Upgrading your windows is one of the best investments you can make for your home’s energy efficiency and its market value. In fact, heat loss and heat gain through windows is responsible for 25%–30% of household heating and cooling energy use. According to the 2023 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling, the average return on investment (ROI) for installing new windows is close to 70%, and when added to your savings on home energy costs, trading old windows for new energy-efficient models is a worthwhile long-term investment.
Beyond a future return on investment, there are many advantages of having energy-efficient windows in your home that you can enjoy immediately. Once they are installed, you’ll immediately begin saving money on both your heating and cooling bills as they keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The insulating properties of efficient windows help to regulate air temperature, not only saving energy costs, but also creating a more comfortable indoor environment. An added benefit is their ability to insulate against noise pollution for a more peaceful home. Energy-efficient windows also provide better protection from the elements not only by providing insulation, but the low-emissivity (low-e) glass coatings on many of these windows can also reduce damage from the sun’s UV rays to furniture, floors and carpets. Finally, the benefit of using less energy to heat and cool your home will reduce your carbon footprint, positively impacting the environment.
With the many advantages to switching to energy-efficient windows, it makes sense to invest in new windows to begin enjoying the comfort and energy savings right away. Fortunately, we’ve uncovered the top brands and styles of windows that are available in 2023.
We considered several important factors in choosing the brands and models that made our list. First, each of the energy-efficient windows we’ve highlighted below is designated with an ENERGY STAR® rating, which is given to the most energy-efficient products on the market. Windows that are ENERGY STAR® certified lower household energy bills by an average of 12 percent. We also considered energy performance ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which further break down a product’s energy utilization and provide a useful tool for comparison. A low U-factor and a high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) for example, point to better insulating properties that will help your home stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. We looked for windows with double or triple-pane glass, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and gas fills between the panes, which can also help to improve insulation and reduce heat transfer. We also looked for windows with proven quality that were included on the ENERGY STAR® list of most efficient windows in 2023. Let’s take a look at the top five models we found.
|U-Factor (The lower the better the insulation rating.)
|SHGC (Higher is better, collects more solar heat in the winter.)
|Estimated Installed Cost (Value)
|Simonton 5500 vinyl windows
|0.18 – 0.20
|0.15 – 0.24
|$485 to $1,650
|JELD-WEN Premium Vinyl (V-4500) Windows
|0.19 – 0.20
|0.14 – 0.25
|$590 to $1,765
|Ply Gem 1500 Series Vinyl Windows
|0.17 – 0.20
|0.12 – 0.25
|$600 to $1,400
|Pella 250 Series Vinyl Windows
|$435 to $1,400
|Renewal By Andersen® Windows
|0.19 – 0.20
|0.18 – 0.29
|$1,400 to $3,000
Simonton 5500 vinyl windows
These windows deliver Simonton’s proven quality, including a lifetime warranty, and are offered in a wide range of color choices, including wood-look. They also offer multiple design options for hardware and grilles and come in an array of formats, giving you the option for matching patio doors, bay windows and other specialty designs.
JELD-WEN Premium Vinyl (V-4500) Windows
One of Jeld-wen’s most popular window types, these come in 11 styles, from single-hung to sliding and bay windows, in three interior and five exterior color options. They are also guaranteed with a lifetime warranty.
Ply Gem 1500 Series Vinyl Windows
Ply Gem (and its sister company Simonton) make more lines of vinyl windows than any other brand, and this is its best series yet. These windows are offered in 6 exterior colors and 3 interior color options and are covered by a lifetime warranty that also includes a 15 year glass warranty.
Pella 250 Series Vinyl Windows
Pella 250 series windows feature easy-care vinyl frames that are built to last and require minimal maintenance. They employ triple-pane glass to improve sound control and their mitered corners are heat-fused for a fully welded frame and sash, helping to improve their strength and thermal performance. They can also be customized with a variety of interior and exterior finishes and vinyl colors, and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Renewal By Andersen® Windows
These windows are made from Fibrex, a durable and low-maintenance composite of wood and vinyl. Renewal by Andersen windows also offer custom sizing and are custom-built for your home. They are available in a wide range of colors, finishes and styles (including specialty formats) and come with a transferable limited warranty.
Looking for More Ways to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency?
Replacing your windows is a great place to start, and if you’d like to discover more ways to lower your home energy costs, ordering a home energy score can be incredibly helpful. Along with the score, the report provides you with a prioritized breakdown of the most effective improvements you can make to optimize your home’s energy efficiency. Schedule an appointment today!