How Long Do Vinyl Windows Last?

How Long Do Vinyl Windows Last

This article was originally published on November 7, 2018. We have completely updated the article with up to date information and more insights.

What are the first two questions that come to mind when you imagine purchasing new windows for your home?

Question one was probably, “How much do new windows cost?”

Then you might ask, “What type of window is best for my house?”

Followed closely by question three, “How long do they last?”

Today we will tackle the answer to question #2.

The average life expectancy of one of the most common types of windows – vinyl. We will also provide some tips for ways you can maximize your windows’ lifespan so they last a long time.

What is vinyl?

Before we dive into the life expectancy of a vinyl window, it’s important we understand what vinyl is.

Vinyl is predominantly used in durable products. Because of its potentially long service life, it is the third most used plastic in the world.

According to the Vinyl Institute, “Vinyl is often referred to as the “infrastructure plastic,” and for good reason.

Vinyl is leading material in construction because:

  • Durability
  • Easy Installation
  • Cost-Effectiveness

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Vinyl Window?

InterNACHI conducted a test to determine the average life expectancy of various home components, including windows.

With regular maintenance and under normal wear-and-tear conditions, vinyl windows could be expected to last an average of 20 years to 40 years.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Vinyl Window

What Factors Impact How Long Vinyl Windows Last?

The average life expectancy of windows is given in a range for a reason. Certain factors can affect how long your vinyl windows last.


The climate in which your home is located can have a significant impact on the lifespan of home components like windows.

An InterNACHI study determined that vinyl windows in coastal areas that are subjected to corrosive saltwater spray last an average of 10-30 years.

Rather than the nationwide average of 20-40 years.

In Chicago, our windows must contend with the temperature extremes of hot summers and cold winters. This puts more stress on the windows than they would experience in a more temperate climate.


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Sun Exposure

Windows exposed to higher levels of UV light from the sun will degrade faster than windows in a more shady area. You may notice a difference in life span if some of your home’s windows receive direct sunlight and others are continually shaded.

What Factors Impact How Long Vinyl Windows Last?

What Can I Do To Help My Windows Last Longer?

We may not be able to do much about the climate our homes are located in.

But there are other steps you can take to maximize the lifespan of your windows.

Protect Your Windows From UV Damage

Vinyl windows on sunny sides of your home can benefit from the application of a protective sealant, which mitigates the impact of UV rays. Think of it as a form of sunscreen for your windows.

You may also wish to consider installing awnings over sunny windows. Both to block the sun from damaging the windows and to help keep your home cooler during the summer.

Protect Your Windows From UV Damage

Perform Proper Maintenance

Vinyl windows are relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a great deal of care. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.  Window maintenance generally includes a twice-yearly gentle cleaning and inspection.

The cleaning prevents a buildup of dirt, which can invite damaging mold growth. The inspection ensures that you catch any potential damage early so it can be easily repaired.

Taking these simple steps will help you get the most out of your window investment.

Why should you use Vinyl Windows?

When you are looking to get windows installed there are many options, including:

  • Wood windows
  • Aluminum windows
  • Vinyl windows
  • Fiberglass windows

So why should you choose vinyl windows over the other options?

The number one factor for getting replacement windows made of vinyl is the price.

Depending on what model you choose, you can save 20 to even 50% compared to the other materials.

After price, you can expect your windows to last a minimum of 10-20 years with little to no maintenance.


When shopping for your home’s next windows, vinyl windows should be at the top of your list of options.

You deserve to have the best windows at the best price and the other materials fall short.

So who should you buy vinyl windows from?

Find a provider in your local area like Chicago Window Guy from Chicago, Illinois. Here is a quick checklist of what to look for:

  • 5-star reviews
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Licensed and insured installers