So, your windows need an upgrade. Whether they are drafty, not well-insulated, or just out-of-date, it’s time to consider a window replacement.


As with new windows, replacement windows come in many types and materials, and it’s a good idea for you to understand them so you can make a fully informed decision of which one you want.


Though there are many options to consider, one feature that you should definitely look for is the ENERGY STAR® rating. This is incredibly important because you definitely want to get energy efficient windows so that you aren’t spending a fortune on energy each month. There may even be tax rebates and other incentives that you can enjoy by choosing a replacement window with an ENERGY STAR® rating.


Before anything else, you should determine whether or not you really need to replace your windows. At times, that may not be the case. Here’s how you can find out:


How do I know if I need to replace my windows?

There are cases when it seems like your windows need an upgrade, but you don’t actually need replacement windows. If your windows are drafty and you want more energy efficient ones, sometimes all you need is a replacement of the sealings and more insulation in the right places. This will cost a lot less than replacing all of the windows in your home.


Of course, there are still cases when the best choice is to replace your windows. If you aren’t sure whether you want to go for it or not, contact a professional to have them assess your home and evaluate the energy efficiency of your windows. They will be able to see what is the most important thing for you to do at the moment, and what you can put off for later.


If you’ve determined that you definitely need a window replacement, the next step is to figure out which ones you need. Here are a few types:



These window replacements are a popular choice because it’s a lot more affordable compared to many of the other types. It is made of reinforced vinyl extrusions - strong, but light. Oftentimes there aren’t too many color or style choices, but the material can easily be painted if you want a more custom look. Vinyl replacement windows aren’t vulnerable to moisture, so they won’t rot, warp, bow, or be affected by sunlight.



Fiberglass replacements are quite similar to vinyl ones in structure except that fiberglass is stronger and is less susceptible to changes in temperature. Just like vinyl, it won’t rot, warp, bow, or get damaged by sunlight. However, there is a cost - literally. It’s a bit more pricey than vinyl windows.



These type of window replacements are often seen in commercial structures but not so much in homes. They are more susceptible to temperature changes so they aren’t as energy efficient compared to vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows. Though they are pretty strong and not too expensive, the energy costs could add up and make it more expensive than it’s worth.



Most wood replacement windows have a thin sheet of aluminium or vinyl put on top so that the window isn’t as susceptible to mold or rot. Wood requires quite a bit more maintenance compared to other replacement window types, so typically the only people who choose them are those who want it to complete a rustic home look or are looking to renovate historic homes.


Why should I opt for energy efficient windows?

First of all, when you go for clear glass, you are letting more light come in through your windows. This can result in an uncomfortably warm living space during the summer and force you to keep your air conditioning system on for longer hours. It will also result in more heat loss during colder months when you actually want the heat to stay inside.


Energy efficient windows have a light tint that will reduce heat loss and insulate your windows. This will make the interior of your home more comfortable temperature-wise while still saving you money.


Windows that are properly energy efficient will be sealed well. If they aren’t, then there isn’t really a point of getting energy efficient glass.


By choosing a window with as low a U value as possible and an excellent window installer, you can take some comfort in knowing that you’re getting good energy efficient windows installed professionally, and you’ll certainly reap the rewards.