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What is the Lifespan of Residential Windows?

Is it 40 years? 20 years? Or maybe it’s 15 years? It seems like there are many conflicting answers out there confusing homeowners, like yourself, who simply want to know the lifespan of their residential windows whether for preventative measures or because you’ve been noticing some worrying signs of aging.

As your window experts, we’ll go over how long each type of window lasts, what affects a window’s lifespan, and the warning signs that mean you need a window replacement.


Of course, no matter how well installed or high quality a window may be, no window is designed to last forever. Experts say the average lifespan of residential windows is 15 to 30 years.

Well-maintained windows can easily last beyond 20 years. However, once your windows approach the two-decade mark, it’s time to consider a window replacement as manufacturing and technology improve, especially in terms of energy-efficiency. Keep in mind that specific window brands won’t offer a guarantee for longer than 5, 7, or 15 years.

The lifespan of a residential window is largely affected by maintenance, type of material, climate, and window location (i.e., in constant exposure to the sun).

Proper installation is also one of the most crucial elements for extended durability, which is why you should always rely on professional window installers like SK Windows. Professionals can assess your situation by selecting the best materials and glass to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled the average life expectancy for various types of windows:

  • Aluminum: 20 to 30 years
  • Fiberglass: 20 to 40 years
  • Insulated (double-pane): 10 to 20 years
  • Skylights: 10 to 20 years
  • Vinyl: 20 to 40 years
  • Wood: 30+ years

The lifespan of these windows can change depending on your climate. For example, extreme heat or cold can cause windows to warp or shift due to frequent temperature swings. If you live by the ocean, then you need to consider a material that can handle the corrosive nature of salt spray.

These are all things to consider when determining the lifespan of your residential windows. It’s best to speak with a window expert who can provide you with answers specific to your situation and to evaluate if it’s time for a window replacement.


As a homeowner, it’s important to know the basics of how to care for your home and to be able to spot signs of aging or wearing in order to catch potential problems early. No one wants a costly predicament if they can help it.

Age is not the only indicator that it’s time to replace your home’s windows. Be sure to watch for these other warning signs to determine if you need a window replacement:

Drafts: Single-pane windows are most likely to produce drafts, however, newer windows can develop air leaks and broken seals if not properly installed.

Increase in energy bills: This is usually a sign of a larger issue such as drafts or the seal of your window deteriorating due to age.

Warped or rotted frames: Wooden windows are the most susceptible to this problem over time causing air leaks, flooding, or eventually total window failure.

Difficulty opening or closing windows: Single and double-hung windows will become difficult to operate as they age. Your home’s windows will become unbalanced or jammed.

Condensation between the panes: If you have double-pane windows in your home, this issue indicates that the seal has broken and moisture is present, making your window no more efficient than a single-pane window.

Window replacements are an investment and it’s important to make an informed decision. Let’s go over a few things you need to consider before you replace a window.


So the time has come for a window replacement and it’s no longer something you can ignore. Here are a few things to consider before signing on the dotted line with a window installer:

  • The quality of your window installation (i.e., the skill, portfolio, and reviews of the company you hire)
  • The quality of the windows you plan to purchase from brand to materials
  • How well your house is protected from the outside elements (i.e., your level of insulation)

If this seems overwhelming or is new for you, don’t worry. Allow the expert team at SK Windows to guide you through the process. We’ve been serving the Georgetown community for 45+ years and would be happy to help you! No project is too big or small.

SK Windows

1111 Williams Dr.
Georgetown, TX 78628
Telephone: (512) 686-7555

Business Hours:
Mon – Thurs. 9am – 5pm
Fri. 9am – 4pm
Closed Sat & Sun

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