The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Windows for Your Home

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Right Windows for Your Home

Your windows play a vital role in your home’s overall aesthetic and functionality. Not only do they provide natural light and ventilation, but they also add to your house’s curb appeal, security, and energy efficiency.

But, like many things, windows don’t last forever. Eventually, they will need to be replaced due to wear and tear, age, or outdated styles.

Finding the right replacement windows for your home may seem daunting, given the sheer number of options available in the market. However, with some knowledge and careful consideration, you can make the best choice for your home and budget.

This guide will help you navigate through the process of choosing the best replacement windows for your home:

How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?

Beautiful House

When it comes to window replacement costs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The price of replacement windows varies depending on several factors, such as the type of window, materials used, and installation costs.

Generally, vinyl windows are among the most affordable options, while fiberglass and wood windows tend to be more expensive. However, each material has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that should be considered when making a decision.

Additionally, the size and style of your new windows, as well as any extra features like energy-efficient glass or custom designs, can also impact the overall cost.

It’s important to set a budget for your window replacement project and do some research to understand the average costs in your area. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending.

Determine Your Needs

choosing window replacement based on needs

When choosing replacement windows, it’s crucial to consider your specific needs and priorities. Consider factors such as:

Energy Efficiency

One of the main reasons for replacing old windows is to improve energy efficiency in your home. Most new windows are designed with advanced technology that can significantly reduce energy bills by keeping your home well-insulated.

Look for windows with an Energy Star certification to ensure they meet the highest energy efficiency standards. The government-backed Energy Star program rates windows based on their ability to block heat, cold, and UV rays.

Switching to Energy Star-certified windows can save the average household between 7% and 15% on their energy bills. This can add up to significant savings over time, making energy-efficient windows a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

energy efficieny window savings

Noise Control

If you live in a busy or noisy area, replacing your windows can also help reduce outside noise. Look for windows with sound-dampening features, such as triple-pane glass, to keep unwanted sounds out. This can be especially beneficial for those who have trouble sleeping due to noise pollution.

Style and Aesthetics

Beyond their functional benefits, replacement windows can also greatly improve the appearance of your home. Consider the architectural style of your house and choose windows that will complement it. You can also choose from various glass options, frame materials, and vinyl paint colors to match your style and enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Maintenance and Durability

Many older windows require frequent maintenance, such as painting and sealing, to keep them in good condition. Replacement windows, on the other hand, are designed with durability in mind and often require minimal upkeep. Additionally, newer window materials are often resistant to rotting and warping, making them a more long-term solution.

Safety and Security

Old windows can be a security risk, as they are often easier to break or pry open. By replacing them with newer, sturdier models, you can improve the safety and security of your home. Look for a replacement window with durable frames and advanced locking mechanisms to deter intruders.

In addition to keeping unwanted individuals out, replacing windows can protect your home from severe weather. This added protection can give you peace of mind and potentially save you money on costly repairs.

Types of Replacement Windows

When it comes time to replace windows, homeowners have a variety of options to choose from. Some common types of window replacements include:

1. Double-Hung Windows

UltraWeld Select Double Hung Window
UltraWeld Select Double Hung Window

Double-hung windows are one of the most common types of replacement windows. They consist of two movable sashes that slide up and down, allowing for easy opening and closing. These windows are a popular choice due to their classic look and versatility, as they can be installed in various types of homes.

Additionally, double-hung windows offer added energy efficiency, as both sashes can be opened for improved air circulation. They are also easy to clean from both the inside and outside, making maintenance hassle-free. Some double-hung windows come with tilt-in sashes, allowing for easy access to the exterior glass for cleaning.

2. Glider Windows 

UltraWeld Select Glider
UltraWeld Select Glider

Glider windows, also known as sliding windows, are similar to double-hung windows in that they have two sashes. However, both sashes slide horizontally on a track instead of sliding up and down.

