When it is time to replace your windows, there are several different styles and materials that you can choose from. These different replacement windows also have certain benefits and price tags. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right window.

Look at Ratings and Reviews

The highest rated window frames are constructed from fiberglass or are wood-clad. These tend to be the most expensive, but they do the best job of keeping out the wind, rain, and other elements. These windows undergo rigorous testing to monitor expansion, contraction, and flexing with each change in temperature or condition. They are also tested for both air and water leakage. The highest rated windows are those that have little to no change in performance over the course of the testing.

Vinyl replacement windows are the most convenient and affordable options on the market. These account for nearly 50% of all replacements because of the reasonable price tag and general ability to remain maintenance-free. However, these windows have more air seepage in colder climates. They are also less stylish than those that are wood-clad and able to be painted or matched to the exterior color of the home.

Understand the Ratings

You can’t really compare windows between manufacturers because no two windows are going to be exactly the same. You can, however, look at the National Fenestration Rating Council and Energy Star for the nationally-used rating system on both energy efficiency and overall quality. The U-factor rating will let you know if the window is approved for residential purposes or commercial applications. Also look at the rating for air leakage, condensation resistance, light passage, and UV ray blockage.

There is much that goes into replacement windows, and it is best to let a contractor handle the installation. You should, however, know what you are getting with your window installation. Bargain prices often mean a low-rated window. Check to be sure you are protecting your home and your family with a highly rated window option.