We all want our investments in our homes to last and stand the test of time – and perhaps none are more important than that of windows.
UPVC windows have become increasingly more popular over the years and there’s plenty of good reasons for that. When maintained properly, these types of windows can last anywhere from twenty years up to 35 years!
When it comes to UPVC windows, there is way too much information out there, so we’ve written this handy guide to explain everything you might need to know.
We’ve got lots of information and helpful tips here – so read on and learn more!
How Long Do Double Glazed Sealed Units Last?
The overall integrity and durability of a double glazed window will largely depend on the overall quality and construction of the double glazed sealed unit (see also ‘How Does Double Glazing Work?‘).
Of course, the way in which the frame is made and what materials were used in its installation are as important, but if you find that your sealed units have failed – then all of the insulation benefits are significantly reduced.
You will find though that the majority of manufacturers of these units will offer a warranty and typically these last for up to twenty years – but this will depend on the manufacturer.
It’s important that you check these details when you’re making your purchase and having them installed.
How Long Can The Windows Last?
As we previously mentioned, there are many factors that can affect the integrity and therefore the lifespan of your windows.
In fact, some factors can either double or even halve the longevity of your windows, so you will never have a solid figure.
One of the biggest contributing factors to your window’s life will be the outside and inside temperature.
Of course, windows are primarily there to keep out things like rain and snow – but sometimes the frame materials struggle with these extremes.
As a result of this, the frames can expand and contract causing significant changes to its integrity.
Luckily with UPVC, an action known as thermal pumping can fight against this due to the inclusion of an argon gas between the panes of glass.
However, over time you can expect to replace the windows as they simply cannot last forever (see also ‘Selling Your Home? Why You Might Want To Consider Replacing Your Windows‘). – but they will last a very long time.
Normally, the integrity is diminished when the gas expands and contracts due to a new airflow.
In layman’s terms – while you cannot put a definite figure on their lifespan, you can expect your windows to last around twenty years, but this could be shorter or longer.
If you want to prolong their lifespan, here’s some things you should know about what affects their life.
Location Of The Windows
As you can imagine, more sheltered areas for the windows will prolong their life.
This can be a little more tricky if you live in coastal areas – not only because they are likely to be more exposed, but also because of the acidic saltwater in the air.
One of the biggest contributors to how long your UPVC windows will last is the manufacturer who crafted and installed them in the first place.
Beware of firms that you have no knowledge of, and remember that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
While these windows can cope with some significant battles from heavy rain, heavy snow, frost, strong winds and even boiling hot sun – they cannot account for acts from a third party.
If you live in an area where your windows are likely to be broken (perhaps near a sports pitch), then you might expect your windows to last far shorter than normal.
Windows Care Guide
After your windows have been installed, you will likely receive some guidance on how to care for your windows. However, many people will overlook this guidance and then suffer a reduced lifespan for their windows.
Here are some tips:
1. Keep A Cleaning Schedule
Keeping your windows clean can help prevent build up and potential damages that you cannot see if they are dirty.
By creating and adhering to a cleaning schedule, you will be able to keep a lovely, clean environment whilst also being able to inspect your windows for defects.
This is particularly important to inspect your windows when they have recently been installed, as you will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and in most cases, cannot be held responsible if there is a defect.
2. Open Your Windows Now And Then
Allowing your home some fresh air every now and then is always recommended as it can reduce the risk of mould and trapped moisture – not to mention it cools the area on a hot day!
However, even during some cold days, it’s a good idea to open your windows for a short time just to allow for the air exposure.
3. Avoid Clutter
Try not to clutter the area around your windows, as it can make it much more difficult to spot any damages or cracks. Not only this, it makes it much harder to clean your windows when you need to.
4. Speak With The Experts
It’s always highly recommended that you open a conversation with the experts when you want to know how you can prolong and improve the life of your new UPVC windows (see also ‘Can You Paint UPVC Doors And Windows?‘).
Not only can they guide you with the best possible tips, but they will also inform you about things you may not have thought about – including safety.
The Bottom Line
So, as we have shown – the average lifespan of UPVC windows is about twenty years, but they can last up to 35 years and some do not even reach 20 years.
It’s impossible to give a definitive answer, but you can help to prolong their lifespan by following some simple steps.
Hi, Matt here! I started out almost 20 years ago as a teenager working in the family business fitting doors, windows and conservatories. I now run this website to share the best tips and advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on double glazing.