There are several clear distinctions that separate top-level manufacturers from low-level companies. Knowing the difference can save you time, money and your sanity. Here are seven things you should look for when choosing quality replacement windows.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the top, most sought-after qualities in the home improvement space — and that includes window replacements. Energy-efficient windows reduce the temperature transfer of hot and cold air, saving you money on heating and cooling expenses. Who doesn’t want that?

Remember to look for windows that are Energy Star certified, a qualification that indicates whether a product meets rigorous energy-efficiency standards. This is the best way to know if you’re buying energy-efficient windows.

Materials

In addition to energy efficiency, weather resistance and style, there are also many different window materials to consider, including aluminum, wood and vinyl.

Aluminum windows are affordable, lightweight and relatively easy to install, while wood windows are sophisticated, stylish and can last for decades. Or, to get the best benefits of both of those windows, choose vinyl. Vinyl windows are incredibly durable, long-lasting, cost-effective, energy-efficient and come in various colors and styles.

Don’t forget about the window glass, either. The type of glass used in a replacement window is almost as important as the window material. It can have a huge impact on the window’s overall durability and energy rating. You can even get glass with different designs and patterns, providing obscurity for enhanced privacy.

Versatility

There are many different types of windows you can choose from. So it’s smart to go with a manufacturer that offers a wide variety of window styles so that, if you want to use multiple styles within your home, all the windows you buy will match.

This helps ensure the accessories, colors and sight lines (aka the thickness of the sash) are all cohesive. It also ensures that your warranties are all from the same place, and the quality of each window will be consistent.

Weather Resistance

Windows are in constant contact with the outside elements, so you’ll want to choose windows that can stand up to the weather and conditions in your area. As a general guideline, look for windows built with high-quality, virgin materials (aka non-recycled materials). This ensures you get a stronger window from the start.

In addition, if you live in a high-humidity area, you probably want to steer clear of wood windows because they’re more susceptible to rot and water damage.

Ultimately, you want to choose replacement windows that won’t fade, crack, peel or rot. Choosing windows made from top-quality materials will help ensure longevity and durability.

Design and Style

Another consideration is how the windows will look. After all, you want your replacement windows to match the style of your home. From classic and historic to more bold and modern, the style of your windows will either elevate your home’s design or detract from it.

For example, if your home is more traditional, you probably want to choose a classic, like a white or stained wood, single-hung or double-hung window. On the other hand, if your aesthetic is more modern, you might go with oversized, clear-glass windows in black or a bronze hue.

To really highlight your home’s design, consider choosing a manufacturer who can help you customize your windows. From color to grid style, find a company that will help you customize your windows to fit your home’s design and style.