COLUMBUS-OH: Replacement windows can make a tremendous difference in your home – for better or worse. Old or broken windows can let in cold drafts, obscure your view of the outdoors, and cost you extra in energy bills. New windows, on the other hand, seal in the warmth, are easy to keep clean, and help reduce costs. While the process of updating your windows is an exciting one, it’s not something to rush into. Make sure you research these five things before purchasing replacement windows for your home.

Installation Included

When getting quotes on windows, you’ll be concerned about window size, energy-saving features, and safety, but don’t forget to negotiate the installation price for the windows. Many companies provide a discount for installing multiple windows all at once, or include installation in the purchase price. When discussing this, pay attention to whether the company will offer you personalized service. Look for well-established window companies and read their reviews online. Past customers will gladly share whether their windows have been installed, sealed properly and lasted or whether they’ve had to be replaced again.

Quality Glass

Most windows these days are built with high-quality glass and are double paned with an inert gas between them. The two layers of glass and the gas barrier provide sure-fire retention of heat or cold (depending on the season). Lower quality window companies will use single-paned glass and skip the gas which adds the powerful layer of insulation since it creates an actual air gap that the cold or heat cannot easily cross.

Quality Frames

Strong glass will ensure insulation, but if a window has a bad frame, it doesn’t matter. Review the types of frames available before you buy; options can include wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or a combination of them. Each type has its pros and cons. Wood looks nice and contributes to energy efficiency, but requires more upkeep. Metal frames like aluminum are lightweight, but they conduct heat easily and are less energy efficient. Vinyl is easy to care for, but can be weak and prone to cracking. Research the frame types before approaching a window company, and beware especially if they’re pushing you toward one type or another. You need to choose the type that is right for your home.

Energy Certification

Many homeowners are seeking new windows for the energy and cost savings, but you must do your research into the windows to ensure these windows truly will benefit you. An easy first step is looking for an Energy Star certification. Look for the logo and read up on the certification details. Most Energy Star certified windows are eligible for deductions on your federal income tax. In addition to the Energy Star rating, research the U-factor and the R-value of the windows.

U-factor: measures the window’s heat-conducting abilities

R-value: measures how well the window insulates

You’re looking for a lower U-factor (which tells you the window will not absorb and transfer heat in the summer) and a higher R-value (which tells you how the window will keep out the cold in winter). Beware if a company won’t provide ratings and certifications for their windows.


No one likes to read the fine print, but sometimes it’s necessary. If a company claims a lifetime warranty on the windows, you need to be sure they are offering exactly that. Read all terms and conditions – and don’t hesitate to ask questions– before signing and paying for your windows. Don’t let a company offer obscure terms that only benefit them. We offer double warranties.

Once you do your research into the right type of windows for your budget and your home, you can equip yourself by asking questions about these five important factors. A good window company, like Zen Windows for instance,  will offer high quality installation, durable windows and frames, with a strong warranty and clear energy certifications.

If you know all the types of windows in your home, and you have counted up the total windows for each. You can get a quick window quote by clicking here. Finally an easy way to get a window quote without having to endure hours long presentations in your home.