How Long do Vinyl Windows Last?

For many homeowners, vinyl windows offer an affordable alternative to more expensive window options. When purchasing new windows for your home, it is important to make sure that the windows are warranted by the manufacturer for a period of time that justifies their price. Having a home with windows that carry a significant life expectancy will both increase the value of your home and prevent future replacements that could cost you significant amounts of money. This article will help homeowners understand how long windows last and what to expect from new and existing vinyl windows.

How long do vinyl windows last – Average life expectancy of vinyl windows


Most vinyl windows last between 20 and 40 years on average. Windows installed in an area exposed to the strong sun for most of the day will not last as long. Heat can also play a role in deteriorating the windows, so in hot climates it may be necessary to replace the window more frequently. Areas with moist air, especially without much sunlight, can expose windows to gradual water damage and harmful microorganisms. On the other hand, windows installed in areas where these conditions are not present can last much longer than average. Further, homeowners who ensure their windows are properly maintained can expect a higher life expectancy from their investment.

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Common warranty period

An important consideration when choosing between available window options is the length of time for which the manufacturer guarantees its windows. Even if the homeowner does not intend to use the warranty, the amount of time the manufacturer gives for window warranties can be very indicative of a window’s life expectancy. Most vinyl windows have a manufacturer’s warranty of more than 15 years, and some even offer a 25-year warranty. However, these warranties usually include terms that expect a reasonable standard of care from the homeowner to redeem the warranty. Windows that are not properly maintained, subject to harsh climates, or broken due to intentional damage are usually not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

RELATED: With a lifetime guarantee, love is truly forever

Increasing life expectancy

Fortunately, homeowners can expect to extend the life expectancy of their windows through simple routine maintenance. Homeowners with windows in harsh conditions should cover their windows with protective caulk to prevent depreciation. Windows exposed to harsh UV rays should be shaded to avoid cracking. Half-yearly cleaning and following the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions are usually enough to keep vinyl windows well into the future.

Vinyl vs wood windows

The easy answer is that wood windows aren’t necessarily better than vinyl, because it really depends on what you’re looking for.

For example, if life expectancy is important to you, you will prefer vinyl windows that last longer. While we’ve found vinyl windows to last two to three decades, wood windows have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years.

But many people choose wood windows for their aesthetic appeal. If that’s the look you’re after, nothing else will do.

RELATED: How to care for wooden windows and doors

Vinyl vs. metal windows / aluminum windows

Aluminum is the most popular type of metal window and its lifespan is almost comparable to that of vinyl. Aluminum windows have an average lifespan of about 20 to 25 years.

The problem with aluminum is that it is prone to damage. If you’re in an area prone to intense weather, such as hurricanes or hailstorms, your aluminum windows may need to be replaced more often than average.

Another problem that plagues aluminum and not vinyl is rust. Aluminum windows do not rot like wood, but are prone to rusting over time.

Fiberglass vs vinyl windows

Fiberglass is another durable option for windows, but there are definitely some pros and cons. Fiberglass windows can last up to 50 years, which is amazing. But as you might expect, they are a much bigger upfront investment than vinyl windows.

Fiberglass windows are also not as readily available as vinyl, and can be more challenging to install. This also equates to higher installation costs.

Ultimately, fiberglass windows are a good choice if you have the budget. But most people end up with the next best thing in terms of longevity, which is vinyl.

Lifespan Advantages Cons
Vinyl windows 20 to 40 years Energy efficient Low maintenance

Easy installation

Big guarantees

Not a natural productSome people prefer a different look

Large quality variations between brands

Wooden Windows 15 to 20 years Great, classic style

Natural materials

Relatively short lifespanVulnerable to termites and other insects

Prone to rotting

Aluminum (metal) windows 20 to 25 years lightweight



Prone to dents and dents

Sensitive to rusting

Fiberglass windows Up to 50 years Better insulatingGreat noise control

Increases the home value more than other window types

Longest lifespan

Expensive Relatively rare

Difficult/expensive to install

Vinyl windows have a relatively long life span and fit most of the boxes people look for in a window. They are extremely affordable compared to fiberglass and can last up to four decades.

Please note that this post is for informational purposes only and averages may vary.

Call Newman Replacement Windows and Doors today at 1.858.240.1375 to learn more about our window options or to schedule a free estimate at your home.

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