Choosing Windows

Choosing windows can be overwhelming!  If you’ve assessed your windows and decided that it’s time to replace them, these simple steps will help you find windows that are right for your home and budget.

1.- Start With The Basics

If you’re unsure what kind of windows to buy, read more about window types and parts and why efficient windows matter.

2.- Check the Ratings

All new windows must meet local building code requirements, but not all offer the benefits of efficiency, such as lower utility bills and increased comfort. Take these three steps toward efficiency:

  • NFRC Ratings: NFRC’s  easy-to-understand efficiency  ratings are  displayed on labels affixed to windows and help you  make  comparisons before buying. They should remain in place until after installation and, once removed become part of the documentation you’ll need to qualify for any rebates or incentives you may be eligible to receive from utilities and from state and local governments.
  • ENERGY STAR®:  Windows  certified by  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  ENERGY STAR  program save homeowners an average of 12% on monthly utility bills. Windows are not eligible for  ENERGY STAR  certification  unless first rated by NFRC.
  • MOST EFFICIENT:  ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient program recognizes products that use cutting-edge technologies to deliver the greatest efficiency.

3.- Use The Window Selection Tool

The  Window Selection Tool  searches our database for a list of NFRC-certified and ENERGY STAR windows that are currently available  and a  good  fit for your home. This will depend on your climate, exterior landscaping, and the direction the windows face.

4.- Find Rebates and Incentives

To see all state and local programs offering rebates, incentives, and other financial help, enter your zip code in the  Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. You will need the NFRC label on your window as part of the documentation needed to qualify for them, so keep the label in your files after removing it.

5.- Focus on Proper Installation

Without proper installation, even the best windows may not perform as expected. If you’re working with a contractor, ensure they are qualified. Window manufacturers often maintain lists of approved installation partners most familiar with their products, as well as maintenance guidelines to extend the life of your windows.

To aid in proper installation, the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) administers the  InstallationMasters® program, which has certified thousands of individuals on industry-accepted installation practices and other critical information related to window installation.

Installation Masters logo

Visit the  InstallationMasters®  website to search for a certified installer near you. If you are replacing your windows, you can search the Original Program, Replacement Program, and the Combined Program. For new homes, you can search for installers in the New Construction Program.

About Us

provides unbiased information and education to the public on the energy efficiency, technical, and human considerations that influence window selection and use. The EWC collaborates with allied organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies that promote energy efficiency in residential windows. We do not sell, service, install, or recommend products, or endorse manufacturers. Descriptions and specifications of the products in the Window Selection Tool are provided by the manufacturer. The EWC is not liable for any manufacturing defects or inaccurate product descriptions and specifications and does not guarantee the performance of NFRC-certified windows, doors, and skylights.

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National Fenestration Rating Council
6305 Ivy Lane, Suite 410
Greenbelt, MD 20770
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