Contrary to what some ads say, saving money on your energy bills is not the reason to replace your windows. That’s because it could take decades to recoup the $8,000 to $24,000 you’ll spend on new windows and installation. Energy Star-qualified windows can lower your energy bills by 7 to 15 percent. That’s only about $27 to $111 per year for a 2,000-square-foot, single-story home with storm or double-pane windows, or $126 to $465 if that home has just single-pane windows. So why bother?
New windows can make your home quieter, more attractive, and less drafty, and they don’t need painting. They’re also easier to clean than old windows with combination storm and screens and can reduce your carbon footprint.
To check which windows can keep out rain and wind without leaking, we tested 21 double-hung and four casement-style windows, two of the most popular configurations. We found significant differences between brands in types and frame materials. 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.
Replacing windows involves many decisions. If you want new windows, we’ll help you choose the best ones for your home. Here’s what you need to know.