Few people want to spend their weekends taking care of the windows on their home. If you are in the market for replacement windows, the following can help you choose a low-maintenance style.
The highest-maintenance part of any replacement window is the frame. Generally, you will want to avoid wooden window frames completely, as these require regular sanding and repainting to ensure that wood rot doesn't set in. Vinyl windows are often sold as low maintenance, which is generally true in that they don't require painting or treating. They do have a shorter life span compared to other options, though, so you may need to replace them more often.
Fiberglass window frames are the best option if low maintenance is the goal. The frames can last a lifetime because they don't rot like wood and they aren't prone to warping or impact damage like vinyl. Cleaning them periodically is the only real maintenance chore necessary.
You can't escape the need to clean window glass periodically, but you can choose a casement style that makes this task easier. Standard single-hung, double-hung, and slider windows are fine for first-floor windows, as long as you choose a style with easy-to-remove screens so you can access the glass for a thorough cleaning.
On upper floors or for windows that are higher up on a wall, choose a casement style that allows you to access both sides of the glass from inside the house. Tilting sashes, for example, allow you to tilt the glass forward into the home on a pivot so that you can easily reach the other side. There are also swivel-style windows that rotate so you can turn them a complete 360 degrees, thus ensuring that the outside of the glass is as easy to clean as the inside.
One concern with window maintenance is multiple-pane windows, double-pane varieties. The more panes that are present, the more energy efficient the window. Unfortunately, multi-pane windows are also more prone to damage that can cause condensation to build up inside the window.
You can lower the chance of condensation occurring by going with sturdy fiberglass frames that are less likely to suffer seal breaks. Check reviews and ratings of the windows closely as well so you can be sure that the multi-pane windows you select are made to last.
Contact a window installation service to learn more about low-maintenance window options for your home.