What is the average life expectancy of double-pane (insulated) window glass?
Thursday, June 25, 2020
You can expect double or triple-pane (insulated) window glass to last 10 to 20 years, and an average of about 15 years, until the seal around the glass panes leaks and the inert gas escapes. When this happens, the insulating ability of the window is lost. The window will not look any different at at first, but eventually air flow and condensation in the gap between the panes will allow a layer of dust to accumulate and cloud the window.
The seal can fail even sooner due to a manufacturing defect or if the window is pressure washed. Also, “thermal pumping” can occur at windows exposed to direct rays of afternoon sun, which weakens the seal. To learn more, see our blog posts How do you keep double-pane insulated windows from from getting cloudy? and Why is pressure washing double pane windows an expensive mistake? and Should I buy a house with double-pane insulated glass windows that are clouded?
Here’s a bar graph comparing the life expectancy of double-pane window glass to other window types.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
Also, our article What is the average life expectancy of windows? includes an overview of the many factors that affect how long a window lasts.
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To learn more about windows, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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