How Often Should Windows Be Replaced?

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A bay window in a well lit home. The walls are grey and the carpet and furniture match.


In general, your windows should be replaced about every 15-20 years. While a well-made window can last for several decades, you may need to replace poorly made or installed windows after just a few years. The exact timing depends on the condition of your windows, the quality of their construction, and how old they are. But if you’re wondering how often windows should be replaced, it is most likely because you need to replace them already—and you know it!


Drafty windows that don’t open and close properly are no fun. That is especially true if they are old, outdated, or just plain ugly.


Before you jump for the cheapest window replacement option, we recommend checking out this free window buying guide.


When you install cheap windows in your home, you should expect to replace them in as much as a few years to as little as a few months. If you have terrible luck, that timespan could decrease to even just a few days. On the other hand, investing in high-quality windows can spare you from needing to replace your windows in your lifetime. Unless, of course, you simply want to give your home a fresh look. Then, your windows should be replaced as often as you like!


Whether you’re looking to update your home’s appearance or address specific concerns, we’re here to assist you in determining the best course of action. So, let’s delve into the factors that can influence your window’s lifespan and explore your next steps.


How Do You Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Windows?

Recognizing the signs that you need window replacement is crucial in maintaining comfort, energy efficiency, and your home’s aesthetics. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In the following section, we’ll discuss six key indicators that suggest it’s time to consider replacing your windows. By paying attention to these signs, you can make informed decisions about the well-being of your windows and ensure a cozy and beautiful living space. Once you know what to look for, it’s much easier to identify when it’s the right time for a window upgrade.


6 Signs Your Windows Should Be Replaced:

An infographic of the 6 signs you should replace your windows


  1. Drafts. A cold draft could signify that the window seals are failing. It could also mean the window frames are warped. These things make it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature at home. They can impact your quality of life. But they also indicate bigger problems. Improper seals and warped frames could cause the window to sag, or fall out. Property damage is already an issue. But on top of that, an unstable window is just plain unsafe!


  1. Condensation. If your window seals fail, moisture will start to collect between the panes of glass. It results in condensation forming inside your windows. Over time, the glass will lose its insulating properties. It will become foggy, making it difficult to get a good view. You will not enjoy much natural light inside, either!


  1. Difficulty opening or closing. Wear and tear can cause your window to malfunction, making opening and closing it feel impossible. Not only will this impede your ability to clean your windows, but it is also a safety hazard. You should always have full access to your windows for emergency purposes.


  1. Visible damage. When your windows are visibly damaged, it is time to replace them. The damage can include cracked or broken glass, rotting frames, or rusted hardware. In some cases, your window frames may be bent or sagging. These issues can compromise the structural integrity of your windows, making them dangerous and less energy-efficient.


  1. Noise. If you notice that your windows are not blocking out exterior noise, it could be a sign that they are not sealed correctly. Or they may not be thick enough to provide adequate insulation. Replacing them is the best way to fix this issue.


  1. Energy bills. Old, drafty, or damaged windows allow heat to escape in the winter and cool air to escape in the summer. They make your HVAC system work harder to maintain an appropriate temperature in your home, increasing your energy bills and costing you money.


How Long Will Your Windows Last?


Chances are, if you are asking this question, then your home is due for a window replacement. We mentioned previously that most windows have an average lifespan of around 15-20 years. But the exact length of time your windows will last can vary depending on several things:


  • The quality of the parts, materials, and construction
  • The amount of work needed to maintain them
  • The weather conditions in your area
  • The quality of the installation


Materials and Construction: As long as you install and maintain them properly, windows made of durable material have a longer lifespan than cheaper ones. The better the handiwork, the longer they last. It is crucial to invest in high-quality windows if you want them to last as long as possible.


Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help to prevent environmental factors like moisture and sunlight from damaging your windows. Some windows require more attention than others. Our exclusive ThermaLast windows are practically maintenance-free. From the long-lasting vinyl to the self-cleaning glass, you do not have to worry about spending extra time or money keeping your windows in good condition. They are built to last. 


Weather Conditions: Homes in areas with extreme temperatures or harsh weather conditions may experience more wear and tear on their windows than homes in more moderate climates. For example, Staten Island and New Jersey are prone to cold winters and hot summers. They need windows that can withstand it all.


Window Installation: Poor installation can cause issues such as air leaks, water infiltration, and improper sealing. All of these can lead to damage over time. On the other hand, a proper installation by experienced professionals can help ensure that your windows install correctly, which can help to extend their lifespan and improve their energy efficiency.


If you’ve just recently bought a home, or you are thinking about buying one soon, you may want to look into whether it still has the original new construction windows. Since most new homeowners are purchasing homes that are anywhere from 20-50 years old, there is a good chance you will need to replace your windows sooner rather than later. Even if the previous homeowners did invest in window replacement, it is still worth inquiring how long ago that was, and what type of windows they chose.


Understanding the factors that impact how often your windows should be replaced can help you determine whether you should be leaving room in your budget for a home improvement project before you close the deal.


How Often Should Windows Be Replaced?


A decent window should last you at least a couple of decades, as long as the installer did a good job. But most new homeowners will find that their windows are about as old as their homes, and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Drafts, cloudy glass, and high energy bills are telltale signs you need to replace your windows now. But once you do it, you should not need to replace your windows again.


When you choose Windows & Doors By The Men With Tools, you are covered for life! Our windows can last as long as 50 years, which is longer than most people stay in their homes. 


A year after we install your windows, we check in to make sure everything is as it should be. If you have any issues at all, our experts will take care of it no questions asked. But, that’s not all. Even if you break your windows by accident 10 years later, we’ll fix it free of charge. That’s our worry-free guarantee! You should not need to replace your windows more than once in your lifetime. Unfortunately, your cheap window manufacturer or contractor may not see it that way. That’s why there is Windows & Doors By The Men With Tools.


Contact us today for a free quote. We will help you determine whether or not window replacement is right for you.