Installing new windows? Be sure to choose carefully

New windows can stop leaks, reduce drafts, save energy and make your house look a whole lot nicer.

"And long-term, you can even get up to 70 percent back on the investment come time to sell your home," says Cheryl Reed with Angie's List.

Reed reminds us that you may qualify for an energy-saving tax credit to help pick up some of the cost.

"It's actually a good thing to do, if you need it, But it's very complicated."

Complicated because of some unfamiliar terms, such as:

  • U-factor: Indicates a window's overall insulating value. An efficient window should be rated 3.0 or below.

  • Solar heat gain co-efficient: Measures how well a window deflects incoming solar heat. An efficient window should be rated 3.0 or below.

  • Design pressure rating: how well the window drains water and how strong the window frame is. You want a window with a design pressure rating between 35 and 45. The higher the number, the better.

Windows are expensive and you're going to be living with them for a long time. So it's important you buy a quality product from a well-known brand with a good warranty - and have it installed by a qualified professional.

For more information

Angie's List: Choosing the Right Window Replacements