Short answer: between 20 and 25 years.
Replacement windows can go a long way toward keeping your home more comfortable or even lowering your energy bills, but many consumers aren’t sure how often they should replace their windows. If you are curious about the best time to replace windows, the following advice can help.
The Typical Lifespan of a Window
Though different window manufacturersand styles have different lifespans, the average amount of time you should expect a replacement window to last is 25 years. Of course, there are many factors that go into coming up with this number, too. As an example, though most manufacturers do mention the 25-year life, wood windows that are well-built and maintained can easily last 50 years or more. Conversely, windows constructed of poor quality materials may not even last a decade.
Common Window Problems
If you’re wondering when to replace windows, the best thing you can do is simply take a look at the condition of your existing windows based on the symptoms you notice around your home. You can find some examples below.
- Drafts – Drafts occur when windows lose their weathertight seal. Sometimes, you can simply replace the seal, but if the frame is rotted or otherwise broken and cannot properly maintain a seal, it’s time to consider replacement windows.
- Foggy glass – If there is fog or condensation trapped between your double-paned windows, this means that the heat barrier between those two panes has been compromised and the window is no longer as efficient. Replacement windows could drastically improve your energy consumption and your comfort.
- Poor operation – If your windows stick or simply won’t open, you can check for debris inside the tracks. If there is no debris and the window still doesn’t operate properly, you likely need new windows.
- High energy bills – This is one of the biggest signs that your windows are no longer providing an insulate barrier and they should be replaced.
- Broken frames – Finally, if you have broken window frames, replacement is typically a requirement.
Putting Off Window Replacement
Many homeowners put off window replacement thinking they may get another year or two out of their existing windows. When windows are in poor condition, not only can they make people uncomfortable and drive up heating or cooling costs, but they can also expose the very structure of your home to moisture. Over time, this moisture can cause rot, mold, and various other types of damage that can require extensive and expensive repairs. If you are in need of replacement windows, it is never a good idea to put those repairs off. The sooner you take care of it, the better protected your home will be.
Replacement Windows Options
If you’ve decided that now is the best time to replace windows in your home, you have numerous options available from which to choose. You can choose from a variety of styles, including casement and awning windows, sliding tilt windows, bay and bow windows, and even hung or architectural options. These come in a variety of frame materials, too, whether you prefer the classic look of wood or the more flexible appearance of vinyl. Aluminum and other materials are also available, and this means you can pick a window design that is 100% perfect for your home’s architecture and style.
Cost and Replacement Time
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for window replacement, it is important to put your window order in early on. Window replacements typically take one to two days to complete, and prices will vary depending on the number of windows in your home, the size of those windows, and even the materials you choose. Professional window replacement is an investment in your comfort, and over the first few years, they can even pay for themselves in terms of the significant energy savings you will enjoy.
Learning when to replace windows can be tricky. If your windows are especially drafty, you see fog or condensation between the panes, your windows don’t operate correctly, your energy bills are climbing, or your existing windows are in disrepair, it may be time for replacement windows. New windows can go a long way toward making your home a more comfortable place, so be sure to check out your options and discover what would work best for your needs.