What to Know Before Getting New Windows

By Erin Hynes | Aug. 10, 2023 11:55 am PST

New Kitchen Windows

If your house has outdated windows, there’s a good chance you’re wasting energy. In the summer, you’re air conditioning the neighborhood, and in winter, wind whistles in through the window edges. You’ve been putting it off for years, but the time may have finally come to purchase new windows.

There are so many things to consider — style, materials, color, energy efficiency—you might not know where to start. It’s great to have a rep come to your home, listen to your needs and concerns, and help you make the right choice. Sears can do that, says Dave Lincon, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services. He offers some tips on what to know before replacing your windows.

Key Considerations for New Replacement Windows

Replacing windows is an investment that can impact both the aesthetics and functionality of your home. Consider these key factors as you prepare to replace windows in your home.


When replacing your home’s windows, it’s important to consider various style factors to ensure that the new windows not only function well but also enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your home. Here are some style factors to consider:

  • Architectural Style. Match the window style to the architectural style of your home. Different architectural styles have specific window designs that complement their overall look. For instance, colonial-style homes often feature double-hung windows, while modern homes might have large picture windows.
  • Window Type. Choose the right type of window for each room based on functionality and aesthetics. Common types include double-hung, casement, sliding, awning, bay, bow, and picture windows. Each type has its own unique style and functionality.
  • Frame Material. The frame material not only affects the window’s durability and maintenance but also its appearance. Common frame materials include wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each material has its own visual characteristics and suits different architectural styles.
  • Color and Finish. Consider the color and finish of the window frames. The color should complement your home’s exterior and interior colors. You might want to choose a finish that mimics the appearance of natural wood or matches other elements of your home.
  • Glass Options The type of glass you choose can impact both the appearance and functionality of the windows. Consider options like frosted glass, tinted glass, or decorative glass to add style and privacy.

Ultimately, your personal preferences and lifestyle should guide your window choices. Take into account the level of privacy, ventilation, and natural light you desire in each room.

Framing Material

The choice of framing material for windows depends on several factors, including your budget, aesthetics, energy efficiency goals, and maintenance preferences.

Here are some common window framing materials and their characteristics:

  • Wood. Wood is a classic and aesthetically pleasing choice for window frames. It offers excellent insulation properties and can be painted or stained to match your home’s interior and exterior. However, wood requires regular maintenance to protect against moisture, rot, and pests such as termites.
  • Vinyl. Vinyl window frames are popular due to their affordability, low maintenance requirements, and good energy efficiency. They are resistant to moisture and insects and come in various colors and styles. Sears only sells vinyl replacement windows.
  • Aluminum. Aluminum frames are strong, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion, making them a good choice for coastal areas. They are also low maintenance and can be powder-coated to various colors. However, aluminum is not as thermally efficient as other materials and can contribute to heat loss.
  • Fiberglass. Fiberglass frames offer good thermal performance and are low maintenance. They are durable and can withstand various weather conditions without warping or corroding. Fiberglass can be painted, but it often comes in neutral colors.
  • Steel. Steel frames are strong and durable, making them suitable for large or custom-shaped windows. However, they are not as thermally efficient as other materials and can be susceptible to rust if not properly maintained.

For most home window replacement projects, vinyl frames work best because they insulate better and are easier to clean.


The natural inclination is to find the lowest price for window replacement services. While that should be a consideration, the most important part of your decision should be value and return on investment. In the long run, a lower price might actually cost you more in energy bills, replacements and maintenance.

Top-quality windows can be expensive to install. However, an investment in new windows typically pays off by reducing your energy bills and increasing the value of your home.

When considering the price of new windows, the installation fees can be the most significant factor in the cost of the project. Hiring a trusted installer may cost more but quality installation will pay off in the long run because you’ll experience less problems with windows over time.

Ease of Use

The ease of use and cleaning of windows depends on various factors, including the type of window, its design, and the features it offers.

Consider these characteristics of common window types relating to use and cleaning:

  • Double-hung windows. These windows are very popular and easy to use. Both sashes can be moved up and down, allowing for easy ventilation and cleaning. You can tilt the sashes inward for cleaning the exterior glass from inside your home.
  • Casement windows. Casement windows are easy to operate with a simple crank mechanism. They swing open like a door, providing easy access to both the interior and exterior for cleaning. However, they may require more frequent maintenance of the hardware.
  • Sliding windows. These windows move horizontally along tracks. They are relatively easy to use, but cleaning the exterior glass can be a bit more challenging, as only one side is accessible at a time.
  • Fixed or picture Windows. Fixed windows don’t open, so they require less maintenance and are easy to clean from the inside. Cleaning the outside of fixed or picture windows can be challenging depending to landscaping outside the window and window height.
  • Bay windows. These windows often have multiple panels and angles, which can make cleaning the exterior glass more challenging.

