All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Windows are not just a design element. They greatly impact your home’s energy efficiency, comfort, lighting, and ventilation. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy cites that heat gain and loss through your windows accounts for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.

We’ve researched the industry’s best replacement windows, evaluating and comparing them in over a dozen categories, including warranty coverage and energy efficiency. Renewal by Andersen is our highest-scoring brand and top pick due to its superior window engineering and in-house installation services. See our other top picks for the best window companies below and learn what to look for when buying new windows.


Top Window Brands for Your Home

We examined more than a dozen of the top window brands’ product selections and performance, customer reviews, support options, financing programs, and more to see what they offer customers and how they compare. We used a detailed methodology to rate and rank them in key categories. Based on our research, the following are the best window brands for your home:


Compare the Best Window Brands of 2024

See how our chosen brands compare in cost and rating. All brands that made our list scored at least four out of five stars when tested against our methodology.



What to Consider When Buying New Windows

The right windows for your home are the ones that suit your style while being within your budget and offering a substantial return on investment through their performance. Performance should be your top priority. If you must compromise on anything, make it superficial features, such as hardware or customization options. Invest first in energy efficiency. 

Factors to Consider

  • Architectural style: Windows come in all shapes and sizes. Choose styles that complement your home’s architecture, age, and scale. For example, bay, bow, and picture windows are ideal for large rooms with great views.
  • Energy efficiency: Improving energy efficiency is among the best and most common reasons to upgrade windows. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or weather, the material and design of your windows need to be suitable for that climate. Look for windows that are ENERGY STAR-certified. These will have a label that details which climate the window is best suited for. 
  • Value: You likely don’t need to invest in every feature a company offers. Focus on the performance that most provides value for you. For example, if you live in a mild or moderate climate, there’s no need to splurge on triple-coated windows.

Energy Efficiency

Nearly 92% of the homeowners we surveyed said ENERGY STAR certification was important to them, and over 78% said they noticed a reduction in electricity bill costs after upgrading their windows. If you want windows that don’t just look nicer in your home but also help you save money, look for an ENERGY STAR-certification, National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certification, and other markers of energy efficiency. Common features include triple-pane glass, low-e coatings, and additional insulation.

The Department of Energy recommends looking for two main ratings when buying windows: U-factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SGHC). The U-factor measures how well the window insulates. The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates. The SGHC measures how much of the sun’s heat comes through the window. The lower it is, the less solar heat the window allows.

For northern climates, ENERGY STAR recommends windows with the following ratings:

U-Factor SHGC
≤ 0.22 ≥ 0.17
= 0.23 ≥ 0.35
= 0.24 ≥ 0.35
= 0.25 ≥ 0.40
= 0.26 ≥ 0.40

For other climates, ENERGY STAR recommends:

Climate Zone U-Factor SHGC
North-Central ≤ 0.25 ≤ 0.40
South-Central ≤ 0.28 ≤ 0.23
Southern  ≤ 0.32 ≤ 0.23

“[Energy Star] carries the reputation of being the best on the market, and will put a few dollars back in your pocket with your heating and cooling bills,”

– Colin Sullivan, Director of Production for Renewal By Andersen’s Carolinas Division

Types of Windows

While double-hung windows are a popular type of window, casement windows are one of the best choices due to their energy-efficient characteristics and low maintenance. Below are the most common window styles you’ll encounter during your search.

Awning Windows: Awning windows swing open to the outside of your home as if you are pushing a latch open. This design makes them easier to clean and ideal for climates with a lot of rain, as the design pushes rainwater away from your home rather than towards it.

Bay Windows: A beautiful feature in any home, bay windows extend from an exterior wall and create a small shelf in the home. They use multiple flat windows set into an angled frame that protrudes from the home. This design creates a beautiful accent to your home’s walls and provides curb appeal. 

Bow Windows: Bow windows use custom curved windows to create a circular area along the outside of your home. They provide extended views of lawns or gardens and are ideal for breakfast nooks and dining areas. 

Casement Windows: Casement windows swing out to the side or up to open. One of the most popular windows you see in homes, they tend to be constructed of solid glass and lend to a sleek, minimalist design. 

Custom Windows: Most window replacement companies offer custom windows. So whether you want a window designed to look like a sailboat or one that captures the spirit of nearby mountains and forests, if you dream it up, a window replacement company can most likely help make it a reality.

Double-Hung Windows: These are among the most common types of windows you find in homes. Though similar to a single-hung window, a double-hung window has a lower sash and upper sash that moves up and down. Often, these windows feature a built-in slash tilt for easier cleaning. 

Garden Windows: These windows are one of the best ways to instantly add character and charm to your home. Garden windows are similar to bay windows as they protrude from your home. However, they feature small shelves to store plants and herbs to receive sunlight and be visible from outside.

