What to Look For In Replacement Windows

It’s easy to know what you don’t want from your window: no one wants a drafty window, a window that cracks and scratches easily, or a window that doesn’t fit the aesthetic for their home. But when it’s time to find replacement windows for your Des Moines home, what should you look for?

The right replacement window for you depends on your home. If you had windows that let in too much air, your first priority will be to find windows with better insulation. If your windows were broken, you’ll want windows with more durability. But there are certain good characteristics to look for in any replacement window. Here are our suggestions.

Multiple Panes

Double- or triple-paned windows add insulation to your home, keeping you comfortable inside even in extreme temperatures outside. With multiple panes of glass, it’s harder for air to leak through the window, especially with the help of gas fillings. Argon or krypton gas (both non-toxic) fills the space in between glass panes and slow the flow of air that might escape between one pane and another. You can also use multiple panes of glass to add low-E coatings, which keep out harmful rays of the sun.

NFRC Label

The National Fenestration Ratings Council rates windows on four different standards of energy performance: Air Leakage (AL), Visible Transmittance (VT), Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and U-Factor. AL determines how much air leaks into or out of the windows, while VT rates how much light the windows let into the home. SHGC is the amount of heat from outside that is leaked inside while U-Factor determines how much heat from inside the home escapes out. The NFRC label will tell you how your replacement window stands in each of those categories, therefore helping you get an idea for how energy efficient it is.


You want your replacement windows to last for years and years. Many homeowners are tempted by vinyl replacement windows because of the affordability, and there are some quality vinyl replacement windows out there. However, settling for the cheapest option may lead you to another replacement window project sooner than you’d like. If you want vinyl replacement windows, it’s worth it to put out a bit more money for a brand like Lotus, the “rolls royce of vinyl replacement windows.” Lotus windows are ultra durable with fiberglass reinforcement for stronger, longer lasting performance.

Home Design

When you buy insert replacement windows, the style is usually secondary. Insert replacement windows are made to fit right into your existing window frame, so the window won’t look much different from your old window. However, full frame replacement windows should complement your home’s style. If you’ve recently changed your home’s design, your windows should reflect that as well. Your replacement windows can boost your curb appeal, but they can also drag it down if it turns out to be a bad match.

If you need quality replacement windows, look no further than Zen Windows Des Moines. We offer the  best from some of the finest brands on the market. Let us know about your replacement window project and we’ll help you find a replacement window that’s perfect for your home and will last for years.