Wood framed windows are a great accent to your beautiful home. They are available with insulated double pane glass packs including low e-coatings. However, the air infiltration with wood and the lack of insulation value of wood make these the least energy efficient option. Although they do not compete on energy efficiency with a triple pane vinyl window, they are generally going to be the most expensive option and will require regular maintenance.
A composite brings the benefits of vinyl with the look of wood. If you have a historic home that a modern vinyl window wouldn't look good in, this is a great option. They are more expensive than vinyl, but more affordable than wood.
Vinyl window replacements are the best bang for your buck. There are inexpensive double pane options that can be a huge improvement over what you have, or a triple pane with insulated frame and sashes, and any where in between. They are available in a multitude of colors as well as wood grain finishes.
A double pane window has 2 layers of glass with an air gap that is filled with either argon or krypton gas. These are not as energy efficient as a triple pane, nor do they buffer sound as well and are more likely to have condensation. Double panes are available in wood, composite or vinyl. The majority of replacement windows installed in the United States are a double pane. The lower cost may offset any improvements in energy efficiency you might gain from a triple pane.
Hands down, a triple pane window is the most energy efficient window option. They will keep your home the most comfortable, will be the least likely to exhibit condensation, and will do the best job of keeping sound and intruders out. If energy loss is a bigger concern than comfort or noise and condensation are not concerning to you, then a well insulated double pane may be a better choice. Let us help you figure out what fits your long and short term goals and meets your budget.
Type of Operation (Double Hung, Slider, Casement, Awning, Hopper, Bow, Bay. Fixed (picture)
Glass Packs (number of panes as well as levels of insulation)
Insulated Sashes and Frames
Colors and Finishes
Styles of Hardware
Built in Grilles
Decorative or Privacy Glass
Double Strength Glass
Different Screen Options