How to Choose Quality Replacement Windows

No windows last forever, and even well-maintained products can lose their energy efficiency over time. Replacing old windows is often a wise investment that can save on utility bills.

New windows are designed to enhance the beauty of your home, improve ventilation and energy efficiency, and add value. But which type is right for you?


Vinyl is one of the most affordable and energy efficient window materials available. It’s also lightweight and easy to install, which can cut down on labor costs for replacement windows. However, you should avoid choosing low-quality vinyl. Low-quality vinyl can deteriorate, which reduces the longevity of the window.

Another great feature of premium vinyl is that it has an insulating property. SoftLite constructs their vinyl with multiple air pockets in the frames and sashes to improve the window’s U-factor rating. A higher U-factor indicates greater insulating performance, which can help you save money on your utility bills.

To further increase the energy efficiency of a vinyl window, it is possible to insert argon or krypton gas between the glass panes. This helps minimize heat transfer and reduces external noise. However, this option will be more expensive than a standard double-pane window. This is because the additional glass panes require an extra frame and glazing. The additional cost can be offset by the energy savings you’ll realize.


Fiberglass is a sturdy and durable material that can stand up to extreme weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for Madisonville LA replacement windows. It resists warping and rusting, and it’s impervious to dents, scratches, stains, and other damage. It also resists the transfer of heat, so it’s more energy-efficient than vinyl.

While fiberglass frames tend to be pricier than vinyl, they can save you money over time. They require less maintenance, and they last up to 50 years, about 20 years longer than vinyl.

The insulating properties of fiberglass make it an ideal choice for double- and triple-pane glass. Some manufacturers also offer clad windows, which have wood on the inside and fiberglass on the outside. The advantage of clad windows is that they can retain the look and character of traditional wood, without the need for regular refinishing or painting. They’re also available in a wide variety of shapes and styles. Owens Corning’s Generations line of fiberglass windows and Marvin’s Integrity lines of composite units are both good examples.

Garden Windows

A garden window is a beautiful way to add a focal point that enhances natural light and creates a space for indoor plants or small window gardens. It can also serve as a display area for cherished items or art pieces.

The cost of a new garden window is determined by its size and style. You may also need to pay for installation, which is an important consideration when comparing different companies’ quotes. In addition, you might need to pay for a permit, which can increase your overall project costs.

Other factors that impact the cost of a garden window include its material and energy efficiency. Wood is a popular choice for those seeking beauty, while aluminum provides strength and durability. Clad windows, which combine the look of wood with another material, are gaining popularity for their versatility. Vinyl is a budget-friendly option that is durable and energy efficient. Fiberglass is another excellent choice for those looking for long-lasting beauty and functionality.


Aluminum-frame windows can be a good choice for warm climates. They don’t conduct heat as easily as vinyl frames, which can reduce your cooling costs. If you choose this type, be sure the windows include a thermal break in the frame to limit heat transfer.

Clad windows are another option that’s gaining popularity. They combine the beauty of wood on the inside with a durable aluminum exterior, providing solid protection against harsh weather. They also offer a variety of styles to suit your home’s décor.

Look for a window label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This sticker provides an instant snapshot of a window’s energy efficiency. It includes the U-factor, which shows how well a window keeps heat from escaping your home, and the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which tells you how much it blocks out the sun’s heat. A lower number means greater efficiency. Investing in more efficient windows will add to the initial cost, but can save you money over time by lowering your heating and cooling costs.