs but less need for replacement over the years.

With this in mind, check out some information about how many years windows last on average. Then, discuss your home’s needs with a window installation contractor near you. They can offer added advice for windows that fit your needs and budget.

How Many Years Do Windows Last on Average?

Most windows last an average of 15 to 20 years. After that time, seals begin to degrade and break down. In turn, gaps form around the windows, and they might start to sag and pull away from their frames. Also, glass tends to thin over time, so older windows don’t offer the same insulation as new ones.

Additionally, older glass might be yellow or suffer scratching. Consequently, they might look dingy and dirty no matter how much you clean them! Wood windows also tend to warp after so many years, making them difficult to operate. Aluminum windows might also corrode or shift out of place. As a result, it’s suitable to budget for home windows once they approach that 15-year lifespan.

how many years do windows last

How Do I Know If I Need Window Replacement?

While windows might need replacing after 15 to 20 years, don’t rely on this timeframe exclusively! It’s good for homeowners to replace windows when needed, no matter their age. With this in mind, note a few signs that it’s time to call a window installation contractor near you.

Never ignore damaged or outright broken windows

A homeowner might assume that residential window cracks aren’t dangerous as long as the window stays intact. However, this can be a costly mistake! Those cracks weaken window glass, increasing the risk of it shattering. Also, cracks let in outside heat, cold, humidity, and bugs while letting out heated and cooled air.

You must schedule window replacement for broken or damaged windows. Do this before that window shatters or falls out of the frame! You’ll also want to replace the window before cold weather sets in. A new window ensures proper insulation for your home’s interior rooms.

Drafty interior rooms? It’s probably time for new windows!

As windows age, they tend to pull away from their frames, and those frames pull away from the home’s walls. In turn, gaps form that then let in outside cold. As a result, interior rooms often feel drafty and uncomfortable.

Also, note that you can sometimes feel those drafts coming in through window frames. If you notice colder air around windows in your home, it’s time to replace them. New windows will mean a better fit and improved insulation overall.

Keep an eye on carpets and furniture near windows

As said, window glass tends to thin over time. As a result, those windows let more unfiltered light into a room which can then fade upholstery and flooring. If you notice faded hardwoods or furniture fabric, it’s probably time for new entire windows. This also applies to houseplants; if they wilt, this can indicate old windows need replacing.

New windows mean added sound insulation

Old, thin window glass often fails to block noise and outside cold! Additionally, older glass might rattle in even the slightest wind. On the other hand, updated windows block sound inside and outside your home. You and your neighbors might appreciate the peace a new window installation offers!

Don’t struggle with window operation

Window operation refers to how those windows open and close. Depending on a window’s location, a different operational style might be a better option. For instance, you might struggle to push up and pull down a window over a sink or tub. In those cases, consider a window that slides from side to side.

Also, a double-hung window is an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Double-hung windows have an upper pane that lowers to open. Lowering this upper pane lets heat, airborne grease, steam, and other irritants escape more easily.

Are your windows outdated and unstylish?

A homeowner should never settle for outdated and unstylish windows. Your home’s windows affect its appearance both inside and outside. For example, smaller windows can make a long wall look cluttered, while more oversized windows mean more sunlight in interior rooms.

Additionally, bay or bow windows can enlarge a larger footprint inside a room. Oversized picture windows offer an unobstructed view of the outside, and custom windows fit every awkward space. Also, consider how new basement windows might keep the space from looking unwelcoming and dull. Whatever the case, consider new windows once the current windows start to look even slightly unattractive!

New windows often increase home values

Consider new windows to increase your home’s value while enhancing energy efficiency. Appraisers base home values on what buyers might pay for a house, and homebuyers often appreciate updated windows. In addition, newer windows mean better insulation and security and an improved appearance. So consider new windows when it’s time to invest in your property.

home with brand new windows

Should I Replace Windows Before Selling a House?

Homeowners looking to sell a home often wonder what upgrades to invest in, if any. After all, why improve a house you don’t plan on owning much longer?

Your real estate agent can offer pointed advice on your home’s salability. In the meantime, remember that you don’t want to overdevelop a home you will sell. But, on the other hand, you want to make it desirable to buyers!

You might note some reasons to invest in new windows for a home you plan on selling. First, homebuyers often appreciate their upgraded energy efficiency. Second, new windows increase curb appeal. Finally, potential buyers impressed by a home’s exterior might be likelier to check out its interior!

Also, consider how homebuyers might appreciate new windows versus your home’s current windows. They might realize that buying a home with brand-new windows means they won’t need to replace them for years! Windows you struggle to open might make your home less desirable to buyers. However, windows with more effortless operation and durable window materials like vinyl might appeal more to buyers.

