Residential windows with drapes

The Typical Lifespan of Residential Windows

Many homeowners wonder how long they can expect home windows to last. A decade, or two, or three? Sources often differ in the answer to how long residential windows last. In truth, the answer depends on several factors and will differ depending on the home.

Here, we’ll cover the typical lifespan of Denver residential windows and the factors that can change your windows’ longevity. With proper care and stellar window installation, your home’s windows have an excellent chance of staying in good condition for many years to come.

Window Lifespan Estimates

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make windows that will remain in pristine condition indefinitely. Premium window brands with the highest quality installation services will still break down eventually and require replacement. With that in mind, most homeowners can expect their windows to last between 15 and 30 years. This is a general range for residential windows and will vary based on several factors. It’s worth noting, however, that most windows break down after about 20 years. If you’ve had your windows for two decades, it’s probably worth shopping around for Denver window replacement services.

Factors That Impact Window Lifespan

Window Material Types

The type of material used to construct your home’s windows will have a large impact on how long the windows last. Here are general lifespan estimates for different window materials:

  • Fiberglass windows: 20 to 40 years
  • Insulated double-pane windows: 10 to 20 years
  • Aluminum windows: 20 to 30 years
  • Wood windows: 30 years and over
  • Vinyl windows: 20 to 40 years


Taking care of your windows is important to ensure that they last for as long as possible. Just like many other components of your home, the maintenance of your windows is key to an extended lifespan. But, when it comes to window maintenance, your approach is crucial. Certain window cleaning tactics can lead to damage and may shorten the lifespan of your windows. For example:

  • If there are sprinklers on your property that spray your windows, they could end up being to blame for a shorter window lifespan. This is mainly true for wood windows. The excess moisture on the windows caused by the sprinkles will start to deteriorate the window materials.
  • While pressure washing may seem like a good idea when it comes to maintaining your windows, the opposite is true. If you own insulated windows, pressure washing may damage the seal placed between the window frame and the glass. When the seal breaks, the inert gas escapes, and the window’s insulative properties are diminished. Additionally, condensation will be able to get in between the glass panes, leading to cloudy windows.

Mother Nature

It’s a simple inevitability – the weather will impact how long your windows last. Mother Nature can be unpredictable, especially here in Denver. Harsh weather conditions can shorten the lifespan of your home’s windows. Sometimes, a big hailstorm or other severe storms can lead to comprehensive window damage and create the need for emergency window replacements. Luckily, this occurrence is relatively rare. But, the elements can also slowly place strain on your windows, gradually shortening their lifespans.

Weather conditions that will impact how long your windows last include:

  • Humidity

Humidity and moisture can cause windows to break down faster. Water damage, including warping, cracked paint, discoloration, and mold, can impact windows in damp climates. Luckily, we live in a dry climate here in Denver. So, humidity is unlikely to impact the lifespan of your Denver home’s windows.

  • Extreme temperature changes

Extreme shifts in temperature can force windows to warp and change shape. The weather here in Colorado can have sharp shifts in temperature, so this is a risk that homeowners should be on the lookout for.

  • Sunlight

The sun’s harsh UV rays can break down your windows over time. Extended periods of sun exposure are hard on windows of all types. The windows installed on the side of your house that receives the most sunlight may not last as long as the rest of your home’s windows.

Installation Quality

Lastly, the quality of your Denver window installation will make a difference in how long your windows last. Professional, reliable window installation services are crucial to ensure that your windows withstand many years of use.