Unless your home is brand new, or all the windows were recently replaced, chances are you are going to need a new window installed at some point. Depending on when they were manufactured and how they have been maintained, the average lifetime for residential windows is around 15 to 20 years. Thankfully, window manufacturers are always finding new ways to improve their products. The current generation of windows have been made to last longer and are more energy efficient than ever before. However, this also means that when homeowners have just one window replaced or repaired, they are left with the question, “Why don’t my windows match?”
Windows have received multiple updates in the past 20 years for the benefit of homeowners and the environment. Some windows are now made using materials like fiberglass, which is immune to problems that wood windows have had in the past. Water damage was the most common issue, leading to wood rot and decay. In rainy and humid climates, wood also can swell making them hard to operate. Aside from the potential damage, wood windows also require preventative maintenance like staining and painting. Many of the Vinyl window options these days use titanium dioxide in their formula which makes the frames more heat resistant. It acts as a window sunscreen, greatly improving the longevity of the window. There are also many more choices available when it comes to glass. In today’s marketplace you can find multiple variations of Low E glass, tinted glass, reflective and patterned glass. When combining these products for a double pane insulated glass unit, you can really keep your energy costs down. In double pane units, the spacer between the panes has also improved to reduce heat transfer. Using a new and improved warm edge spacer with the right type of glass, you could be reducing the heat allowed in the home by over half! These options help keep energy bills low, your home more comfortable, and they look great. They also help keep the air inside the glass units for longer, preventing condensation between the panes.
Of course, when paired with older windows, these new glass options are going to stand out! For example, low-e glass is designed to reflect UV and infrared rays that can heat up your home naturally during the hotter months. It also has a similar effect in winter by keeping your warm air inside. When looking at your home from the outside, a low-e glass package may have a different look than a standard window. Low E coatings, depending on which you choose, may look slightly darker than a traditional window with clear glass. Naturally, if you have a brand-new window with Low E glass installed next to an older window without, you may see some differences. Even without the coatings, newer glass will simply look different than older glass.
If you place a brand-new item next to one that is 5 or 10 years old, chances are that even if they are the exact same item, you’ll be able to tell which one is new. Even if you are cleaning and performing maintenance tasks on your windows regularly, they will begin to show their age over time due to the effects of the sun. When replacing an older window with a new one, it will definitely make your neighbors jealous and save you energy costs at the same time!