The Best Replacement Windows for Your Home in 2024

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Home window replacement is a great way to refurbish your space. It’s a visual improvement that affects both the interior and exterior of your home. Plus, there are benefits that go beyond beauty and curb appeal. Replacing windows can also help your home feel quieter and more comfortable. From frame materials to glass options, learn everything you need to know about finding the best replacement windows here.

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Benefits of Replacing Windows

One of the most obvious reasons to replace your windows is that your current windows have fallen into disrepair or are drafty. Old windows can play havoc with your energy bills, especially if they’re more than 20 years old. Modern, energy-efficient replacement windows can help lower your energy bills almost immediately.

The best replacement windows can also help improve your home’s security. New windows offer locks, vent stops and even window operating control devices (WOCDs) that can help keep your family safe and your mind at ease. Finally, you might want to replace your windows for purely aesthetic reasons. Window frames are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, so you’re sure to find a window on today’s market that will complement your home – and boost its curb appeal and value.

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Types of Replacement Windows

One of the most important decisions to make about the best replacement windows for your home is the frame material. There are many window materials on today’s market, and each one has its own benefits.

Vinyl

Far and away the most common home window replacement material in America today, vinyl entered the market in the 1960s. Today, nearly all window companies make vinyl windows. By some estimates, more than 80 percent of all windows sold today are vinyl.

Vinyl windows are designed to last for years. And due to relatively recent innovations that allow vinyl to reflect the sun’s rays, vinyl windows are now available in many colors – even dark tones like black and bronze. Moreover, thanks to warm-edge spacer systems, Low-E glass, and gas between the panes, vinyl windows are as energy efficient as any other material. They’re also cost-effective, making them the best replacement windows for the money.

Wood

Though not as popular as they once were, wood windows are still widely available. They’re known for being sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to re-paint, but many people like wood for the simple fact that it looks traditional. That’s not surprising, since wood was such a common window material for generations.

Wood’s classic look complements any architectural style. You’ll see wood in homes that have been designed in the farmhouse and classic styles, naturally, but also ones that have an industrial or modern look. In fact, wood is so popular that many window companies offer a wood clad that goes over other materials.

Fiberglass

A relative newcomer to the market, fiberglass is quickly gaining ground on its competitors. Made of glass fibers and resin, fiberglass has become popular among architects, builders, and homeowners because it expands and contracts along with the glass that it holds. That means it can withstand extreme temperatures without warping.

Fiberglass is also favored because it’s a very strong material. It’s able to hold large expanses of glass, meaning it’s a good choice if you’re placing particularly large windows in your home. This is another reason why fiberglass is gaining traction on the market: Larger windows and sliding glass doors are very popular right now.

Aluminum

Aluminum windows became popular in the years after World War II. Although it first started to appear in buildings and homes in the 1930s, aluminum didn’t really become a prized material until the postwar boom period that saw the creation of the modern American suburb.

There’s no secret as to why aluminum became suddenly prevalent: It’s affordable, long-lasting, and – as a naturally occurring material – abundantly available. What’s more, aluminum allows for narrow frames, so there’s more space for the glass.

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How to Choose a Window Style

When you’re replacing windows, you don’t have to use the same style that was already there. Modern windows come in a variety of shapes and operating styles. To get you started, we’ve prepared a list of the different window styles that are commonly available.

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Replacement Awning Windows

Awning windows include a single pane that opens outwardly and is attached by a hinge at the top. They’re the best replacement windows for rooms that need extra ventilation, such as bathrooms or basements. One extra benefit of awning windows is that their design allows them to remain open during a light rain.

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Replacement Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and bow windows can be a striking architectural addition to any home, while also creating extra interior space. Bay windows feature three individual windows that curve out to form an arc, and they often include two operable windows flanking a fixed picture window. Bow windows are made up of four or more individual windows that are often the same style as each other.

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Replacement Casement Windows

Casement windows are attached to the frame on the side and can be opened outward using a hand crank or by pushing. They can be a single window or a pair in a single frame, and they are another excellent option for rooms that need extra ventilation.

