Shopping for windows can be tedious. You have to decide on the style and type of window. And, of course, there's the cost. Replacing windows throughout a home can cost anywhere from seven to 20-thousand dollars.
Consumer Reports just tested 17 different windows from familiar names like Pella, Andersen and Marvin. Prices ranged from $180-$600. All the windows tested are Energy Star-qualified, which means they will reduce your energy bill. But considering the investment, will they save you money?
"You can save between 10 and 25 percent a year on your heating and cooling costs, if you replace older, single pane windows, " said Consumer Reports' John Galeotafiore. " But it will still take you about 20 years to recoup your initial investment."
But if your windows are in bad shape or you want to make your home more attractive, Consumer Reports found several good choices.
Top rated is the $400 Marvin Clad Ultimate made of clad wood. For much less, Consumer Reports named two clad wood windows Best Buys. They're the Pella ProLine that goes for $215, as well as the Andersen 200 Series Tilt Wash that costs $235.
Another way to save money is checking out your existing frames. If they're in good condition, you may not need to replace them and that can significantly lower your installation costs.