So you’ve made the decision to install energy-efficient windows in your home. That’s great news! Now all you have to do is decide which type of window is good for you. Feeling stumped? We’ve made this excellent guide to help you choose the best energy-efficient windows for your home.

Should I buy new windows or upgrade the existing ones?

This all depends on how old and wasteful your current windows are. Improving existing installations seem more cost-effective, but they may not be as efficient as replacing them altogether. That means that your improvements may end up costing more in energy waste in the long run. The best way to be sure you’ll get the most benefits is to go with new, modern windows specially made for energy conservation.

How do I choose the right design?

Understanding energy ratings and your home climate will make this choice a lot easier. Pick a design that fits with the architectural style of your home, but also consider the weather, temperature changes, and other environmental factors. Today’s window manufacturers create designs to fit all kinds of climates, from arid deserts to chilly sub-arctic climes. Do your research and when in doubt consult a professional.

Which operating type is right for me?

This depends on what kind of use you want to get out of your windows. If you do not plan to open them at all, consider designs with fixed panes. For windows you want to open, you have several options:

  • Awning and Hopper: These panels either swing up or down at an angle. They are suitable for areas that do not get a lot of severe weather or heavy winds.
  • Casement: Much like awning or hopper styles, these panes swing out on a hinge either to the left or right. Good for mild climates, but can become damaged if left open when a hard wind blows through.
  • Hanging: The panes slide either up or down. Some, called double-hanging, allow for both panes to be slid.
  • Sliding: These panes slide to the left or the right. Like hanging varieties, some double-sliding options allow for either pane to slide to the side.

Do the types of materials matter for installation?

Energy efficient windows can be installed in all house types, though the materials of both your house and the windows make a difference in how they are installed. Some types are designed to work better with homes made of wood while others can be fitted in stone or plaster. Window installers account for existing structures as well as manufacturer recommendation. Some windows need to be sealed or weather-stripped after installation. Others have these measures built in.

Before attempting to install windows yourself, make sure to consider all the existing materials and set-up guidelines. When in doubt, trust a professional window installer instead. Do not risk doing damage to your home or new windows with guesswork. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run.