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Replacement Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows, which include two operable sashes that slide up or down within the frame, are one of the most popular styles. Adaptable to almost any home style, double hung windows are aesthetically pleasing and easy to operate and maintain.

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Replacement Garden Windows

A garden window is basically a mini greenhouse, with four panes of glass forming a box that protrudes from the side of your home. They are most commonly installed above countertops and kitchen sinks, creating the perfect spot to grow herbs for cooking.

Replacement Basement Windows

Basement windows are similar to awning windows except for one major difference — they open at the bottom instead of the top. They still provide excellent ventilation, but can’t stay open during inclement weather.

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Replacement Picture Windows

Picture windows are fixed and feature a large pane of glass that is usually devoid of window grids, allowing for expansive views of the surroundings. They’re often used in entryways and living areas to bring in plenty of natural light.

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Replacement Single Hung Windows

Single hung windows offer the same classic look as double-hung windows but only have one operable sash, as the upper sash is fixed in place. This is one of the most classic and popular window replacement styles and is usually available in a wide variety of glass types and other options.

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Replacement Sliding Windows

Horizontal sliding windows are easy to operate and can be almost any size. They open from side to side instead of outwards, making them the best replacement windows for areas that open onto patios, porches, or walkways. They also provide an especially weather-tight seal that helps with energy efficiency.

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Replacement Specialty Windows

If you prefer a more distinctive look for your home, you can choose to have custom windows made in almost any geometric shape. For example, radius windows are curved at the top and often used in combination with other operating styles to increase light and create a beautiful statement piece.

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Types of Replacement Glass

Home window replacement is a great opportunity to reconsider the type of glass you’re using in your windows. This section will help you decide what’s important to you based on your climate, privacy needs, and more.

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Obscure Glass

Whether your goal is privacy, light diffusion, or an aesthetic touch, obscure glass is a great option. Obscure glass is produced by pressing a pattern into the glass during fabrication. One of the most popular patterns is rain glass, which resembles rain drops sliding down the glass. Obscure glass is often used in bathrooms or other spaces where you want privacy while allowing in light, or in rooms that get a lot of bright sunlight that you want to diffuse, like bedrooms.

Noise Reduction Glass

It’s easy to overlook the sound transmission properties of windows, but it can be important, especially if you live in an urban area or near a busy road. The most useful rating system for window noise reduction is its Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC).

The OITC measures frequencies from the outside. The sound transmission loss is recorded on both the inside and outside of a window, and the OITC rating is the difference between the two results. For example, if the exterior decibel level is 60 and the interior decibel level is 40, your OITC is 20. The best replacement windows will have a higher OITC rating, which means less sound travels through the glass.

There is also Sound Transmission Class (STC), which is an older system that was developed to measure sound traveling through interior walls. When talking to a window salesperson, ask them to provide both OITC and STC ratings.

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Energy-Efficient Coatings

When choosing the best windows, few factors are more important than energy efficiency. Consumers want energy efficient – or “green” – materials in their home, not only because it’s good for the environment, but because it keeps energy bills low. To meet this demand, window companies have developed a number of measures to increase energy efficiency.

Coatings on the glass can reflect the sun’s rays, thus keeping your interior space from getting too warm. The most common type of coating is called Low-E, which partially blocks the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light from penetrating your space. This, in turn, helps keep sunlight from affecting the interior temperature of your home while also protecting materials in your home from fading due to sunlight.

Insulated Glass

Insulated glass units (IGUs) are used in dual- and triple-pane windows. They usually have warm-edge spacer systems, which feature a moisture barrier that boosts the product’s energy efficiency while reducing the potential for fogging. Most window companies also offer either argon or krypton – though sometimes xenon – between the panes to further improve energy efficiency. Insulated glass can really help bring down your utility bills, making these some of the best replacement windows for the money.