Lastly, intruders can break older windows with thin, brittle panes more quickly than new ones. In turn, buyers might avoid homes with old windows that attract those intruders. Conversely, newer windows can make a home seem safer and more secure, and more sellable when on the market.

Can I Replace Windows Myself?

Property owners should never attempt DIY window replacement. One reason is that windows are heavier than you might realize. Two, an imprecise fit can mean gaps around those window frames. Consequently, you might soon notice drafts, humidity in the home, and other issues.

Also, note that most municipalities require permits for window installations. Additionally, your installations might also require inspections. A professional window installer will know how to apply for those permits and arrange inspections. Professional installation also means a much better chance of passing an examination!

These last points are critical if you plan on selling your home anytime. Most buyers require an inspection and might withdraw their offer for a home that doesn’t pass. This makes the selling process even more cumbersome than usual! Always invest in professional window installation for your home to avoid these risks.

Styles of Windows & Their Average Lifespan

If you want to update your home’s windows, you might consider changing their style. Different window styles can mean a better view, added sunlight, and easier operation. Check out some various designs you might choose for your home.

Single-hung and double-hung

Single-hung windows are typically the most popular with homeowners. This style and double-hung windows have two panes, one on top of the other. The upper pane of single-hung windows stays in place but slides up and down with double-hung windows.

Single pane windows design is affordable and easy to install. However, double-hung windows allow you to vent smoke, heat, and other irritants trapped along a room’s ceiling. They can also mean added circulation but less bothersome wind in a room.

Single and double-hung windows will last about 20-25 years. However, it should be noted that if you have vinyl windows, they will last longer than wood windows.


Sliders have two panes side by side, with one or both sliding sideways to open. Sometimes, sliders will also have a third stationary pane between them. These are excellent for areas where lifting and lowering panes become cumbersome. Larger slider panes also mean more sunlight and fresh air in your home.

Sliding windows last between 15 to 20 years on average.


Casements are another great choice for added style and easy operation. These windows have a hinge on the side and open outward. Most casement windows operate with a crank, making them easy to open and close.

Casement windows are more vulnerable to the elements because they open outwards. You can expect them to last 15-20 years.

Bay and bow

Bay and bow windows consist of three, five, or more panes side by side that jut out from the home. In turn, these windows form a seating area inside. Not only does this mean added space for your room, but their design also brings more sunlight into a home.

Garden windows

Garden windows are often found over kitchen sinks. Like a small bay window, a garden window juts from home, creating a shelf space. This shelf and the side panes of the window allow for lots of sunlight. You might use a garden window to grow fresh herbs or other plants.

Awning windows

An awning window has a hinge along the top and opens outward from the bottom. Consequently, it forms the shape of an awning when opened. These windows are excellent for areas with lots of rain or wind. You can open the window and enjoy the fresh air while blocking the outside elements!

Awning windows may last about 15-20 years.

Picture or stationary

As the name implies, a picture or stationary window doesn’t open or close. Picture windows are excellent for places where you want a great view but don’t need to open that window. For instance, consider a picture window over a soaking tub or in an office.

Additionally, you might have a contractor create a picture window for odd or awkward spaces. For example, you can brighten a laundry room with a simple picture window! You might also add these to dark corners or over existing windows.

A picture window typically lasts about 20 years.

lifepan window arched

Window Lifespan: Can a Window Last 40 Years?

Framing materials and manufacturing processes determine a window’s lifespan. Also, exposure to harsh weather and power washing tools can damage window glass and frames prematurely. On the other hand, rigid fiberglass frames can last for decades, potentially even 40 years. Proper cleaning methods also reduce the risk of premature damage.

With this in mind, homeowners still shouldn’t put off window installation when needed. As an example, broken glass needs immediate replacement. Additionally, a home’s framing might settle and pull out of position over the years. As it does, gaps tend to form around window frames. Drafty windows and updated sealing can restore that lost insulation and keep your interior spaces comfortable.

Are Triple-Glazed Windows Worth It?

Window glazing refers to how many panes create the window itself. Older windows might have a single pane, which lacks insulation. Single panels might also shatter more readily and are more likely to rattle in high winds.

Double-glazed windows consist of two panes installed so close together that they look like one glass sheet. Manufacturers then add a layer of air or specialty gas between these panes. That specialty gas increases insulation and improved energy efficiency.

Triple pane windows offer even more insulation against outside weather and noise than double-glazed. These can be an excellent investment for homes in especially noisy areas near airports or highways. If your area is prone to long, cold winters, they might also be well worth the cost.

Denver Window Replacement Pros is happy to help explain how many years windows last. Hopefully, you found this information helpful. Call our Denver window installation contractors if it’s time for new storm windows around your home. We offer FREE consultations and price quotes and guarantee every installation for quality. To find out more or to schedule your appointment, call us today.

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