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What's behind our home window Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 18 models in home windows to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based on wind and rain resistance, durability, and convenience. All tests but convenience were conducted by an outside lab.
  • Wind resistance 0 degrees
    Wind resistance measures each window's ability to keep out 25 mph winds at outdoor temperatures of 0ºF.
  • Wind resistance 70 degrees
    Wind resistance measures each window"s ability to keep out 25 mph winds at outdoor temperatures of 70º F.
  • Rain resistance
    Rain resistance measures their ability to keep out heavy, wind-driven rain.
  • Durability
    For durability, we evaluated how well each model maintained its wind and rain resistance after a week's worth of severe temperature changes.
  • Convenience
    Convenience assesses how easy the window was to open and close, how easy its sashes tilted back for cleaning, and whether it had helpful features such as full-length handles, and a handle for the top sash.

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Recommended home windows

Recommended home windows are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
In addition to reducing your energy bill, new windows can make your home more comfortable, quiet, and attractive. Replacement home windows have become more energy efficient in recent years. If you're looking for information about home windows, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ home window reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our home window buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and home window reviews to help you choose the best home window for your needs.

Home window buying guide

Home window buying guide

Finding energy-efficient windows has become easier, as insulating features such as heat-reflecting low-E coatings and argon gas between panes have become more standard. You'll also find new options and extras, including fiberglass window frames. Use this buying guide to make your selection.

"Stop throwing money out your old windows," some commercials say. With heating costs on the rise, many homeowners may wonder whether it's time to replace aging, drafty windows with efficient, tight-fitting ones.

In addition to reducing your energy bill, new windows can make your home more comfortable, quiet, and attractive. But don't expect to recoup your investment right away. If you now have old-fashioned single-glazed windows, replacement windows might save you from 10 percent to 25 percent a year for heating and cooling. But new windows cost from $7,000 to $20,000 for an average house, and custom sizes can add another 15 percent. So it might take 20 years or more before you break even. That's why you might want to wait until your old windows have deteriorated, when you're remodeling, or when you want windows that are easier to wash and maintain.

Replacement windows have become more energy efficient since insulating features such as multiple glazing, Low-E coatings, and inert-gas insulation have proliferated in many manufacturers' lines. We tested replacement windows for air and water leakage, durability, and convenience. Here's what we found.

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