The replacement windows provide ample natural light and airflow, making them ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. They are also easy to operate and maintain, as they do not have any complicated mechanisms or hardware.

3. Casement Windows

Black Casement
Casement Windows

Casement windows are another popular choice for replacement windows. These replacement windows consist of a single sash that opens outward with the help of a crank mechanism. This type of window is ideal for homes with a lot of natural light, as they offer unobstructed views and can catch breezes from multiple directions.

Many homeowners opt for casement windows in rooms that require more ventilation, such as kitchens or bathrooms. They also offer enhanced security, as the crank mechanism makes it difficult to open from the outside.

4. Awning Windows

Polaris Window UltraWeld Select Awning
Polaris Window UltraWeld Select Awning

Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward, creating a small canopy or awning when opened. They are often placed above other windows, such as double-hung or casement windows, to add extra ventilation and light. 

These replacement windows are a popular choice for bathrooms and basements, as they can be easily opened for air circulation without compromising privacy. They are also a great option for homes in rainy climates, as the awning design prevents water from entering when opened.

5. Projection Windows

Polaris Projection Window
Polaris Projection Window

Projection window, also known as bow or bay windows, is a popular choice for those looking to add more space and natural light to their home. These windows extend outwards from the wall, creating a small alcove inside. They are typically made up of several smaller windows, allowing for customizable configurations and styles.

A projection vinyl window not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of a home but also provides added functionality. They can create the illusion of more space in a room and allow for better ventilation and natural light. However, you should consider the layout and size of your home before opting for a projection window, as they require additional space and may not be suitable for every room.

Each of these replacement window types has its own unique benefits and features. When choosing windows for your home, consider factors such as functionality, energy efficiency, and overall aesthetic appeal. It’s also important to work with a window company that offers quality products and professional window installation services to ensure maximum performance and longevity.

What to Consider When Shopping for New Windows

projection window replacement

When shopping for replacement windows, here are some important factors to consider:

Read the NFRC Label 

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is an organization that conducts independent testing and provides energy efficiency ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. The NFRC label can help you compare different window options based on their energy performance ratings, such as U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and air leakage. 

Look for the Energy Star Label

As mentioned earlier, the Energy Star label signifies that a product meets or exceeds energy efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some window companies offer Energy Star-certified windows exclusively, while others provide a mix of Energy Star and non-Energy Star options. Be sure to check for the label when shopping for your own windows.

Find a Capable Installer

Installing replacement windows requires a certain level of knowledge and skill. If not installed properly, even the most energy-efficient windows can underperform and ultimately cost you more money in the long run. When considering window companies, make sure they have experienced and trained installers who can ensure your new windows are properly installed for optimal performance.

Mind the Warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty is an important consideration when shopping for new windows. The length and coverage of the warranty can vary between window brands and styles, so be sure to carefully read and compare warranties before making a decision. A comprehensive warranty that covers both the window and installation can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in case of any issues down the road.


One of the great things about replacement windows is that they can be customized to fit your specific needs and style preferences. From color options to glass types, you can create a personalized look for your home while also improving energy efficiency. Some window companies even offer custom sizing options to fit uniquely shaped or sized windows in older homes.


Happy Kid showing thumbs up

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for new windows. From the material and style of the windows to their energy performance ratings and installation, carefully research and compare your options before making a decision. 

At Arctic Sun Windows, we understand the importance of choosing the right windows for your home. That’s why we offer a wide selection of high-quality, energy-efficient windows and have trained professionals who can install them with precision and care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let us help you find the perfect windows for your home.

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Dave Barnett

David Barnett is the owner and operator of Arctic Sun Windows & Doors, a leading provider of high-quality windows and doors in Southeast Wisconsin. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, David has built a reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, personalized service, and innovative solutions. His commitment to customer satisfaction and his expertise in window and door installation have made Arctic Sun the go-to choice for homeowners looking to enhance their homes' beauty, security, and efficiency.