Impact-Resistant Glass

As the number of severe storms rises every year, the need for extra protection is more important than ever. That’s why window companies offer impact-resistant glass that can help protect a home during extreme weather events.

Impact glass has several layered panes and specialized lamination designed to withstand storm damage, and is commonly incorporated into various brands of hurricane windows and doors. With this type of glass, there’s a much lower chance that shards of glass – or dirt, debris, or other objects – will be propelled into the home during a storm. Impact-resistant glass is an especially good idea for people replacing windows in coastal areas or regions that experience frequent tornadoes.

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Window Details and Decorative Elements

Now it’s time to put the final touches on your new window installation. Here are the most common options for decorating new windows for your home.

Replacement Window Grids

Grids come in all kinds of different patterns, allowing you to put a distinctive and personal touch on your new home windows while matching its architectural style. For example, prairie grids are ideal for midcentury modern homes, while a diamond grid works best for a Victorian or Tudor house. There are also numerous grids that complement any style, like Colonial grids or drop grids.

If you want the aesthetics of grids mixed with modern technology, you might consider grids between the glass. These grids are placed between the panes of glass during the manufacturing process. The advantage of these grids is that you don’t have to worry about cleaning them.

Replacement Window Colors

Modern homeowners have plenty of color options when replacing windows. In addition to what we’ve covered, many window companies also offer custom frame and sash colors and finishes. The large array of colors available is especially notable in today’s market – for example, black windows are making a big comeback. Due to the latest innovations, particularly in vinyl windows, consumers can choose colors that were unimaginable only a few years ago.

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What to Look For in a Window Company

The best replacement windows come from manufacturers who stand by the quality and craftsmanship of their products, like ӰPro Windows and Doors. You should first check to see how long the company has been in business. If it’s been around for many years, then you can assume that the company has the skills and experience to manufacture quality products and provide supportive customer service.

Take a look at the warranty options, as well. A good warranty is an indicator that the company is confident in its products. ӰPro Windows and Doors backs our products with industry-leading lifetime warranties that give customers peace of mind.

Preparing for Home Window Replacement

Replacing windows is a job for professionals. We strongly counsel against homeowners installing their own windows. Instead, once you’ve selected the windows you want for your home, we recommend you begin contacting contractors and installers in your area. No matter where you live, you should find plenty of qualified professionals near you.

You’ve selected the best replacement windows and found a reputable window installation company. Now what? It’s time to prepare your home for the installation process. Like any home renovation, you’ll need to make some adjustments around the house. For example, you should cover your furniture, clear the area around your windows to make installation easier, and ensure that your pets won’t be underfoot.

Once the windows are delivered, you may need to store them for a short time before installation can begin. Ensure that the windows are stored in a shaded area on a flat base; never lean a window against a corner. If you have vinyl windows, protect the vinyl sill from traffic and damage and provide full support under the door sill. If you must move a window before the installers arrive, don’t lift by the frame only – support the entire window from the bottom.

Window Replacement: Cost vs. Value

When you begin your search for the best replacement windows, you have to answer two questions: “What am I trying to improve?” and “Is the cost worth it?” As to the first question, the answer is obvious: You want better windows. That means better energy efficiency, better aesthetics, better views to the outside.

This brings us to the second question. Is it worth it? People expect a lot from their windows – and rightfully so. But here again, the answer should be clear. Considering how much value they bring to your home, replacing windows is often worth it.

The energy efficiency of today’s windows is far beyond what was available even a decade ago. As a result, you’ll start saving money on your energy bills almost right away. Home window replacement is also a simple way to give it a fresh look, especially with colors, grids, and decorative features that really pop. The curb appeal of new windows will add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

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Get the Best Replacement Windows for Your Money

Ultimately, the best replacement windows are those that fulfill all of the features and design aesthetics you desire, and also fit your budget. But there’s a lot to learn, and you have a lot of choices to make. That’s where an experienced manufacturer like ӰPro Windows and Doors comes in. Our Certified Dealers can help you find new windows for your home that are the perfect fit. Find a dealer in your area today.

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