Recent media coverage guiding consumers on how to choose replacement windows focuses on why energy efficiency is not the right reason to replace windows (but there are plenty of good ones).  A recent "Ask the Expert" column in Money magazine examines the question of whether a person living in a drafty old house should replace windows to cut down on heating and cooling costs. The answer is emphatic: "In a word, no. The energy savings from new windows don’t come close to justifying their cost." But the article points out there are plenty of good reasons to replace the windows, even if the energy savings don't pan out. And it's not just about convenience and good looks. The benefits have perceived value and are therefore a good investment. Pointing to REMODELING magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the Money expert explains that homeowners get back nearly 80% of window replacement costs when they eventually sell. 
Read more.

Recent coverage on "How to Choose Replacement Windows," in Consumer Reports starts off with similar insights: "Contrary to what some ads say, saving money on your energy bills is not the reason to replace your windows."  But it quickly shifts gears to explain that "new windows can make your home quieter, more attractive, and less drafty, and they don’t need painting. They’re also easier to clean than old windows with combination storm and screens and can reduce your carbon footprint." It goes on to review 21 double-hung and four casement-style windows, finding significant differences in brands. Among the findings reported:

"A pricey and bottom-rated window from Andersen, $500, wasn’t good at keeping out cold air and was so-so at keeping out rain. A $450 Kolbe vinyl double-hung was impressive, but a top-rated $260 Simonton was even better."   Read more.