The leaves are changing color and we’ve already felt those first few chilly Midwest evenings. Fortunately, it’s not too late to swap out your old, drafty windows with new, high-efficiency replacement windows.

Now, before winter arrives, is the time to replace them, because heat loss through windows is responsible for up to 30 percent of your home’s heating energy use. Old, drafty single-pane windows can worsen that loss.

“I’ve seen people save one-third, maybe more, on their heating bills after a contractor properly installs replacement windows,” says Dan McGovern, Millwork Sales Representative in the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location. “Spahn & Rose not only sells windows, but we’re here for customers down the road. Because of our relationships with window vendors like Andersen, we offer a lot more customization, we do measurements and can help you get in touch with a contractor to do the work.”

To get a fast, free replacement-window estimate, fill out this online form or visit your nearest Spahn & Rose location. Depending on the number of windows and the level of customization you desire, your Spahn & Rose consultation can take anywhere from a half-hour to two hours. The Spahn & Rose expert will review your needs window by window and provide a rendering that shows what the new ones will look like in your home. This process will also help you figure out your best options by walking you through these five steps:

1. Determine which type of replacement window best suits your needs.

Spahn & Rose’s partnership with high-quality window manufacturers Andersen, Marvin and Hayfield Window & Door means our customers can order a variety of window types including casement, double-hung, sashed and sliding windows. Each type has features you may be looking for in a replacement. Casement windows, for example, have no rails running through the middle, leaving you with a clear line of sight outdoors. However, for air circulation in the summer months, casement windows don’t offer as much ventilation as double-hung windows.

2. Choose the window material.

A basic replacement window is all vinyl, but Spahn & Rose offers a variety of material options to match your style and budget. For example, replacement windows can have a vinyl-clad exterior but a wood or fiberglass interior. Maintenance should be another factor in your decision: Wooden windows will need more of it. When discussing materials, you can also choose colors. “With our Andersen windows, you have an amazing selection—whites, off-whites, tans and several darker colors,” McGovern says.

3. Select your glass type.

Typically, the standard glass for replacement windows is dual-paned glass with argon. However, Spahn & Rose offers Low Emittance (often referred to as “Low E”) replacement glass options that can improve energy efficiency. “A Low E coating is beneficial for south-facing rooms,” says McGovern, who has more than 23 years’ experience selling windows. “It will reflect back sunlight and absorb heat. Low E replacement windows also help keep furniture from fading in rooms that get a lot of sunlight.”

4. Pick your window hardware.

With vendor partners such as Andersen windows, Spahn & Rose offers a vast variety of window hardware. Your Spahn & Rose replacement-window expert can help you choose hardware that matches your doors or other style elements within your home, such as your kitchen cabinets. You can also choose window hardware that includes safety features, such as limiters that allow windows to open only partially.

5. Measure for accuracy—with help. One of the biggest differences between using Spahn & Rose for your replacement windows and using a big-box store: A Spahn & Rose expert will visit your home and take precise measurements. Other places that sell replacement windows expect you to take your own measurements—and don’t allow refunds for any measurement errors. “For elaborate custom replacement windows, we get our vendors, such as Andersen, involved in the process to ensure you’ll be happy with your new windows,” McGovern says