Ultimately, the ease of use and cleaning of windows can vary widely depending on your specific needs and preferences. It’s a good idea to consider factors such as your ability to reach and clean the windows when choosing the right windows for your home.

Energy Efficiency

Every homeowner (and the planet) could stand to be more energy efficient. And, getting energy-efficient windows will save you money on energy bills.

When buying new windows, look for the ENERGY STAR® certification to get energy efficient windows throughout your home.

By installing ENERGY STAR-certified windows, you can lower your home energy bills by an average of 12 percent, according to the EPA. You can also lower your carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Windows

When you’re considering replacement windows, check out these expert answers to your questions about energy efficiency, vinyl windows, double-pane windows, curb appeal and maintenance.

Q: What do I need to know about energy efficiency?

A: First, when we talk about windows, we’re talking about the whole package—glass, frame and the components that hold it all together. Aside from being something you see through and that lets in light, windows can help protect you from outside temperatures.

Most of Sears’ windows are double pane—and we do have a triple-glazed window in some areas, which further helps to reduce heat loss and is part of many game changing window innovations.

Q: What windows are best for increasing curb appeal?

A: Nine times out of 10, whatever new windows you put in will look better than what you’re replacing, because the windows your have are probably scratched, dingy or covered in chipped paint. However, window replacement costs will vary depending on the type of windows you select to be installed.

Most people replace like with like, but when improving your curb appeal, be aware that that aluminum windows are no longer allowed in some areas, because of current building codes and energy standards.

Q: What are the benefits of vinyl windows?

A: Sears only sells vinyl replacement windows. Maintenance is the number-one benefit of vinyl windows. They don’t need to be painted; they won’t fade, warp, bleed or crack. Compared to wood, you don’t have to worry about rot or termites, and they’re easy to clean with soap and water.

Q: What window styles does Sears carry?

A: We have good, better and best options in double-hung, slider, picture, casement, bay, awning — pretty much any style and size window.

The “good” option is single-strength glass — two panes of 1/16-inch-thick glass separated by an argon gas-filled space. It comes in any style in white, tan or clay.

The “better” option has a thicker, more reinforced frame with foam-filled sashes to help with energy efficiency. Each pane of the double-pane window is 1/8-inch thick. Also filled with argon gas, it comes in a larger choice of colors and with a wood grain option as well as a unique locking system.

Our “best” option has security glass — a 1/8-inch glass pane, then an argon-filled space, then a 1/16-inch glass pane followed by a thin piece of laminate and another 1/16-inch glass pane. It can crack but it won’t break.

You can get tempered glass to meet building codes and for increased security in any of our series — good, better or best.

Q: Are the windows covered by a warranty?

A: We have a labor warranty that’s two, three or five years, depending on whether you’ve chosen the good, better or best option. There’s a lifetime limited warranty on all three options on the frame and hardware.

Sears Home Services Can Assist with Window Replacement and Maintenance

Sears gives you two ways to learn more about our window replacement and installation service.

In Person

Schedule a free Window Replacement Consultation online or call 1-877-587-7327 to set up an appointment.

A Sears Home Services consultant will visit you in your home, discuss your options for replacement windows, explain what to expect during window installation and give you a price estimate.

If you choose Sears to install your new replacement windows, a Sears project coordinator will guide you through every step of the window installation process, so you’ll know what to expect.

By Phone

Get an instant price estimate over the phone—just provide simple window measurements, following the instructions below. During that call, we can schedule an in-depth phone-and-Web consultation to show you Sears replacement windows online and explain pricing and financing options.

How to measure your windows for an instant estimate by phone:

  1. Download and print the window measurement form for your replacement windows.
  2. From inside your house, measure the window opening for each window you want to replace. Measure the height and the width to the nearest inch.
  3. Complete the window measurement form, including the window shape, quantity and dimensions.
  4. Call 1-800-495-2705 for an instant price estimate and to schedule a Web-assisted phone consultation.

When you’re ready to start your window replacement project, Sears Home Services will send a professional installer to take the exact measurements and order your windows.

Get a free in-home consultation

You May Also Like