Residential Windows

Residential Windows: How Often Should They Be Replaced?

Doors and Windows

You count on the windows in your home to fulfill several important functions. First, they must provide a clear view of the outside world and allow abundant natural light into your home interior. In addition, however, they must protect you from the elements, just like the doors, walls, and roof of your home.

Unfortunately, windows, like any component of your structure, are subject to the ravages of time. If you have a roof made of asphalt shingles, you probably know replacement will be necessary within about 20-25 years, whereas a slate roof could last you anywhere from 50-100 years, just for example. What many homeowners don’t know, however, is how long windows are supposed to last.

How often should windows be replaced? How do you know when it’s time to replace them? And how can you choose windows that are going to offer the greatest longevity and the best performance? Here are a few things every homeowner should know.

Materials and other Features

Windows are made of glass, naturally, but some have multiple panes of glass with gas trapped between them. Some feature a single, large pane of glass while others have multiple panes. Some windows don’t open while others, like double hung windows, have vertical sashes that open from the bottom up and the top down.

Plus, framing could be made from materials like wood, aluminum, steel, vinyl, fiberglass, composites, and more. Some frames are solid while others are hollow or filled with insulative materials. The point is there are a lot of options, and all could have an impact on the longevity of your windows.


Where you live could be just as important as the windows you choose when it comes to the prospect of replacement. Whether your region experiences extreme temperatures (hot and/or cold), inclement weather like storm activity, high humidity, or other weather conditions, your windows could be affected.

For example, wooden window frames might suffer from mold and rot in areas that experience high temperatures and humidity, causing them to deteriorate and require replacement sooner than other materials. This is something you need to be aware of when replacing windows so you make sure to find the materials and options that are right for your environment.


How you care for your windows can impact their ultimate longevity. As a homeowner, you have plenty of maintenance tasks to attend to, such as cleaning gutters, inspecting the roof, and servicing your HVAC and water heater annually, just for example.

One area many homeowners neglect is window maintenance, but with proper care, you’re sure to get the greatest use value from windows. If you notice issues like drafts, damage, fogging between panes, and so on, repair them immediately if possible to ensure longevity.

Professional Help

Generally speaking, you can expect residential windows to last at least 15-20 years before you need to start thinking about replacement, but they may last longer, or not quite as long, depending on a variety of factors. Your best bet is to consult with the professionals at Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement to find out if your windows are due for an update, and if so, which models are best suited to your home and your needs.

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