Hopper Windows: Typically found in basements and bathrooms, hopper windows are ideal for any room with limited wall space. Commonly used for ventilation, they open from the top and usually crank open to tip down. 

Picture Windows: Picture windows don’t have visible frames or other breaks, making them ideal for enjoying an obstructed view and making your interior feel larger. These fixed windows can’t be opened, but they are often paired with other windows for design and functionality.  

Skylight Windows: Skylight windows act like windows for your roof and allow you to add more natural light to homes with limited wall space.

Single-Hung Windows: Single-hung windows open vertically with their bottom window panel. The lower sash moves up and down, but the upper sash remains stationary. 

Sliding Windows: Ideal for elongated walls, sliding windows feature two sections usually made from single windows. One of the sections slides horizontally over the other to open or close. 

Transom Windows: Transom windows are often used as decorative accent windows. They help break up space or add a design focal point. You often find them around doors or above other windows, and they tend to be semicircles, rectangles, or squares.

Window Warranties

Most window manufacturers offer limited lifetime warranties and/or labor warranties. Limited lifetime warranties cover the cost of the window parts but do not always cover the labor.

The term lifetime often refers to the estimated time the window will maintain its manufactured quality. For example, lower-quality windows may have an estimated life span of fewer than five years, while higher-quality windows may be expected to last for more than 15 years. The length of the warranty will match those estimations. However, some manufacturers mean the actual lifetime of the window. These warranties also tend to be transferable to new homeowners.

Lifetime limited window warranties typically cover the following items:

  • Window materials
  • Cosmetic defects
  • Broken or malfunctioning hardware
  • Energy-efficient glass
  • Obstructed vision/issues with the seal
  • Installation/errors performed by the installing contractor
  • Custom aspects of your design
  • Accidental damage to the glass

A labor warranty covers installation errors, not manufacturing defects. Labor warranties may require you to pay a service call fee.

Window labor warranties typically cover the following:

  • All installation and labor
  • Glass systems and frames
  • Pieces, parts, and materials
  • Locks and hardware

We recommend hiring a window installation contractor that the manufacturer approves. This makes it easier to receive coverage if an issue occurs. Otherwise, the manufacturer may try to blame the installer or vice versa. 

Energy Efficiency

Nearly 92% of the homeowners we surveyed said ENERGY STAR certification was important to them, and over 78% said they noticed a reduction in electricity bill costs after upgrading their windows. If you want windows that don’t just look nicer in your home but also help you save money, look for ENERGY STAR-certification and other markers of energy efficiency. Some common features include triple-pane glass, a low-e coating, or additional insulation.

What to Look for in Homeowner Reviews

Reading other homeowners’ reviews will help you gain an accurate insight into what it’s like dealing with a particular company. We read more than 100 reviews for each company we researched to see what homeowners had to say about product performance, customer service, timeliness, responsiveness, professionalism, pricing, and other factors that affect your experience.

Below are the most common factors customers report making or breaking their window-buying experience. We recommend paying close attention when these factors come up in customer reviews.

  • Response time and scheduling: Take note of how long homeowners said they waited for windows to be installed. A company that takes a while to schedule an installation date may not be a dealbreaker if your remodel doesn’t require a fast turnaround. However, if you need a shattered window replaced quickly, you may want to find a company homeowners praise for speedy response times.
  • Warranties: Customer reviews are also an excellent opportunity to tell if a company honors its warranties or puts misleading language in them. Pay attention to reviews that mention trying to use a warranty for glass repair or a malfunctioning lock to gauge whether or not the window brand stays true to its word.
  • Workmanship: Note how homeowners describe the quality of  both the installation and the windows themselves. Avoid brands whose workmanship might involve cheaper parts or a sloppy design.

How to Compare Window Quotes and Pricing

Window companies allow you to get a quote online and by phone. Most brands’ websites include a quote form you can quickly fill out. Some ask only for your contact information, while others may ask a few other questions about your home or the windows you’re interested in. You’ll have to wait for a representative to reach out to you to get your quote, which may take a couple days. Since the representative will ask you further questions over the phone about your home and what you’re looking for, you may want to just call and skip the wait. 

We recommend getting a quote from at least three companies to compare pricing. When comparing costs, don’t just look at the number. Rather, compare the value for the price. Look at which customization options, energy features, labor, warranty coverage, financing options, etc. at that cost.


