How Much Do Energy-Efficient Windows Cost? (2023)

By Rachel Newcomb

Jun 20, 2023
Inside modern apartment with with wooden floor, terrace windows, and a panoramic landscape view.

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The best window brands offer many ENERGY STAR-certified windows to make your home more efficient. Installing these windows costs an average of $320 to $2,000 per window, including materials and professional labor.* According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your home wastes 25% to 30% of its heating and cooling capacity to make up for heat gain and loss through inefficient windows. Upgrading your windows with new, energy-efficient models can reduce this number and, in turn, your utility bills.

We’ll explain what makes a window energy-efficient and outline the available styles and options.

*Article cost data via Angi and Fixr.

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Energy-Efficient Window Qualifications

An energy-efficient window keeps heat out during summer and in during winter. Preventing heat transfer means your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the temperature comfortable. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) tests windows and skylights under research conditions to rate them based on heat gain and loss. Here are the features that the NFRC looks at when determining energy efficiency.

Window Frame Materials

Vinyl windows are by far the most popular, but window frames can also be made of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Aluminum frames are inexpensive but the least efficient, since aluminum conducts heat very well. Fiberglass frames offer the most insulation, but wood frames are also energy-efficient. Vinyl frames are hollow, but if the cavities are filled with extra insulating material, they can also meet efficiency standards.

Multiple Window Panes

Although glass is a moderately good insulator, the sunlight that hits your windows causes the glass to heat up. With single-pane windows, this heat transfers easily into your home. Likewise, heat loss will occur in winter as the warmth produced by your furnace transfers out through the glass. Sandwiching multiple panes of glass with extra insulation in between helps block heat transfer. Switching to double- or triple-pane windows is key to increasing your home’s energy efficiency.

Window Spacers

Between your window’s panes of glass are strips of material called spacers that keep the panes in place and prevent air leakage. The most energy-efficient spacers are made of nonmetallic materials that don’t conduct heat. This lowers the window’s U-factor, a measure of how much heat is lost through the window.

Gas Fills

In addition to spacers, energy-efficient windows contain small amounts of nontoxic noble gas between the panes. Double-pane windows typically use argon gas, which provides substantially more insulation than regular air. Triple-pane glass usually contains krypton gas, which is even more insulating than argon but is significantly more expensive.

Low-E Coating

The window glazing can also be treated or coated to lower its solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which is the amount of sun’s heat that travels through the glass. The most common treatment is called a low-e coating, short for low-emissivity. Low-e glass reflects some infrared and UV rays, reducing solar heat gain without blocking the amount of visible light that can come through.



Energy-Efficient Window Installation Major Cost Factors

The cost of new windows is determined primarily by size, window and glass type, and frame material.

Window Type

Large or complex windows cost more than smaller ones. Here are some common window types.

Cost by Window Type

Double-pane windows are the most common type of energy-efficient windows, so we’ve compared their costs in various styles in the table below.

Window TypeMaterial CostMaterials and Labor

Casement window



Single-hung window



Picture window



Double-hung window



Bay window



Window Size

Larger windows cost more than smaller ones, and customized shapes and sizes cost more than standard window sizes.

Cost by Window Size

Standard, 24-by-36-inch single- and double-hung windows are considered medium-size. Thus, smaller models like transom, kitchen, or basement windows are considered small. Large windows include bay and bow windows and oversized picture or decorative windows.

Window SizeMaterial CostMaterials and Labor










Number of Panes

Triple-pane, krypton-filled glass is slightly more energy-efficient than double-pane, argon-filled glass, but it’s substantially heavier and more expensive. For most climates, we recommend double-pane windows for a good balance of efficiency and price. Homeowners in extreme climates may benefit from the modest boost in efficiency provided by triple-pane glass. These windows will return the highest energy savings in severe cold or heat.

Cost by Number of Panes

Here are the price differences between single-, double-, and triple-pane windows.

