Replacing old windows can enhance the look of your home and make it quieter and less drafty. Many double-hung windows currently on the market are now easier to clean and maintain than older windows with combination screens and storm windows.
Use our replacement window buying guide to learn which materials, types, and features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings to help you choose.
Top 10 Vinyl Windows
- Park Ridge Products basement slider window is the perfect choice for your new construction or remodeling needs
- Park Ridge Products basement slider window is manufactured with a heavy duty extruded welded vinyl sash and...
- ❤️️PRIVACY PROTECTION DECOR: ❤️️ Privacy Level :★★★★★ Provides Privacy and allows the...
- ❤️️ECO-FRIENDLY PRIVACY WINDOW FILM: ❤️️Environmental friendly no-glue window film using advanced...
- Rough opening 32 in. W x 36 in. H
- Exact window size (w/O the exterior mounting flange) is 31-1/4 in. W x 35-1/4 in. H
- 25 year warranty
- Will not fade, crack, warp, or peel
- ✔PRIVACY PROTECTION: Provides Privacy and Allows the Lights in. Privacy Level :★★★☆ ☆ Size: 45*200...
- ✔Glue Free Design Cuts down Chemical Release Drastically, Applies in Minutes. Leaving No Residue after...
- Rough opening 24 in. W x 24 in. H. Exact window size is 23-1/2 in. W x 23-1/2 in. H
- Energy efficient insulated glass is standard
- 32 ounces, Spray on and polish with a soft cloth to clean and protect sensitive plastic surfaces
- Protects vinyl and glass
- One Piece Injection Molded Polypropylene Construction
- Authentic Open Louvers
- Silver Line Building Products Corp.
How to Choose Replacement Windows
How We Test
To find out which windows are best at keeping your home comfortable and dry, we tested double-hung windows for resistance to wind and rain. (We don’t test single-hung windows because they’re less common.) Working with an outside lab, we subjected the windows to heavy, wind-driven rain, and winds of 25 and 50 mph at outdoor temperatures of 0°F and 70°F. We found significant differences among brands.
Ways to Save
If your existing frames and sills are still sound and square, you’ll save money on materials and labor by using replacement units. They’re also known as “pocket replacements” and fit into your existing frames. If your frames are too old and deteriorated, you’ll need full replacement windows. These include the frame, sill, jambs, and usually what’s known as a nailing flange, which attaches the window to the outside wall around the opening.
Federal tax credits for Energy Star certified windows expired at the end of the 2016 tax year. But some utilities, as well as city and state programs, offer rebates or incentives if you buy Energy Star windows.
Finding an Installer
Even the best windows won’t deliver the look or comfort you expect if they’re installed incorrectly. Many major window manufacturers train and certify installers for their specific brand of window. Using the same contractor for purchase and installation can minimize the chances of problems arising later. Get multiple bids and look online for certification from the American Window and Door Institute or Installation Masters. Any bid you receive should include specifics such as window brand and model, number of windows, size, and type, plus any add-on features. Installation details should be noted, and labor and material cost broken out separately.
Glass Housings: Window Materials
Wood and vinyl frames are popular. We also test composite windows that include some made of fiberglass or from a combination of wood and plastic materials. You may still find some all-aluminum windows, but their popularity has declined with the development of vinyl. Our tests find that the material doesn’t guarantee performance and neither does price. You’ll find both excellent and mediocre double-hung wood-frame and vinyl-frame windows. Here are the types of window materials to consider.
Price doesn’t indicate performance
Among double-hung clad wood windows, a pricey and bottom-rated window from Andersen, $500, wasn’t good at keeping out cold air and was so-so at keeping out rain. A $450 Kolbe vinyl double-hung was impressive, but a top-rated $260 Simonton was even better. All of the casement windows aced all tests. Prices varied by frame material; the top-scoring American Craftsman vinyl window, $260, is the least expensive casement. All prices are for a 3×5-foot window.
Match windows to climate
Look at the overall scores in our window Ratings, then zero in on test results that apply to where you live. If your home is exposed to high winds and cold temperatures, look for windows that were excellent at low-temperature wind resistance.
Don’t overspend on options
Upgrades can easily add 50 percent or more to the base cost of a window. Focus on features that add value. Low-E coatings improve efficiency, but triple glazing probably isn’t necessary unless you live in an extremely cold climate. Double-hung window sashes that tilt in make cleaning easier, and full screens allow optimum airflow when the top window is lowered and bottom window raised. Finer meshed screens let more light through and do not obscure the view as much as standard screens.
Anatomy of a window
1. The frame provides structure.
2. Cladding protects the exterior of a wood or composite window and is made of vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass, eliminating painting.
3. The sash is the moving part of the window; it can be tilted in for easy cleaning.
4. Insulated glass Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between two panes of glass filled with air or another gas that insulates better than air. Argon gas is standard on many windows, but the energy savings won’t justify paying extra for it.
5. Low-E coating is transparent and improves the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat yet letting light in. The coating is applied to the outside of the glass in warmer climates to reflect the sun’s heat out; in colder areas, it’s applied to the inside glass to keep heat in.
6. Grilles are decorative and are available in different patterns to match architectural styles.