Financing and Payment Options

The most cost-effective way to pay for new windows is to pay in full upfront. If this expense is too high, window companies offer financing options. Some brands offer financing in-house, while some work with third-party lenders. The most common types of window financing options include:

  • FHA rehab loan: The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage loans to help homeowners finance necessary home improvements. The process is typically easier than traditional loans, but you do have to make a down payment and may face a high interest rate.
  • Home equity loan: A home equity loan allows you to borrow against the equity of your house. You’ll get a lower interest rate than an FHA loan, but your home will be considered collateral. 
  • In-house loan: Plenty of brands offer in-house financing with attractive incentives, such as 0% down, 0% interest, and no payments for 12 months. Champion is one brand with appealing loan terms. 
  • Personal loan: This loan type commonly has a fixed interest rate. If you have a high credit score, you can arrange a personal loan with your bank. 

Also look for other incentives that help make paying for your windows more manageable, such as discounts for buying a certain number of windows or seasonal deals.


Choosing a Local Window Installer

Choosing the right windows and manufacturer isn’t all there is to consider. If your manufacturer doesn’t provide in-house installation, you’ll need to go through its installer network or browse local contractors to put the windows in. This shouldn’t be an afterthought. The quality of the window installation is just as important as the quality of the windows themselves. Improper installation can lead to poor energy efficiency, voided warranty coverage, and window or wall damage. 

Steps to Take When Choosing an Installer

Take the following steps to find a reputable local window installer:

  • Check for certification: Many window manufacturers recommend or sometimes require hiring an installer trained and certified for their products. We suggest visiting a local showroom of the brand you’re interested in to connect with local certified installers. Double-check for certification from the American Window and Door ­Institute, and check that the contractor is properly licensed and insured for window installation in your state via your state’s contractor licensing board.
  • Read customer reviews: Google Reviews and the BBB are two great sites to find reviews. We suggest paying special attention to the criteria listed above when reading homeowner reviews, such as scheduling, warranty options, customer support, energy efficiency, and workmanship. You can also ask a company for references. Ask these individuals about any delays in their project, window performance, energy bill changes, the crew’s professionalism, their labor warranty, and whether the crew cleaned up the project area and disposed of the old windows. 
  • Pay attention to the quote process: A reputable installer should measure each replacement window, explain their installation process, and estimate how long the job will take. You want an installer who will replace each window one at a time, rather than taking out all the old windows at once and installing new ones. If an installer seems too quick to start the job or tries to avoid some of your concerns and questions, you may want to check out another local installer. Don’t work with an installer who wants to start working before giving you a legally binding, itemized cost rundown.

Average Cost by Window Type

The table below outlines the average window replacement cost per window:

This table presents the cost range and average cost for various types of windows. It includes thirteen window types: Storm, Glass Block, Egress, Transom, Double-Hung, Awning, Custom, Skylight, Single-Hung, Arched, Picture, Casement, and Bay/Bow.

What Type of Window Is the Most Durable?

The most durable type of window is fiberglass.

This refers to window material rather than style. Window frames are typically made from aluminum, vinyl, composite, fiberglass, or wood. While all are considered plenty durable, fiberglass is superiorly weather-resistant and low-maintenance. It won’t rust, warp, corrode, or rot. It provides excellent insulation and energy efficiency and is known for its long life span. Many window brands include longer and more comprehensive warranties for their fiberglass window options due to how reliable and high-quality it is. You’ll typically pay more for fiberglass windows than any other material type, but you’ll also see a better return on investment on average for such a durable material. 


Our Recommendation

We recommend Renewal by Andersen as our top window brand because it’s so well-rounded. The company has a large product range backed by comprehensive warranties. Its windows are rigorously tested for performance and certified by ENERGY STAR. Plus, Renewal will send its own in-house professional team to install your windows, so you don’t have to deal with hiring a third party. 

We suggest reading testimonials and getting a price estimate from at least three window brands before making your decision. You can use our tool below to get quickly matched to local installers.


Window Brands FAQ

What time of year is best to replace windows?

The best time to replace windows is in the spring or early summer when it’s warm but not too hot.

What is the best window and door company?

Given its vast industry experience, wide product selection, and comprehensive warranties, Renewal by Andersen is considered a superior window and door company. Champion Windows is a close second for its energy-efficient glass options and in-house installation team.

What windows are the best for a house?

Hinged-sash window types make good options for most homes since they’re highly energy-efficient with a firm weathertight seal. Casement windows are a popular hinged-sashed window type.


How We Chose the Top Window Brands

We researched and analyzed dozens of window manufacturers. We then crafted a rating system based on each brand’s standard and energy-efficient product offerings.

We spoke directly to representatives at each company to learn how the installation process works and determine how each brand personalizes its windows for each home. We also closely analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure their product and labor guarantees match or exceed industry standards. 

Finally, we assessed the manufacturer’s years of experience and customer reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches. 

link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *