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How Much Do Energy-Efficient Windows Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical cost range: $320–$2,000

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Author Icon By Jessica Wimmer Updated 02/13/2024

According to the Department of Energy, 25%–30% of your home’s heating and cooling energy is lost through its windows. Investing in energy-efficient windows that minimize heat transfer means your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, prolonging its life span and lowering your energy bills.

The cost of an energy-efficient window depends on several variables but typically runs between $150–$4,000 on average before installation.* Our guide breaks down factors that impact what you’ll pay for energy-efficient windows, things to look for, how to save money, and other tips for finding the best windows for your home.
*Article cost data via Fixr.


The following features combine to make a window more energy-efficient:
Multiple window panes: All energy-efficient windows have at least two panes, and some even have triple-pane glass. This prevents the sunlight that hits the exterior pane from transferring its heat to the home’s interior.
Window spacers: Panes are held apart by means of nonmetallic spacers, often made of foam. They keep the panes in place and further prevent heat transfer.
Gas fills: Filling the gaps between glass panes with nonreactive noble gases instead of air provides an additional insulating effect. Argon is the most common, but krypton gas provides slightly better energy efficiency.
Low-e glass coatings: Short for “low-emissivity,” low-e coatings reflect infrared and ultraviolet (UV) light without blocking visible light. This keeps heat from transferring indoors and also protects items near the window from fading.
Insulated window frame materials: Although energy-efficient windows come in the same frame materials as standard windows, conductive materials such as aluminum must contain heat breaks, and hollow materials such as fiberglass and vinyl must be filled with insulation.

What Factors Affect Energy-Efficient Window Installation Costs?

There are various factors that play roles in the cost of the average energy-efficient window. Below is a look at some of the most important:

  • Window size: Larger windows generally cost more for both materials and installation.
  • Glass type: The more glass panes a window contains, the more it costs overall.
  • Window type: Large picture or bay windows require bigger glass panes and therefore cost more on average.
  • Frame material: Aluminum and vinyl almost always cost less than fiberglass, composite, or wood frames.

Cost by Window Size

Energy-efficient triple-pane windows tend to cost between $25 and $40 per square foot, though standard window shapes and sizes cost less than custom windows. Here are some standard window sizes and their accompanying cost ranges:

Window Size (in Inches)Square FootagePrice Range

24×36

6.00

$150–$240

24×52

8.67

$216.75–$346.80

32×48

10.67

$266.75–$426.80

32×52

11.55

$288.75–$462

36×72

18.00

$450–$720

Cost by Glass Type

A window’s glazing refers to the type of glass and number of panes. Double-pane windows usually cost between $150 and $1,290 to purchase and install. Triple-pane window pricing usually runs between $400 and $3,540 with an average cost of $1,920 per window. Triple-pane windows are substantially more expensive but offer superior insulation, greater energy efficiency, and strong noise reduction.

Cost by Type of Window

Most residential windows are single- or double-hung windows, but there are many available styles. Here are some price ranges for different window types, not including installation.

Window StyleCost Range

Bay windows

$1,030–$8,300

Bow windows

$1,620–$7,700

Casement windows

$270–$2,200

Double-hung windows

$270–$1,850

Picture windows

$185–$1,900

Single-hung windows

$220–$1,600

Sliding windows

$270–$2,000

Cost of Window Frame Materials

Leading window brands such as Andersen typically offer several window frame materials, though some brands focus solely on one or two. Here are the most common window frame materials and how they compare in terms of energy efficiency:

Aluminum windows are inexpensive but are poor insulators since aluminum conducts heat very well. Even with heat breakers, aluminum window frames are the least efficient.
Vinyl windows often represent the best balance of cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency. Vinyl is a good insulator and requires little maintenance, though it may crack or peel with time and UV exposure. Hollow vinyl frames can be filled with extra insulation for increased performance.
Wood is the most traditional frame material, and it’s a moderately good insulator. However, wood requires more finishing and repainting maintenance and is susceptible to rot and water damage.
Composite window frames typically contain wood particles bound together by polymers or resin. They’re often made to look like wood but have better durability, lower maintenance costs, and slightly better energy efficiency.
Fiberglass windows are the most durable and energy-efficient, but they’re also the most expensive and difficult to find. Like composite, fiberglass is often made to look like wood.
Frame MaterialCost Range

Aluminum

$195–$1,600

Vinyl

$220–$2,100

Wood

$270–$2,400

Composite

$420–$2,400

Fiberglass

$620–$2,700

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Are Energy-Efficient Windows Worth It?

Although windows provide natural ventilation when the weather is good, they also act as a weak point when it comes to keeping your home comfortable in more extreme temperatures. Air leaks in and around windows and skylights allow heated or cooled air to escape. Additionally, letting in sunlight allows heat in, which can be desirable in winter but forces your air conditioner to work harder during the summer. Heat can also transfer through the window frame or glass itself, subtly heating up your home’s interior and increasing cooling costs.

Energy-efficient windows, which in the U.S. are Energy Star-certified, make use of different materials and features to minimize heat loss or gain. They often contain multiple glass panes separated by insulating gases, and the glass may be coated to reduce the amount of heat it lets in. Although these windows tend to be more expensive than standard windows, they produce significant energy savings over time. You’ll eventually get a return on your investment, especially if you stay in your home for 10 years or more and take advantage of tax credits.

The amount of money you can save on your utility bill depends on the local climate and your current windows’ condition. Single-pane windows are the least energy-efficient, containing clear glass with no coatings. If you replace these home windows with Energy Star-certified windows, you stand to save $101–$583 per year.
Homeowners who install windows or skylights that meet certain Energy Star standards may qualify for a federal tax credit. For windows purchased and installed between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2032, you can claim 30% of the total project cost for both materials and labor up to a maximum of $600. This applies to window replacement costs in existing homes that are primary residences rather than rental properties. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to find state and local credits or rebates.

DIY vs. Professional Window Installation

Window installation is usually best left to professionals, though experienced do-it-yourself proponents (DIYers) may be able to install replacement windows on the ground floor. Keep in mind that installing energy-efficient windows incorrectly may defeat their entire purpose. The number of panes and type of filler gas won’t matter if air can leak around the window frames. Additionally, double- and triple-pane windows are substantially heavier than single-pane windows because of the extra glass, so experts are better prepared to deal with them.

Window contractors typically charge $40–$65 per hour. Anything that increases the installation’s complexity and time will increase the total cost. Upper-story and difficult-to-access windows may cost $600 each to install. Since there may be a flat service call fee, it’s typically less expensive to replace all existing windows at once rather than a few at a time.

How Do I Check Energy-Efficient Windows’ Performance?

Energy efficiency can be measured in a few unique ways. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) developed the standards that are used to determine which products qualify for Energy Star certification.

  • Visible transmittance (VT): VT is a measure of how much visible light makes it through the window. Tinted windows with lower VT let in less light and therefore less heat, but they force you to rely more on artificial lighting. VT is measured on a 0–1 scale, with higher numbers indicating that more light can get through.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): SHGC reveals how much of the sun’s heat is transferred through the window. It’s also measured on a 0–1 scale with lower ratings indicating a more efficient window.
  • U-factor: A window’s U-factor is an indication of how much heat the window keeps inside the home. This number typically ranges from 0.2–1.2, with lower numbers being more efficient.
  • Air leakage: This factor measures a window’s draft resistance. It should be lower than 0.3 in efficient windows.
  • Condensation resistance (CR): CR is an optional measure that shows how well a window prevents condensation from forming on its interior surface. It’s measured from 1–100, and higher numbers are better. Not all windows include this rating.

Our Conclusion

Consider upgrading to new, energy-efficient windows if you want to increase your home’s efficiency and decrease your utility bills. Insulated, double-pane vinyl windows with a low SHGC and U-factor are the most affordable replacement windows that still offer energy-efficient features. Fiberglass triple-pane windows provide maximum efficiency, but they’re more expensive.

We recommend consulting a local window contractor to determine the best options for your home and budget. Request estimates from at least three companies to find the lowest energy-efficient window cost.

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FAQ About Energy-Efficient Windows

What type of window is most energy-efficient?

Triple-pane windows in fiberglass frames are typically the most energy-efficient window option, but they’re also the priciest. For more limited budgets, insulated vinyl frames are an excellent choice.

Do energy-efficient windows increase home value?

Energy-efficient windows do increase a home’s value. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2023 Cost versus Value Report, insulated vinyl window replacements with low-e glass had an average return on investment (ROI) of 68.5%, or approximately $13,766. This is a higher ROI than projects such as a new asphalt roof and a bathroom remodel.


Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our window ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, browsing product selections, analyzing window line specifications, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for window variety, value, trustworthiness and transparency, window features, and customer service to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale. 

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