We’re asked often- how long should windows last. The answer depends on many variables that makes it difficult to give one answer. For most customers they should only need to replace the windows once in the home they are living in should they decide to live there forever. But the durability and longevity of the windows you select will depend on the materials and options you select- as well as how well the window is constructed. Here are a few things to consider:
- Material- Aluminum, wood & vinyl are all popular building materials for windows. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is strong and offers a low profile frame to maximize glass area- but it is the worst of the 3 for insulation. The life expectancy for an aluminum window is around 30 years- but aluminum isn’t a popular building material in our country today due to the inefficiency of the window. Wood is a popular choice- many homeowners choose to keep the classic look of a wood window. Wood can be stained to show off the natural look of the window, but requires more maintenance than vinyl or aluminum. The life expectancy for a wood window would be between 10-20 years depending on the upkeep of the window. Lastly vinyl is the most popular building material for windows today- offering longtime durability and efficiency. It can be made practically any color, and even with wood laminate on the interior to look like wood. Vinyl is also nearly completely maintenance free.
- Construction- Take a look at the overall U-factor of the window. This will tell you how the window will impact the heating and cooling portion of your electric bill. The lower the number- the more efficient the window. Also look for AAMA DP ratings, and air-infiltration ratings. This will tell you how well the frame of the window is put together. A low air-infiltration rating will mean that that window is rigid and designed in a way to prevent as much air-infiltration as possible.
- Warranty- Take a look a the warranty to determine what is covered. Most of our vinyl windows are covered by a lifetime warranty that covers all moving parts, the frame, and the glass (including glass breakage) from any defects.
Once you’ve considered the above items you’ll have a better idea of how long your replacement windows will last.