Number of PanesCost Range







Window Frame Material

Fiberglass is the most energy-efficient and durable frame material, but it’s also the most expensive. Wood frames are fairly efficient, but they’re most commonly chosen for aesthetics and require long-term maintenance, which adds up over time. Vinyl and aluminum are the most cost-effective frame materials, but insulated vinyl is by far the more energy-efficient option. Aluminum frames are only recommended for mild climates, since they conduct heat so well.

Cost by Frame Material

We compared double-pane windows in various frame materials in the table below.

Frame MaterialMaterial CostMaterials and Labor













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Professional vs. DIY Energy-Efficient Window Installation

Installing energy-efficient windows is usually a job for professional contractors.

Professional Energy-Efficient Window Installation

Since most homeowners who want to switch to energy-efficient windows replace all or most of their windows at once, we recommend hiring a professional window installer. You’ll need to factor in labor as part of the replacement cost, but you’ll gain the following benefits:

DIY Energy-Efficient Window Installation

If you’re confident in your home improvement abilities and are only replacing one or two windows on the ground floor, you may consider doing the job yourself. In addition to the new window, you’ll need a power drill, pry bar, utility knife, putty knife, hammer, scraper, and caulk. You’ll also need putty and caulk for the replacement process and paint and primer for the finishing.

Doing the work yourself will save you money on labor, but be aware that a poorly installed window—even an energy-efficient one—may leak and actually drive up your energy costs. That’s why we recommend professional installation for most homeowners.



Additional Factors Affecting Energy-Efficient Window Installation Cost

You may also need to factor the following things into your budget, depending on your project’s specifics.

Removal of Old Windows and Material

Removal and disposal of your old windows, frames, and associated materials is typically included with professional installation. Particularly large or difficult-to-remove windows may come with an extra charge of about $50 each.

Adding New Window Screens

Homeowners in climates where keeping windows open for long time periods is desirable may want to install screens to keep out insects and debris. These screens cost an average of $70 to $200 each, depending on the window’s size and complexity.

Tax Credits and Rebates

As part of the federal government’s Energy Efficient Home Improvement program, homeowners who install windows with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating in their primary residences may qualify for a tax credit. You can receive a credit for 30% of your total project cost, up to $600, when you file your federal income taxes. The program has recently been extended through 2032. You may also want to check state and local programs for other incentives.



How to Reduce Energy-Efficient Window Installation Costs

Installing new windows is a substantial financial investment, but you can reduce window replacement costs with the following tips.



How to Hire a Professional

Here’s what to look for when choosing a window company.



Our Recommendation

Installing energy-efficient windows is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and your utility bills at the same time. According to our research, double-pane windows with insulated vinyl frames and Energy Star logos usually give you the best bang for your buck. Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value Report showed that this kind of window replacement increased home value by an average of $13,766. Homeowners in extreme climates may want to consider triple-pane windows with fiberglass frames, though these will be a bigger investment.

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Energy Efficient Window Installation FAQ

Are energy-efficient windows worth it?

Yes, energy-efficient windows are worth it. The Department of Energy estimates that most homeowners can save between $101 and $583 per year on heating and cooling costs by switching from single- to double-pane windows. Additionally, replacing old windows with double-pane, insulated vinyl windows have a 68.5% higher return on investment than many other remodeling jobs.

What is the most energy-efficient replacement window?

Replacement windows with double- or triple-pane glass and wood, fiberglass, or insulated vinyl frames are the most energy-efficient.

What is the cost of installing energy-efficient windows?

Energy-efficient windows cost about $320 to $2,000 each for materials and labor.

What are the benefits of energy-efficient windows?

Energy-efficient windows have several benefits. They reduce your monthly utility bills and make your home more comfortable, eliminating drafts and cold or warm spots. Also, treated glass that blocks UV rays can prevent furniture and other items from fading in direct sunlight.

How many windows are there in an average home?

Most homes have eight windows in the United States.